Motorbikes vs. Cars?

Being mostly in the land of motorbikes (aka scooters) for the last 2.5 months has made me think a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of cars vs. scooters. I think for the parts of the world that tend to be 60-90 degrees F (which is most of SE Asia, and even parts of the southern US and southern Europe), scooters are the clear winner. This will be even more true as electric scooters catch on.

People use scooters for most everything here, and you’ve probably seen some amazing photos of loaded down scooters. It’s also easy to turn a scooter into a taxi that can hold 2 passengers and their luggage (see below). There is secure parking for scooters everywhere, and you can buy gasoline in recycled water bottles everywhere. Many places you can even do an Uber on the back of a scooter.

In Vietnam, kids 12-16 can ride electric scooters, and so are a very popular ways for kids to get to school. Electric assist bicycles are also very popular. In Cambodia and Myanmar it’s coming to see kids 12 and up riding small scooters to school.

The only city on our trip so far where cars outnumbered scooters was Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the traffic was horrible there. In much bigger cities like Denang Vietnam where scooters still dominate, the traffic was way better.

I discussed this with several locals in all the countries we’ve been to so far, and they all have said that everyone wants a car as soon as they can afford one. Clearly this will be a big problem, as most cities here do not have the roads or parking infrastructure to handle it.

It would be great if all places in the world that have not made the scooter to car transition (or even the bike to scooter transition) to create large tax incentives for people to stick with scooters over cars. Maybe this could even work in places like San Diego too? Probably not….

Posted by travel_b1p6zj

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