Traffic congestion over several kilometers on National Highway 1 at 4 p.m. Friday as many traveled home to neighboring provinces. There was a lot of honking as many people lost patience under the baking sun. Photo credit: VnExpress
A woman helps her husband drives onto the sidewalk to escape the traffic. The hot air of nearly 40 degrees Celsius was filled with desperation as everyone wished to escape the city for the four-day break.
A 29-year-old employee at a company in HCMC drives his girlfriend to meet his family in Vinh Long Province, 135 kilometers to the northwest of the city, for the first time. “I thought we would make it to dinner. But with this traffic, maybe not,” he told news website VnExpress.
Trinh The Man, a traffic officer at an intersection Binh Chanh District, said the highway was suddenly crowded from 3 p.m. “Normally the traffic is heavy for less than an hour after working hours, but today it’s terrible.”
Vehicles are stuck on Binh Trieu Bridge at the eastern gate of the city. Mien Dong Bus Station, which connects the city with eastern and Central Highlands provinces, received around 41,000 passengers on Friday, most traveling home or taking vacations in Da Nang, Da Lat, Mui Ne or Nha Trang.
No coming-home excitement. Everyone’s tired.
A man made a phone call to delay an appointment Friday night. “I’ve been used to heavy traffic in the city, but now I’m completely stunned. All this honking is deafening," he said.
Thousands of motorbikes flock to Cat Lai Ferry Station to travel to Dong Nai and Vung Tau. Managers said they have put extra boats in use to meet the high demand on Friday, with around 60,000 travelers.
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A woman traveling home to Vung Tau said she almost fainted after waiting for the ferry for 20 minutes in strong heat.