Crossing the Street in Hanoi

In Delhi, I didn’t really see many pedestrian crosswalks, which made traversing the road feel like a dangerous game of frogger.

There are crosswalks here in Hanoi. However, the cars seem to keep going to at least 5 seconds after the light changes. After that, turning traffic pours through the intersection, completely ignoring the crosswalk. All of this is probably makes crossing more dangerous than in Delhi, since I get lulled into a false sense of security by the familiarity of a crosswalk… that is actually ignored by the vehicles.


So, even when crossing at a crosswalk, I’ve tried to start pretending it doesn’t exist. Since traffic never really stops, I wait for a slow moment and then go, with an eye on oncoming traffic and an arm waving in the air.

In general, I’ve heard that motorbikes will go around you in Vietnam, so you should keep walking even if they seem to be heading towards you. Maintaining a consistent speed allows them project your trajectory and swerve around you, whereas stopping confuses them and increases the chances that you will get hit. (Buses and cars, though, apparently swerve for no one.)