1 Traffic in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Vietnam: It’s All About Scooters, And Noodles – Photo Story

In Photography, Travels and Adventures, Vietnam by Kaspars MisinsLeave a Comment

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In spring 2018 we spent about 7 weeks in Vietnam. We spent 3 weeks in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), 2 weeks in Nha Trang and 2 weeks in Dalat. In this post I want to show you Vietnam the way we saw it during these weeks while living in these 3 completely different cities. We weren’t doing almost any touristy things, apart from visiting one museum, going on one tour, couple of hikes on our own and a lot of aimless wandering around with a camera in hand.

But that’s something we like to do wherever we travel to. Simply wander around and observe local life, moving around like locals.

Let’s start our mini tour to Vietnam!

Vietnam Photo Story

1. Scooters, Scooters Everywhere

Evening traffic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Vietnam Photo Story

Evening traffic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Let’s start with the obvious. Scooters. Millions of scooters. It’s estimated that there are more than 7 million scooters in Ho Chi Minh City alone. No matter what time of the day it is traffic in Ho Chi Minh City is intense.

Scooters in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Scooters on sidewalks.

Scooters on the sidewalk in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Some more.

Scooters driving on the sidewalk in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

And more.

Scooters on a sidewalk in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

2. Vietnamese Are Hiding from the Sun

We arrived to Ho Chi Minh City at the beginning of the hottest season. What we saw, though, was that about one half of the people were fully covered. Yes, they use face masks also because of air pollution (in Kathmandu and Delhi it’s far worse, if you are curious), but it’s not only about face masks.

If I would be making a photo gallery called “Faces of Vietnam” it would contain of photos like this one.

A girl driving a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

And this one.

Fully covered woman on a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Women are take it especially seriously.

Covered woman riding a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

By far most of women wear special “kind-of-skirt” when driving a scooter. Many wear gloves.

Hands - Steering the bike - Vietnam Photo Story

3. A Scooter Is Everything in Vietnam

It doesn’t take too long until you notice that scooter isn’t just a mode of transportation in Vietnam. It’s a family vehicle.

Family of three on the scooter - Vietnam Photo Story

People sleep on scooters.

Man sleeping on a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

People eat on scooters.

Man eating while sitting on a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

You can transport anything with a scooter in Vietnam.

Man transporting boxes of coke on a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Anything.

Carrying trees on a scooter - Vietnam Photo Story

Yep, anything and everything.

Man and woman on the scooter in Vietnam - Vietnam Photo Story

A table, for example?

Men transporting a table on a scooter - Vietnam Photo Story

A scooter is a family member in Vietnam. You wouldn’t leave your mom sleeping outside, right? So you don’t leave your scooter outside either, you push it into the house. And I mean it. In the house. Not in the yard, but in the house. Well, at least in Ho Chi Minh City. Yes, I know it’s because of safety reasons (yes? That’s what I have heard.)

But at the same time, I must admit, after seeing all these photos of Vietnam online I was ready for far more crazy sights. There have been some good and funny ones I couldn’t manage to capture. But it’s not like every other person here is transporting a sofa or fridge on a scooter either. What you see above (and will see below), though, all of that is what you can see every day here.

But, of course it happens. Yes. Here you can see a fridge being transported on a motorbike in Nha Trang.

Transporting a fridge on a scooter - Vietnam Photo Story

4. There Is No Wrong Side, When It Comes to Driving

Which is cool actually, as you are always on the right side of the road.

A woman on a scooter standing on a sidewalk in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

As I have said – spent almost a month in Ho Chi Minh City, still haven’t figured it out what side of street do you drive on there…

A lot of bikes on the road in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story
Can you tell?
Scooters driving in all directions in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

4. Vietnamese Love Their Noodles, Soups, Coffee and Baguettes

And we love their French baguettes (not banh mi, though; plain baguette with butter and/or cheese).

Noodles, soups and coffee in Vietnam are good, too. Very good, if you eat them once in a while. But, I’ll be honest, very quickly it was too much of noodles, soups and coffee for us. No, Vietnamese cousine isn’t our favorite, very far from it.

Eating Pho in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

And Vietnamese eat out. A Lot. Same like in Thailand here you see a lot of street food vendors.

Street food vendor in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Banh Mi Baguettes in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Restaurants are packed with people. Or more exactly – there are a lot of people sitting outside the restaurants. As that’s how people like to eat dinner (and, well, spend evenings) in Vietnam. 95% of the time – on small benches next to tiny tables.

People sitting outside the restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

In Ho Chi Minh City it seems like every other restaurant is a coffee shop. There are lots of them in other cities, too.

Vietnamese coffee - Vietnam Photo Story

5. Vietnam Is Much More Diverse Than You Think

Vietnam has it all.

Busy cities.

Ho Chi Minh City from above - Vietnam Photo Story

Skyscrapers.

Skyscrapers in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam Photo Story

Quiet cities.

Dalat - Vietnam Photo Story

Beaches.

Beach - Vietnam Photo Story

Clean beaches. Clean places. And also dirty places.

Trash near the beach in Nha Trang - Vietnam Photo Story

Mountains.

Mountains near Nha Trang - Vietnam Photo Story

And rivers.

On a Mekong Delta tour - Vietnam Photo Story

Temples. Although, not that much as, for example, in Thailand.

Statue of Buddha in Vietnam - Vietnam Photo Story

And churches, too.

Saigon Notre Dame Bassilica - Vietnam Photo Story

Have you been to Vietnam? What was your experience? Do you like Vietnamese noodle soups? 

Kaspars Misins

Author: Kaspars Misins

Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.

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