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"A penny for your thoughts"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Transportation in Vietnam

Not known for modern conveniences, Vietnam has an inconvenient transportation system. This in itself has been an obstacle for the Vietnamese to overcome while advancing economically. The most common way of transportation in Vietnam is motorbike. You can see the whole family of 4 people on a small motorbike on the streets of Saigon or Hanoi. Motorbikes are used for everything from "xe om" (motorbike ride) to transporting goods including pigs, chickens, refrigerator... At every corner of streets in Hanoi or Saigon, you can see motorbikers waiting for customers. Bicycle rickshaw and bicycles are also popular and are used for transport to and from work for most Vietnamese. Others use it for carrying groceries and other items as well and have managed to make packing the bicycle almost an art with the tremendous loads that are carried. Although improvements have been attempted, particularly with the major roadways, the main source of transportation for goods is by barge, utilizing the many rivers and canals.

Outdated ports, even major ones for international shipping, are still behind the times, as is the state-run Vietnamese Airlines. The airline does have both domestic and international flights, but the fact that the majority of their planes are outdated Soviet models hinders growth. The government is taking a more active role with the airline in that it is attempting to purchase new planes from Europe and the U.S.

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