When a Motorbike Hits You in Ho Chi Minh City, Just Keep Going

School Children and Motorbikes, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, April 2016
Woof! Apparently Dogs Ride Motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City, Too. Vietnam, April 2016

“This will save your life,’ Evelyn Hannon of opens in a new windowJourneywoman replied to my Facebook post when I announced I would be traveling to Vietnam. She posted opens in a new windowthis link to an article about how to cross the street in Ho Chi Minh City. (Note: If you’re traveling to Ho Chi Minh City, read that article!)

School Children and Motorbikes, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, April 2016

Mastering the Saigon Shuffle
Boy, was she right. During my visit, tour guides told me Ho Chi Minh City has a population of about 10 million people and there are about 7 million motorbikes in the city. I would have bought my motorbike that had been in the garden shed for a number of months until I decided to sell it to one of the UK’s leading motorbike buyers. I made a fair bit of money that I am actually using for this trip. I love when things actually work out.

Crossing the street in Saigon takes confidence and discipline because you’re walking into oncoming motorbike traffic. See, although there are laws for motorbikes, they only seem to be guidelines. Adult drivers and riders need to wear helmets. As there are many to choose from, don’t rush to buy a helmet. Instead, take your time to consider the features you are looking to from a motor helmet and the overall quality. And if you’re looking to get a motorbike, and you have bad credit you might want to try something like bad credit motorbike finance from Superbike Loans. As this is every biker’s essential item, you want to get the best out of your money and most importantly, your safety.

Crossing the street for the first time by myself was a rush and thought I was about to have a heart attack. I did as instructed, put one foot into traffic, looked at the oncoming motorbikes and walked slow and steady. The drivers zipped around me like a river going around a rock. On my second attempt, a kind woman jumped between me and traffic, as I had read some locals may do. I thanked her when I reached the other side.


  • Look for crosswalks. They exist in many areas of District 1 and although traffic may not stop entirely, it won’t be as crazy.
  • Cars, trucks and buses don’t move for pedestrians so get out of their way.
  • Although tempting, don’t run and keep your pace slow and steady. If necessary, wave your hands to make sure they see you.
  • Cross the street with a local.
Oh, Boy. Ready. Set. Go! Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, April 2016

And Then, I Got Hit by a Motorbike
Maybe I was a bit cocky in my confidence of mastering the Saigon Shuffle because on my last night in Ho Chi Minh City, I was hit by a motorbike! I was walking along the main road to the grocery store crossing a side street and watching traffic coming toward me.

Next thing I knew, I was in pain and some guy on a motorbike yelled and zipped by me. It took a second or so to register that the pain in my left shin was caused by a motorbike. I had been hit!

While I was paying attention to oncoming traffic, this driver was turning right into oncoming traffic so I didn’t see him and by the time he saw me, it was too late. Thankfully, I didn’t fall. I ambled on to the store and began giggling at my clumsy misfortune. The contact point stung and could have been a lot worse such as breaking the skin or breaking a bone.

In all seriousness, I should have been more alert and I should have taken the time to purchase travel insurance, something I typically do. I really lucked out in that it wasn’t more than a bruise at least the size of a softball.

Because I was afraid of deep vein thrombosis (I’m susceptible to blood clots) especially since I was flying back home the next day with about 23 hours of flights, I did the following at bed time:

  • Rubbed lemon and Frankincense essential oils on the bruise – for circulation; not the best option but of the eight oils I had with me, these seemed to be the best for circulation.
  • Wore my opens in a new windowfancy compression socks from BrightLife Go
  • Elevated my leg on a pillow.
  • Iced it as much as possible.
  • Doubled up on aspirin and took more aspirin before my flight to help thin my blood.
Can You See My Bruise? This Is Me a Few Days Home. April 30, 2016.

Really Wished I:

  • Kept my head on a swivel not just for crime but for oncoming traffic.
  • Purchased travel insurance!

This little mishap did not dampen my trip or leave me with a negative taste in my mouth about Ho Chi Minh City. Accidents happen and I’ve been pretty fortunate during other travels. Besides, it gave me another story to bring back!

Have you been hit by a motorbike while visiting Ho Chi Minh City? Share your story!

View more photos of my opens in a new windowtrip to Vietnam on Flickr.

There Are About 7 Million Motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, April 2016

Travel guides I used during the trip:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support my traveling habit. I received a pair of compression socks from BrightLife Go and all opinions are my own. If you’re interested in learning more about the essential oils I use when traveling and in my daily life, opens in a new windowcontact me.



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

7 thoughts on “When a Motorbike Hits You in Ho Chi Minh City, Just Keep Going

  1. I was definitely more fortunate in my two months in Vietnam. I have no idea how I didn’t get hit by a motorbike or car. One car almost ran over my foot as I waited for my moment to cross the street (that was the day I lost it in Hanoi). Glad it wasn’t too bad for you…be more careful next time.

  2. Please excuse my ignorance, Jennifer; but what good would travel insurance had done for you, if you had it?

  3. Hello Valerie.

    If I was injured more than a bruise and required medical attention, most likely the travel insurance would have covered that; or, if the injury required me to stay longer in Vietnam, it would have paid for extra night’s lodging, etc. If it was really bad, would pay to fly me out or to get my body back to the U.S.

    I’ve only had to use travel insurance once, when I traveled to Afghanistan and missed my connection. Thankfully, I didn’t need to use the medical side of the insurance.

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