Walking in Vietnamese cities is very difficult

September 5, 2022 | 12:59 am PT
Walking in Vietnamese cities is very difficult
Two foreigners walk along a sidewalk in District 3, HCMC, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
There is no walking culture in major Vietnamese cities like Hanoi or Saigon because there is no safe space for it, according to readers.

"Walking on sidewalk is very difficult particularly when the sidewalk is next to where some bars and restaurants are, everyone parks their bikes and pedestrians have no choice but to walk on roads."

"Hard to enjoy a walk while dodging motorcycles and weaving around street carts who block the entire sidewalk."

"Want to have pavements for pedestrians to walk on? Fat hope. Its not gonna happen any sooner. Even when one is crossing the road, no motorists would give way. Thus shows the selfish attitude of these individuals."

"In [District 2 Thu Duc] streets businesses fill up with staff motorbikes ect... you can't walk on the sidewalk from an international school to An Phu supermarket, even the police have 2-3 cars parked blocking the road."
Otto Van Titslinger

"Walking in Hanoi can be done at the West Lake since there are nice walkways around the lake but city walking is dangerous. I only walk and I walk about 5 miles a day. When I lived in Hanoi I would walk to the botanic garden or sometimes to Hoan Kiem lake on weekends. Mostly I just walked nowhere in particular wherever I felt the desire. And had to be always aware of motorbikes riding on sidewalks, going the wrong way down one way streets. Most cars not even noticing the pedestrian lights. Buses and trucks were bad too. There is no time to simply slip away into the mindless zen of walking in Hanoi. One must forever be aware and purposeful. And it is a shame because Hanoi could be a walkable city. Ba Dinh and Tay Ho especially. I walked for years there. Taking photos. Wandering the side streets. Stopping for coffee or beer. Always though watching for the ever present motorbike that would break traffic laws, ride on sidewalks, park completely blocking wherever sidewalk there was. Hanoi is beautiful but to walk it can be challenging."

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