Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Coordinated Chaos--Riding along in Vietnam 2015

For the most part, Vietnam runs on the scooter.  To a certain extent, Thailand as well, but that country is now full of cars, so traffic is well . . . miserable.  Unlike the USA, most of these scooters top out at about 250cc.  Rarely do you see liter bikes (SuzukiGSXr 1000 or Harley Dynas or even a Cafe Racer).  Much of it is practical.  The streets are narrow and congested.  Anything bigger might be problematic to run.  It's also difficult to split lanes.  This is when you go between cars to get ahead.   In Vietnam, the scooter rules.

Sometimes you do see a big bike around, but those are mainly for show.  So, these are a series of ride alongs. 

So, as you can tell, not too many cars, but a lot of scooters.

This one gives you a true sense of the dominance of scooters in this part of the world.

But, the real reason that it makes sense is getting into tight corners.  In Hai Phong, there are these narrow walk streets.  Pretty much the only way to get around is on a scooter.

The other thing is price.  Most of the scooters in SE Asia are Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki.  Of the brands, I would say Honda is the most popular.  Vespa is an elite brand.  There are some obscure Chinese brands, but you settle if you can't get a Honda.  Essentially, for way under 5,000 USD, you got transportation.  I've heard of people picking up a model for just over 1,000 USD.