Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The city of 4 million motorbikes 


Taken at Bui Vien in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh city is an endless cacophony of roaring engines and bleeting horns. There are as many motorbikes in this city as there are people in Singapore, or imagine being at the intersection at the Hachiko exit of Shibuya station and then crowd from all directions coming on motorbikes.

Crossing the roads here prove to be an adventure in itself. I have never been more glad for travel insurance. We observe how the locals weave effortlessly through the labyrinth of traffic here, young and old alike. Some of the more cautious wear a helmet just to cross the road. I hold on to E hand's very tightly and hold my breath until I am on the other side.

Unlike her poorer neighbour Cambodia or Laos, this city is developing very quickly, hoping to catch up with Thailand perhaps. The people seem more upwardly mobile, and have a stronger will and determination that is reflected in their history of overcoming French colonialism and winning the Vietnam war against the Americans.

Flown proudly all over town are Socialist flags with a star or a hammer and sickle, and government-approved artwork that tells you "Uncle Ho loves you!", "Let's work together to defeat the American enemy!" and "Study hard but work hard in the field to build a better Vietnam!".

Despite the facade of prosperity (which is relative), there is something missing in this big city and I can't quite decide if I like being here.

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Female. Singaporean
Traveller. Bookworm.
Coffee Addict.
Amateur Photographer.
Wannabe Fashionista.
Museum Geek.

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