Thousands of vehicles were stuck on the capital’s streets on Tuesday as offices and educational institutions reopened after the Hung Kings commemoration holiday.
Many roads were gridlocked in Hanoi as people returned to work after the longish holiday. Cars and motorbikes piled into Nguyen Trai street to the west of downtown from 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Vietnamese celebrate the commemoration day of the Hung Kings (2879-258 BCE), the nation’s mythical founders, on the 10th of the third lunar month every year. As the commemoration day falls on April 14 this year, the three-day festival started on April 13.
The early morning rain also impeded traffic. “My child needs to reach school around 7, then I need to go to work, but both of us will probably be late due to the traffic jam,” a woman taking her child to school on her scooter Nguyen Trai said.
Some people climbed on to the pavement but had to come back down as piles of construction materials blocked their way.
The same situation could be seen on Giai Phong street, which passes through two major bus stations, Giap Bat and Nuoc Ngam. Vehicles waited in long lines to enter the downtown area.
At the intersection of Nguyen Trai Street, Nguyen Xien Street and the elevated Beltway 3, long lines of vehicle wait.
At the Pham Hung and Duong Dinh Nghe street intersection, some vehicles ran the red lights or drove in the opposite lane at rush hour, causing chaos and complete gridlock. In just a few minutes thousands of vehicles got stuck on both sides of the road. Many were too impatient to wait and lifted their bicycles across the median strip to escape the crowd.
The police arrived at around 10 a.m. to regulate traffic and clear the jam.
Truong Chinh Street is currently under construction. Many manhole covers are broken and/or subsided, posing a threat to drivers.
Traffic police officers must wriggle their way into the middle of the street to regulate the traffic.
The traffic crawls a few centimeters at a time in the morning drizzle on Hanoi’s streets on Tuesday.