When everyone rides scooters, this is what traffic looks like

Dailies -



Composed from 10,000 still images, this day-in-the-life of Ho Chi Minh City traffic paints a telling portrait of two-wheeled life in a two-wheeled city. Rather than the chaos you’d expect, everything seems to flow harmoniously.

Everyone who has visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam knows part of the magic (love it or hate it) is in the traffic,” describes photographer Rob Whitworth. “Ever since I first set foot in HCMC I have been captivated by the cities energy. Saigon is a city on the move unlike anything I have experienced before which I wanted to capture and share.”

  • nick2ny

    Jorian Ponomareff is BOAT DRIFT!

  • ktaisa

    who here has seen the moped car things they got in china?

    i dont see them anywhere in media or internet yet there is millions of them there

  • robotribe

    AWESOME little movie.

    And another thing: brake pads must must sell like PHO in that city. Damn.

  • 2ndderivative

    I just got back from a few weeks in India, where traffic flows similarly. There are far fewer crashes than you’d expect, but on the downside everything moves slooow. You can’t really lane split when there are no lanes.

    I did see one bike T-bone another. No one fell, they both looked at each other and then went on their way.

  • John

    Cool video.

  • Uncle Fluffy

    Love this video. I was in Hanoi earlier this year and the traffic was a very similar experience. Crossing the street was an adventure that requires a different way of thinking – just walk into the road and keep a consistent pace as you cross. Don’t stop, and whatever you do, don’t look. Or “look no ways before crossing the steet” if you will.

  • The other Joe

    Can you imagine the carnage if they tried that in the U.S.?

    • Gene

      Meh. During Bike Week in Daytona, on the days when the can’t-find-the-shift-lever pirates & worthless stunters stay home, and it’s 80% bikes, it does pretty well.

  • Gene

    And of course this brings to mind the Top Gear episode where they rode scooters in Viet Nam.

  • bluemoco

    I’ve never been to Ho Chi Minh city, but this reminded me of the famous China intersection video. With much less blood spilt.

    For those who haven’t seen it, here’s the China video: (lots of blood – very NSFW)

    • Sauciér

      Holy crap. I couldn’t even tell who had right of way in some of those hits. It’s like nobody is paying attention over there, two wheeled, four wheeled, or three wheeled. Man.

      • Archer

        Based on this exact scenario I was witness to in Shanghai two years ago, it’s the guy in military uniform with the right of way. How else to explain why I saw a military uniformed driver in a car hit a biker, get out of the car, and proceed to kick and beat the incapacitated rider?

      • Sebastian

        everyone seems to only worry about themselves, but without making life harder for anyone else nearby. it’s all observation.

  • oldblue

    Traffic movement such as this is only made possible by the realization that no one will sue anyone into oblivion if there’s a crash.

  • Core

    This was pretty cool.

  • Scott-jay

    Traffic-circles mo’ better than cross-roads.
    City looks so clean.
    Saigon… scooters, Full Metal Jacket; “me soo horny”.

  • pplassm

    Is that a Segway at 0:14?

  • Sebastian

    i rented a scooter in saigon back in october
    peak hour is bedlam – you’ve never got more than 30cm clearance.
    my pillion nearly got pipe burn from nearby riders quite a few times.
    my big western (sz 13) feet nearly got run over a few times.
    roundabouts work really organically.

    if you’re a little fearless and experienced on 2 wheels, without being aggressive, i highly recommend doing it. $5USD for 24 hours of hire.

    the green building in the roundabout (gio ben thanh market) has some of the best fresh food in the city, the night market behind it is great for bbq seafood.

  • Steven

    I have no idea what the real soundtrack to this is because I had it muted while I listened to “My Love” by Justin Timberlake, and it was fucking amazing.

  • Adam N

    There is pretty good evidence that when you remove traffic signs and have less directive the accident rate actually drops. Case in point the Dutch village of Makkinga. The idea is that in a situation where people must pay attention, they pay attention.

    In controlled situations they drone along and crash due to inattention.

  • Paul

    I was in Saigon about 8 years ago, and what struck me was the lack of road rage. Everyone seemed to be very calm and very aware of what was going on around them. Would I ride there? Uh, no. But it was beautiful to watch.