Driving in Vietnam

Think rush hour in Orange County is bad? Try Vietnam!

This is a little video my wife and I put together of driving through the streets in Vietnam. I was driving (most of the time we used her sister's Honda Future) and she was filming over my shoulder. It's terrifying at first, but it's not too bad once you get used to it. The trick is this: go with the flow. Seriously. There's a flow (or a groove if you will) in the traffic and all it takes is finding yourself in that flow, then driving is fine and actually fun sometimes.


Triet said...


I hate you Xanghe. You always post things that give me flashbacks and withdrawls.

This may sound really odd, but I LOVE driving in Vietnam. To me, it was beautiful in its craziness, and incredibly cathartic. Sure, when it rains it sucks, especially if your motorbike gets flooded by water up to your knee, and the cops never let you realize TRUE speed, but I loved the zipping in and out of people and cars, and the ability to slow down and just talk with the random person driving next to me.

That said, I laughed outloud (at work) when the music came on. REM just seems so ... you. Not what I would have used if I had made the video, but that's why God gave us salt and pepper, right? lol.

Loved the video. Any crashes while over there? What driving do you like better: Hanoi or Saigon?

xanghe said...

Hey, it's just like last time when you were there for... hmm.... let's see... many moons? And I was stuck at home. :)

The only crash I witnessed happened in Hội An of all places, and it was a teenage boy showing off. He just got back on his bike and he and his friends sped away. I like riding in Hà Nội because of the trees and people honk less. But I like riding around Saigon because you've got the cool breeze from the river and you've actually got somewhere to go instead of just riding around for fun. BUT my all time favorite is Huế: wide streets, few people, beautiful river (especially on the way to Chùa Thiên Mụ) and an all-round cozy feeling. Love it.

Triet said...

I admit, being back, I'm not a fan of Hanoi. Very dirty with little to offer, imo. Saigon was very dirty, but had something to offer.

Hue was nice. Unlike you though, what I like about driving in Hue and Hoi An was not the river, but getting outside the city. Thi and I wanted to head way out to lang Bao Dai (I think it was him), which almost nobody goes to, because it's out in India, basically. We drove for about an hour along this thin dirt road next to the river ... I'm swirving this way and that to avoid huge rocks and potholes ... small dirt huts on either side ... the "road" only big enough for three motorbikes across ... that was great fun! Thi didn't like it too much though...

Jennie said...

Vietnam is crazy. I dare say crazier than the streets of India, although I've never been to India =P.

Sharon & James said...

ROFLOL!!! That is one of the coolest/funniest things I have ever seen!

xanghe said...

Ha, Sharon I'm glad to hear you liked it. I haven't seen you forever, except for pics on your baby's blog. Tell everyone hi for me!

travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)