Hanoi is the capital and the largest city in Vietnam. It has also recently been voted one of the safest cities in the world. However, not everything is pretty in Hanoi. When referring to this city, both visitors and natives complain about a problem, the traffic.

Traffic in Hanoi is extremely chaotic these days. Driving on the roads of Hanoi is described as going out into battle. Food blogger Noodlepie mentioned that he “stopped riding a motorcycle in Vietnam about three or four years ago” because it gave him “zero pleasure and a lot of stress.” You are always at risk of facing traffic jams, regardless of whether it is rush hour or not. This fact can be explained by 2 main reasons, transport and compliance with traffic regulations.

The first reason that leads to the problem is the growing number of private transport. The estimated population of Hanoi is 6,232,940 (2008), it is the most populous city in Vietnam. In addition, Hanoi is also the most important political, cultural and economic center in Vietnam, thus attracting a large number of employees from other provinces. Consequently, the number of private transports has also grown dramatically. People think that the Vietnamese are poor, but there are an incredible number of cars in Hanoi. Each family can have 3 or 4 bikes and maybe one more car, that’s very common in Hanoi now. This large volume of private transport, added to other public transport such as bicycles, taxis and buses, has caused frequent congestion on Hanoi’s roads.

Also, although the Vietnamese traffic regulations are quite strict, many people still do not follow them seriously. Running through red lights or driving the wrong way down streets against traffic is very common. Lane markings, including crosswalks, exist but are completely ignored. These violations are very dangerous and can easily cause accidents. Congestion is even worse at rush hour, when everyone is in a hurry to get to work or get home quickly. People are impatient, constantly using their horns when there is obviously nowhere to go, even yelling at others to get out of the way. As a result, roads are often congested for 1-2 hours. This image describes exactly what is happening on the roads of Hanoi.

Next year, Hanoi will celebrate its 1,000-year anniversary. The authorities must implement their rules to solve the traffic problem, so that when tourists visit Hanoi, they will remember Hanoi with beautiful pictures.