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Hanoi traffics in the eyes of an international traveler

Sat, 03 Jan 2015. Last updated Fri, 06 Mar 2015 12:00

Llewellyn King is a famous creator and executive producer of White House Chronicle, an American program airing nationwide on select PBS. In the last days of 2014, Llewellyn King published an article to describe his feeling about Hanoi traffics.

According to Llewellyn King, like other American and European travelers when visiting Hanoi, he did not seem to pay more attention about Vietnamese capital’s glorious architecture, superb food, or wide and French colonial boulevards. Even if the roadsides decorated with extraordinary ceramic mosaics, one of Hanoi symbol also cannot attract him. Nonetheless, Llewellyn King was totally impressed by transport in Vietnam. Watching the flow of people and vehicles moving in Hanoi streets, King described: "Looking at the traffic is like watching a column of ants, going hither and thither in a courteously chaotic way. The only absolute rule on the roads is to keep to the right. Everything else is improvisation."

 

Hanoi in rush hour

 

Crossing Hanoi streets in particular and streets in big cities in Vietnam like Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Da Nang in general is sometimes an exciting challenge of not only Llewellyn King but also many other international tourists when travelling the country. To cross Hanoi streets, King advised: "If you want to cross the street, pluck up you courage, ask forgiveness from your Creator and step into the maelstrom of motorized wonder believing, as you must, that the throng of riders in Hanoi have extrasensory perception and will part, like the Red Sea, for you."

According to the description of King, he sat on a back seat of a taxi and observed everything happening in the streets. Sometimes, the way Vietnamese people travel on the road made King think that blood would flow, however, people still safely move in their way. According to King, if using music to depict Hanoi traffic situation, it will look like the fast and furious dance and New World Symphony.

 

Students are crossing a street in Vietnam

 

After reading Llewellyn King's article, another international tourist commented and shared his joyful experience in Vietnam. Accordingly, this readers shared that King would be more surprised if he had a visit in Ho Chi Minh City. The traffic density here is even heavier. He traveled in Vietnam originally ten years ago and has been back 9 times, nonetheless, he still had fear of crossing the road. However, there was once time when he were trying to cross a street, an old lady took him by the hand and led him across the intersection, and on the other side she left him with a smile and a bow. "How lovely and courtly too. I should have asked for her name as I certainly will continue to need her assistance on my next wonderful trip(s)", this reader expressed his feeling. Llewellyn King wrote that traffic in Hanoi in particular and in Vietnam in general was one of the world's wonder. "It's a wonder not because, like so many of the world's cities, it's so terrible, but because it flows in the most extraordinary way. It's the triumph of a lack of system over a system.” Kim explained.  

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