Ho Chi Ming city is literally filled with scooters, something like 6 million, you see them all lined up at the lights, they totally outnumber cars, and totally understandably, when a scooter costs up to $2,000 compared to a car costing $50,000, and that just for a Toyota corolla, so only the rich have cars, plus, it would take ages to get anywhere in a car, scooters is definitely the way to go.
You get a pretty good idea from these photos above, but they don't truly show it, it's actually amazing, especially in peak hour, when heading out of town we saw literally 1000's of scooters heading into town, they filled 3 lanes and went back a few km's, they just keep coming.
As scooters are the only form of transport for most Vietnamese people, this means they need to use them to transport everything, and trust me we have seen it all, 5 people is rare, but 4 is common, whole families on the one scooter, including kids of all ages, including infants, (see the chair the kid is on below). Then today, Claudia saw a women on the back of a scooter breast feeding…..what ever you do in your car, they do on a scooter.
We did a trip out to the Cu Chi tunnels, about 70km out of HCMC, this is an area where the Vietnamese used tunnels and guerrilla warfare to fight the Americans during the war.
They asked for a volunteer to get into one of the entrances to the tunnels, so naturally I put my hand up.
Was pitch black once I closed the lid and not much room
The tour showed us many of the traps that they used to defend themselves against the Americans, all very crude, but effective, the one below was a trap door, that once you stepped on it you feel into bamboo spikes covered in poison…..ouch!
They then took us to the shooting range where we could shot some rounds from a number of different guns from the war….mmmmm yes please. So our weapon of choice was the AK 47, had a bit of a kick, you could smell the gun powder as you fired them…..was awesome!
Next was a chance to actually go through one of the tunnels, they certainly didn't make them for big people, the section we went through was only 3m underground, they dark and humid, but extremely effective in avoiding the enemy above.