BEASTS OF BURDEN:
THE MOTORCYCLES IN VIETNAM
Picture yourself rice fields in every imaginary shade of green.
kids and waterbuffalos splashing about in streams and rivers, oxcarts
loaded with the season's harvest, fishing boats with piercing eyes
to guide them and streets full of motorbikes.
One of the images that remains most vividly etched on the mind of
many a visitor to Vietnam is the traffic. The order amidst the seemingly
random and chaotic movements, the unwritten rules of passage and
the motorbikes used to transport absolutely everything and everybody.
It's the motorbikes that makes the Vietnamese economy tick!
One of the main reasons for this enormous variety lies in the obsession
with fresh ingredients for every meal. No frozen meat or fish here,
the way to the consumer is short and direct: from the farm, the abattoir
and the dock. Only very recently butchered if must, still alive if
So instead of transporting large quantities in one time, many loads
of small quantities get transported all the time and the bike is
the preferred mode.
Nothing beats the motorcycle...
It seems that every household in Vietnam has at least one bike.
In the city, narrow streets and traffic congestion make the bike
by far the fastest way of transporting people and goods around.
Eventually, bikes will disappear as the favourite mode of transport.
People will rely on fridges and freezers as they will be too busy
to make the daily trip
to the market. Roads will be widened, cars will be more available
and the world will appear through a window.
Therefore, let's cherish these times and witness these
astonishing species, these Bikes of Burden...