Scooters, smiles and piss pot helmets.

60 hours from arrival to departure left me with some overriding impressions of Ho Chi Minh City.

Scooters. Every bloody where.   DSC_0052 DSC_0058 The only place I think I didn’t see scooters was in my hotel room.

I took a tuc tuc from the War Remnants museum (where I read the sombre statistics of just how many Vietnamese are still being born with disabilities from the thousands of tons of chemical agents sprayed during the war) DSC_0094

to the reunification pagoda, 10250316_487539004726304_3353308001669739239_n

and the driver on the way told me that there were over a million scooters in the city. Impossible for me to verify, but I reckon I counted well over 700,000 of them. Every junction, route, road, street, alley, pavement and bar was full of them.

Whilst it must be said that the vast majority of people did have helmets,


they were almost all of the pre 1950’s British style, nothing at all like the safety conscious helmets of today.

Smiles were even more numerous than scooters. When you consider all that the country has been through, and is in fact still going through, the happiness of the Vietnamese people really is incredible. Whilst the youngsters clearly will have no recollections of the war, they will almost definitely have friends or family dreadfully disfigured from the effects of agent orange poisoning.

People smile naturally and easily in Vietnam, whether it was late shopping at the night market


Or almost running you over on the ever present scooter.

Even if you get lost, and bump into 4 retired men drinking beer instead of being at home with their wives, they smile.


60 hours in Vietnam wasn’t enough. I’ll be back.



About bobleponge216

Elderly rotund toothless male seeks wilderness to travel to.
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6 Responses to Scooters, smiles and piss pot helmets.

  1. Nikki says:

    I’m enjoying your trip, both the photos and your impressions, very much… and it’s just started!
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for the kind words, its really appreciated.
      5 days in so far, another 14 days yet.


    • I thought I’d replied to this previously, but Vietnam/Cambodian internet was dodgy at times.
      Many thanks for the kind words, just back home. Absolutely loved above two countries, many more posts to follow in coming few days, China not quite so much, although many posts from there too.


  2. feral007 says:

    Thanks for that. Have always wanted to visit Vietnam. It was such a presence in my life when I was a teen. My brother missed the Draft, but my favourite teacher and my almost boyfriend both went off to the war over there. Really hope I can go one day. And the scooters reminded me of my trip thru Thailand. Also scooter country 🙂


    • If you come, spend longer than we did. We really really loved it. Culturally it’s hugely different than what Mme P is used to, her first time in Asia. We only saw a little of HCMC but will definitely be back. I’ve got one more article to write, a totally different tone though.


  3. Pingback: 13 unique things about driving in Thailand | Andy's Travel Blog

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