Ho Chi Minh City is a crowded place, with more than 8 million people and almost as many motorbikes. Everybody drives wildly and getting across streets can be something of an adventure. Hanoi was much the same, though marginally less congested than HCMC. There are still not many private cars in Vietnam. Not only are most people unable to afford cars, the government keeps duties on imported cars very high to prevent, by design one assumes, widespread car ownership. This is probably not a bad thing. One can only imagine what a traffic nightmare HMHC would be if most of the people on motorbikes in this photo were driving cars instead. Think Beijing or Bangkok. It will be interesting to see how Vietnam deals with car ownership as the country develops and its population becomes more affluent over time. In general I know I believe that, with a global population of around 7 billion these days, more than half of whom live in urban areas, we need to be rethinking our commitment to private cars as a way to get around cities.