Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Taste Of Myanmar Traffic

Myanmar traffic doesn't compare to Vietnam. Everything moves slower and there is exponentially less vehicles on the streets. The one big difference though between Vietnam and Myanmar is that there are almost no motorbikes in Myanmar cities. The roads are basically filled with bicycles, old old old cars and pick up trucks that serve as buses.

From what I'm told, Myanmar's inner city traffic is a lot like Hanoi was seven or eight years ago. There are very few traffic lights in the city and the roads often have huge potholes. I recorded a minute or so of some typical traffic:



Name: Songer said...

I still call it Burma

aristotle said...

From what you described, traffic in Hanoi 9 years ago must have been much busier than that of Myanmar – already a lot of motorbikes in Hanoi at that time. There were traffic jams during my time in Hanoi 9 years ago and they were started increasing about 6, 7 years ago and getting worse as you have seen recently.

aristotle said...

Actually I was in Hanoi 15 years ago. The first 2 years were ok. Then traffic jams were a lot a few years later. I had to bike to the hospitals in the morning for my clinical hours and was trapped in the horrible traffic almost everyday during the rush hrs.

Benjamin said...

I'm very surprised, Aristotle. Many of my students have shown me pictures from about ten years ago and the city seemed much less crowded. Also a few expats have told me that it wasn't until about 7 or 8 years ago that they started to put traffic lights in. In my year in Hanoi, the traffic has gotten much much worse. I can say that the amount of cars has at least doubled if not tripled since this time last year.

aristotle said...

Ben, they might not remember the traffic situation in Hanoi correctly. I started college in 1994 and traffic lights were already presented in the city. Many of my classmates had motorbike during 1998, 1999 and the city started to fill with motorbikes during those years. Hanoi Medical U is located on Ton That Tung street, which connects Truong Chinh st with Chua Boc st and this area was really a horrible traffic spot. Before my graduation in 2000 – meaning 9 years ago – I had already experienced a lot of horrible traffic on Truong Trinh, Chua Boc and Ton That Tung st, especially early in the morning and around 5 PM. This was really a pain during those years. Sometime, our English teacher and students were stuck in the traffic and late.

The traffic at that time was better around the old quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake or the area near West Lake.