Vietnam is famous for its scooters and motorbikes as a mode of transport.
The first city I ever visited in South East Asia was Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. This city is amongst the most notorious for motorbiking and traffic.
After much debate, my partner convinced our group that renting a motorbike to rip around Ho Chi Minh would be “fun.”
I was terrified, but took the “when in Rome” approach and put my trust in his driving skills. It was scary and exhilarating, but also one of the coolest experiences I had in Ho Chi Minh. Although it looks like chaos, driving amongst the sea of bikes provides a unique view of the city. Someone once described driving in many parts of Asia to me as “joining a school of fish.” The motorbikes represent fish, and as you drive, you are part of the school - you must fluidly move with the school. Unlike driving in North America, driving in Asia is characterized by a responsibility for what is in front of you, not behind you.
Across Asia, we witnessed various accidents, but they were typically minor. Stay alert, follow the in-front-of-you rule, wear your helmet, cover your skin, and you will be safe. This mode of transport gives you a sense of freedom and a unique street-view. Ultimately, driving in Vietnam was my favourite activity: it beat out visits to temples and street food and beaches!
Nowadays, no matter where we are in the world, my partner and I always rent a vehicle - especially if motorbikes are available. We have driven all over Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Myanmar, Italy, Croatia and India.
Watch below snippets of our driving adventures around Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam: