actually, this is me cycling on my way home from work. traffic is the number one thing travelers to Hanoi notice most, and it took me a month of cycling before I got the guts to go for the motorbike.
this is fairly light traffic, but gives you an idea… note the lack of traffic rules and the liberal use of the horn. my roommate makes the apt analogy with downhill skiing: just mind what’s in front of you, not what’s behind you (signaling is rare, and lots of people actually remove the rearview mirrors because they just take up space on the bike). heck, people don’t even follow traffic lights when there are any. and they don’t look down the road when shooting out of alleyways: a colleague claims this is a remnant from the French, who had some weird traffic law giving right-of-way to those coming out of side streets. some advice: don’t ask yourself questions like, “why is the car parked horizontally across the road,” or “isn’t this a one-way street?”–you’ll just confuse yourself endlessly. and never, ever get road rage. no one else cares.