HCMC Dining Guide

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Night Drives

Driving a motorbike in Saigon during the day can be hell. You sweat buckets waiting at red lights, there are millions of people on the road and none of them seem to know how to drive, and during the wet season the skies could open up in an apocalyptic downpour at any moment.

Late at night, though, driving is a dream. The rains of the day leave behind comfortable temperatures, and sometimes wearing a light sweatshirt would even be a good idea. There is almost no traffic and most of the stop lights flash yellow, so you can cruise along comfortably. (Though always keeping an eye out for drunk drivers.) My favorite routes are the wide roads along either side of the canal separating District 1 from 4, which I happen to use pretty regularly in the later hours. The canal doesn't smell like it used to, and you can blast along without a care in the world.

Another treat of late driving is the occasional glimpse of a member of Saigon's elusive population of white owls. You see very few non-captive animals in this city, so the sight of these graceful birds of prey gliding through the dark sky is captivating.

Once I finish working at the end of this month and I have no reason get up early anymore I plan on doing a few long drives in the middle of the night, just to see the city in a different shade and enjoy my last days of the freedom of driving a motorbike. I'm gonna miss it.


  1. Saw some cool owls on the stretch of road just over the phu my bridge leading to district two..
    Not as nice as Australia's native rose crested galahs though.
    (But then again awesome bird life and clean air is the only advantages I see in Oz over Nam..)

  2. Yeah I definitely agree that there is nothing like a night drive. I recently started dating a gal and often we just ride around together because just feeling the wind and bantering back and forth is pleasure enough. I absolutely hated driving my car in the US yet I can never find enough excuses to go out on my moto. Hope to be able to see you on the roads before you take off.

    1. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening. See you around.