Han River bridge at Da Nang City, Vietnam
Getting past the immigration in Vietnam took longer than we expected. It seems they have to input every detail into their computers. But getting out of the Da Nang Airport into the city is trickier with very persistent taxi and motorcycle drivers ready to just rip you off with their extravagant prices. Language barrier didn’t help and those phrases I memorized didn’t seem to work as I may have been mispronouncing them. I just admire the driver’s persistence here. Imagine us walking a block away from the airport to find another transpo and the same taxi guy still followed us, then a group of motorcycle drivers offered to take us into the city Train Station where we were headed, then another cab arrived offering his services. Immediately we were surrounded with drivers speaking their native tongue and seem to be fighting over us. I decided to go by the taxi which we were able to reduce the cost to 3 US$ from its original 10 US$ they offered earlier. Good thing I did major research on how much the basic prices here are or we would have been ripped off big time.
The busy morning street of Hoi An, Vietnam
Vietnam Streets is really wild. It was amusing seeing their streets sprawling with numerous motorcycles, scooters and cyclos. Riding a Cyclo was like a roller coaster ride. It was in the City of Hue (pronounced as h-way) where we chanced upon riding a cyclo on a rush hour. We didn’t know what a cyclo was and thought it was a motorcycle or scooter. The ever aggressive drivers/pedalers as usual offered us a hefty price at the start but we declined, walking farther away to even two blocks they followed us as they continued to decrease their price offer. Once we were satisfied with the given price, drivers swarmed us again and one guy even pulled my friends arm to ride their cyclo which we found out were modern version of a rickshaw, where the passenger was sitting in front seat while the driver pedaled at the back. And whoah! Rush hour was totally chaos. With numerous scooters, motors coming from all direction and us just in front of the cyclo was overwhelmed, its just amazing they don’t get to hit each other while driving.
Bicycles, scooters, motorcycles speed past through the streets of Hoi An
Even passing by the streets can be daunting. At first, I would try to wait for the flow to stop, but they don’t stop all the time. Well I soon found out that the trick is to just walk! Yes and don’t mind those scooters and all, and just walk and they would stop.
Getting around Vietnam can be quite a challenge at start, but once you get the gist of it. Haggling with drivers and walking the streets can be quite fun as well.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.