In Ho Chi Minh City, over 2 million bikes navigate the streets, creating the ebbs and flows in this city’s tide of traffic. All throughout Vietnam the motorbike is the essence of personal mobility, forming the backbone of the national economy by allowing people and goods to move about readily. But as the video shows, Vietnam’s streets are becoming overrun with them, creating a traffic nightmare and a miasma of smog that sits over the cities. And yet this hasn’t stopped the bikers who commonly wear masks to limit their exposure to health threatening pollutants.
Lee Schipper, a fellow contributor here at TheCityFix, has had the opportunity to ride one of them in Hanoi, a smaller, less chaotic version of Ho Chi Minh City. Here’s what he had to say.
For some really amazing photographs of motorbikes in Vietnam, check out Hans Kemp’s book, Bikes of Burden.