How to cross the roads safely in Hanoi Vietnam

We’ve been told many times about the difficulty of crossing roads in Vietnam especially in Hanoi. So we decided to create a post on “How to cross the roads safely in Hanoi Vietnam” so as to allow all our readers to know the tricks while crossing the roads there.

The thing about the roads in Hanoi is that there are SO MANY MOTORCYCLES ON THE ROADS! As a tourist or visitor there, it may seem like a daunting task to cross the roads.

Motorcycles galore in Hanoi
Motorcycles galore in Hanoi

Even at traffic lights (IF you happen to come across them), you may feel as though you’re targetted by a huge swarm of bees as you attempt to cross the roads.

So how can you then cross the roads safely in Hanoi Vietnam? Do consider these tips when you attempt to cross the roads there…

1. Walk at a steady predictable pace.

This was a tip given to us by the locals at our hotel when we were in Hanoi. The thing is, motorcyclists in Hanoi are used to jay-walkers (people who cross the roads anywhere anyhow), so they will be on the look out for them. If you walk at a steady and predictable pace, they will then try to “negotiate” you as an “obstacle”, swerving in front or behind you. So it is of paramount importance to cross the roads in Hanoi at a steady and predictable pace. That leads us to the 2nd point…

2. Do not become anxious and make a dash for it!

DO NOT MAKE SUDDEN MOVEMENTS! As the motorcycles cross in front or behind you, there is a tendency to want to make a dash for it or just stop right there. DO NOT DO THAT. Continue to walk at that same pace. If you stop or make a dash for it, the motorcyclists that predicted your movement as they drive, may be too fast or too slow when you change your pace and may possibly run into you.

3. Follow the locals

If all else fails, just follow the locals. Well, not behind them, but beside them. If the oncoming traffic is from left to right, stand on the right of the locals. Walk and maintain the same steady pace as them and they will be able to guide you through this forest of motorcycles.

We hope that this quick guide to crossing the roads safely in Hanoi, Vietnam can give you that confidence in crossing the roads there. After several crossings, you’ll be able to muster the courage to cross the roads – just like the locals!

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How to cross the roads safely in Hanoi Vietnam
How to cross the roads safely in Hanoi Vietnam

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4 Comments on How to cross the roads safely in Hanoi Vietnam

  1. Haha, I chuckled when I read the title of this post. Indeed, crossing the road may be daunting in Vietnam, especially for first-time travellers! #3 is the most helpful tip ever! When in doubt, just find a friendly local and shadow them as they navigate the motorbike-packed channels of Vietnam’s busy roads. Great post with simple yet invaluable tips; it doesn’t just apply to Hanoi, but the whole of Vietnam, really, because there’s just so many motorbikes everywhere in Vietnam!

  2. Haha. I totally agree with you traffic in Hanoi is a madness!I often tell my foreign friends “imagine you’re a water buffalo. You walk slowly and the traffic will avoid you!”. And they all survived!

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