Traffic in Shantou

    I took a similar video when I was in Shantou and wanted to post it here, but I never did because 1) they are not as representative as this one, and 2) I was worrying whether it’s appropriate to post it here as it’s not a good image of the city.

    But it’s the reality! I always sign about the terrible traffic in Shantou. It doesn’t seem to be improved through the years. It’s the first impression to travelers, so the chaos often shocked my foreign friends when I invited them to my hometown. Not all the roads are like that in Shantou though, but in general people just don’t follow the rules. I had a little bit “cultural shock” every time when I went back, my friends will laugh at me when I standing and wait for the traffic light for pedestrian to turn green to cross the road, because normally people don’t do that. In rush hour, following the rule may mean you can never get out of the queue of driving into a main road, because other drivers just won’t let you.

    However, as the author of this video put it,

    …There are no traffic lights or stop signs. Notice the school children on bicycles. I used to use the word “chaos” when I described the traffic in China. But I have finally realized it is not chaos. Regardless of the mode of travel - foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, car, or bus - that mode just becomes an extension of the person, and everyone moves in complete harmony. After spending six weeks in China, I have only seen one accident, and that was a rear-end fender bender on a major highway.

    Sometimes it’s quite amazing that the number of traffic accidents is not as much as people think.

    I wonder why this haven’t been changed for years.