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Our first taste of Vietnam was Hanoi.  It was unlike any other place we have been yet.  The traffic is insane.  It is very busy. They sell everything on the street and there doesn’t seem to be any rules.  And if there are rules, they don’t seem to be enforced.

Our guide told us there are 4 million motorbikes in a city with 9 million people.  We saw chickens on motorbikes, dogs on motorbikes, flowers stacked 6 feet high on motorbikes, babies held in their mother’s arms while driving on motorbikes five on one motorbike, and pigs on a motorbike.

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There are no traffic rules and it appears as though there is no order.  You take your life into your hands when you cross the street and the green walking man doesn’t mean it is okay to cross. 

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You can’t walk on the sidewalk because there are either motorbikes parked on the sidewalk or people selling “stuff” on the sidewalk.  I say “stuff” because it can be anything from bananas to some type of meat on a stick to something boiling in a pot of water. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that if there is a restaurant all you do is pull up a couple of tiny (like kid size) stools and a tiny table and cook up a pot with some food and start selling it.  This is also done right on the sidewalk as well.  Gives new meaning to the word street vendors.

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So the advice we were given by locals is to just walk across the street slowly without any sudden movements (by the way same advice given about snakes in Australia) and the traffic will just go around you.  It was absolutely amazing that we didn’t see one accident even though we were surrounded by chaos.  At one point, Tom and the boys crossed the street and I was left behind.  I must have had a very nervous look on my face as I called out to Tom on the other side of the street.  A local lady (who was also pregnant by the way) noticed my distress, grabbed my hand and escorted me across the street.  Tom said it looked very cute and he wished he could have got it on video.  I just a little embarrassed that a pregnant woman had to come to my rescue.

© VanKosh Family 2015