Sunday, September 19, 2010

Videos - Vietnam 2008 and 2010

Everyone who's visited Vietnam has their own 'crossing the road' story, photos or videos...we're no different. This one is called NOT crossing the road in Saigon. We're trying to reach our pink hotel on the other side, but stopped to take a video of what we were up against.
Unfortunately there were no native Vietnamese waiting to cross, otherwise we (like on other occasions) would have walked abreast, using them as a human shield. Vietnamese roads have an uncanny ability to change directions, depending on the traffic lights e.g. if the oncoming lane isn't been used, it's OK to swap over and use it temporarily. And, the footpaths can magically transform into an added lane if need be.

Looking back, the traffic in this clip is pretty tame and I wouldn't hesitate to cross it now.

We are fairly adept with the whole process now, just walk, look (terrified, as I do) at the oncoming traffic and don't break pace.

It really is amazing how the mass of scooters split and swarm around you. Of course this isn't advisable on some of the main roads, unless you like playing chicken with trucks.

Two years later we're having dinner on the second floor of a restaurant. The intersection below provided ample entertainment. It's akin to being mesmerised by an ever changing ocean or a flickering just can't help but stare at it. The experience wouldn't have been complete unless viewed through some of Vietnam's notorious electrical wiring. You'll get a full appreciation of the skill it takes to navigate this intersection, right towards the end.

This video should have been published with To Train Or Not To Train? Part III, but I couldn't locate it at the time. It's a smidgen of the Quy Nhon to Nha Trang leg, complete with peanut brittle lady and Stray on a cheap seat.

Finally, Hoan Kiem, the central lake in Hanoi, by night. Jewelled with colourful lanterns it provides a nice place to take an evening walk, fish (for what I don't know) and for lovers to canoodle.

A very different atmosphere than early in the morning, when it becomes a living, breathing open air gym and exercise circuit...counter must move around the lake COUNTER clockwise, unless your part of the .05% of those who don't, like us!

If I ever go back there I'll take some footage of the whole affair. It's a MUST SEE.