A Bird’s Eye View of a Vietnamese Streetscape

For Vietnamese standards, this Nha Trang street is a quiet one. And for the uninitiated, it offers a great introduction to Vietnam’s infamous traffic — sans dodging a plethora of motorbikes or without going deaf due to a cacophony of honking horns.

A Vietnamese vendor and motorcyclist proceed down a Nha Trang street.

There are cycle rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers seeking a fare,

Taxis drive down a Nha Trang, Vietnam street, along people on motorbikes.

bicycles built for one…

or two…

Fathers and daughters,


and families of four out are for an afternoon spin.

There are deliveries en route  – with bikes carrying fresh produce and trucks transporting boxes of “Caviar of the East” (a local delicacy of bird saliva nests).

There are also wooden panels and unidentified goods.

Sometimes there’s just one hand for holding precious cargo and another for steering.

Dogs get into mischief on street corners.

Friends socialize.

And restaurateurs are hard at work.

A canopy of criss-crossing power lines is the common thread that weaves them all together.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

10 thoughts on “A Bird’s Eye View of a Vietnamese Streetscape

  1. Wow Tricia these images are beautiful! Such great perspective from above. We leave for Thailand early Feb, then Vietnam some time after that. I can’t wait to sit down and peruse all of your recent posts and glorious images properly, of late it has been a quick flick at work, as we are busy selling, buying, planning, cleaning and packing. Hope all is well with you and Sean x

    1. Sarah, how exciting that you’re leaving for your adventures so very soon! I know that the weeks leading up to the departure are super busy, but once things settle down, touch base if you have any questions about Vietnam or any of the other places we’ve just tiptoed to.

      In the coming days, we’re planning on heading north from our current coastal spot in Vietnam, then going overland to Laos and probably swooping back through Thailand to fly out of BKK. We’re thinking of going to the Philippines and perhaps a few other places. So exciting!

      Great to hear from you, and talk soon…

  2. These shots are so fun! I also really like the black and whites. You shot them so well. Have you tried the ” ‘Caviar of the East’ bird’s saliva nest delicacies in red boxes”?

    1. It’s a departure from what I typically shoot, and the process was quite entertaining! I shot the pictures from the 10th floor breakfast room of our Nha Trang hotel… Nope, we have not yet tried the swiftlet’s salivary secretions (which are often worked into a soup) but we’ve heard locals that sing the culinary treat’s praises!

    1. Yes, the unfortunate pedestrians are the peons on the roadways here, Jessie… When crossing streets, you can start to feel as though you’re in a video game and the motorized vehicles will earn bonus points for hitting you. We’re amazed that the local canines have grown so adept at crossing these hectic roadways, too! Never a dull moment in Vietnam. :-) When were you last here?

  3. Great photos, especially the B&W ones. I could imagine just sitting there all day watching the world go by down below.

    1. Jane, it’s a rainy day in Vietnam today, so it might be one where I enjoy that very perch, reading a book, and watching the hustle and bustle below. :-) Thanks for your feedback! I was also happy to capture the first black & white image of the woman walking with the traditional shoulder pole and pendulum-like baskets. It’s amazing how much the petite ladies can carry here!

    1. BitofLight – glad the perspective inspired you; I look forward to seeing your work from a bird’s eye! In India, where we still are now, the approach would work quite well – there’s always such a super parade of activity going by – particularly while watching it from the back of a rickshaw… well, easier said than done with all those twists, turns and bumps. (In the rickshaw we entered the other night, the driver playfully stated, “This is an express rickshaw – a Ferrari!” And the ride exceeded our expectations. What a terrifying way back home!) Thanks for your nice compliment!

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