Hanoi is the capital and the largest city of Vietnam. Recently it has also been voted as one of the safest cities in the world. However, not everything is nice in Hanoi. When referring to this city, both visitors and native residents complain about a problem, traffic.
Traffic in Hanoi is extremely chaotic nowadays. Driving on the road in Hanoi is describes as going out to battle. Food blogger Noodlepie mentioned that “he gave up driving a motorbike in Vietnam about three or four years ago” because it gave him “zero pleasure and mucho stresso”. You are always at the risk of facing traffic jam despite whether it is in rush hour or not. This fact can be explained by 2 main reasons, transports and compliance with traffic rules.
The first reason leading to the problem is the increasing number of private transports. Hanoi’s estimated population is 6.232.940 (2008), it is the most crowded city in Vietnam. Moreover, Hanoi is also the most important political, cultural and economic centre of Vietnam, so it attracts a large number of employees from other provinces. Consequently, the number of private transports has grown dramatically likewise. People think that the Vietnamese are poor, but there is an incredible number of cars in Hanoi. Each family can own 3-4 bikes and maybe one more car, that is very common in Hanoi now. This large volume of private transports, added with other public transports like cyclos, taxi cabs and buses, have caused congestion frequently in Hanoi’s roads.
Besides, although Vietnamese traffic rules are quite strict, many people still don’t comply with them seriously. Crossing red lights or driving the wrong way down streets against traffic is very common. Lane markings, including pedestrian crosswalks, exist but are completely disregarded. These violation are very dangerous and can cause accidents easily. The congestion is even worst in the rush hour, when everybody in a hurry attempting to go to work or get home quickly. People are impatient, constantly using their horns when there’s obviously nowhere to go, even shouting at others to get out of the way. As a result, the roads are often congested for 1-2 hours. This picture describes exactly what happens in Hanoi’s roads.
Next year, Hanoi will celebrate 1000 years anniversary. Authorities should implement their rules to solve traffic problem, so when tourists visit Hanoi, they will memorize Hanoi with beautiful images.