1. Get hit by a motorbike while crossing the road.
At any given time during the day, there are millions of motorbikes zigzagging through Hanoi’s streets. Traffic laws aren’t rules, they’re suggestions. The president of the Asia Injury Prevention Fund has gone so far as to call the traffic situation in Hanoi “an absolute crisis.”
Being a pedestrian in Hanoi is an activity that takes courage and finesse. When crossing the street, step with confidence, and don’t dilly-dally back and forth. Most drivers are used to moving around pedestrians, but if you hesitate or move backwards, your chances of getting hit go up.
You’ll also most likely find yourself on the back of a xe om, or a motorbike taxi. Besides walking, which is a terrible ordeal in the 100+ degree humid summers, xe oms are the cheapest and easiest way to get around the city. Although it’s now mandatory for all drivers to wear helmets (unlike in neighboring Southeast Asian countries), passengers don’t have to. That said, your driver should provide you one. Hold on and be prepared for a wild ride.