The thing I love about travelling in Asia is it never disappoints me and always throws me some new gems every time I visit.
This time it was Vietnam’s turn to amaze me and offer up new surprises. You didn’t have to look far either as it was pretty much around every corner or in this instance at every intersection.
This was my first time travelling here so i didn’t appreciate at first the reliance the Vietnamese have on the motor cycle to get around. Coming in from the airport there was just a constant stream of motor bike flying past your window. Likewise every intersection you stopped at there just seemed to be this never ending line of bikes.
Probably nothing really surprising to the outside reader, however what you don’t at first realise is that it would seem that most things get transport by bike.
During my week here I saw some very inventive ways of transporting all manner of things from beer to furniture. Amazing how many people can actually fit on to one bike, I think 5 was the largest number I counted. That was with all the shopping, handbags, etc…. but you know what if it works, it works.
I also learned a new game we termed “Saigon Suicide” which is generally called crossing the road anywhere else. Given the huge volume of traffic though this was more of an adrenaline rush than just a small task.
Luckily a good Vietnamese friend of mine provided some great tuition on how to do this and what you learned is that the bikes are very good at dodging pedestrians.
The lesson I received late at night after a few beers certainly help to ensure I didn’t get seriously injured over the next few days.
As we drove out into the country I spotted some curious huts set up on the side of the road. On closer inspection these huts were just full of hammocks. It would seem that siesta time happens between 12-2pm everyday so you can just pull the car over and have a wee sleep.
I witnessed this first hand as when visiting a customer their manufacturing site was deserted. Around 2pm all these people just started to appear or materialise, never really found out where they actually came from.
And so I make my weary way home after a fun week…..missing the distant rubble of the Vietnamese bike chorus already.