Motorcycle as a way to survive...
Motorcycles or scooters are the most popular means of transportation in Southeast Asia. If you ever visited a country like Vietnam, you probably noticed that’s the choice for many locals. In high-density cities such as Hanoi, these vehicles help locals navigate through narrow streets and tiny alleys, save time for parking as you don’t need to park them like a regular car and also are surprisingly useful for transporting cargo.
British freelance photographer Jon Enoch first visited Vietnam 15 years ago and was completely astounded by the motorbike and moped culture in the area. These vehicles are the workhorse of the city as they allow small businesses to operate. It’s amazing how much one person can carry on one motorbike!
They are used for various and sometimes unusual types of delivery – transporting bags of live fish, a huge pile of eggs, an enormous amount of flowers and much more. You could say that they’re one of the Vietnamese capital’s most distinctive sights. And for the locals, it would be hard to imagine daily life without them.
Hanoi has a population of 7.7 million and there are five million motorbikes compared to half a million cars on the road. Since almost everyone in the city owns a motorbike, they’re causing serious air pollution problems which need to be fixed. Therefore, in 2017, to combat pollution and traffic jams, the government announced that all “powered two wheelers” – mopeds, scooters, and motorbikes – will be banned in the city by 2030.
When Enoch read the news, he knew that he needed to document a series of photographs of these unusual drivers and their deliveries before they’re banned for good. So he flew to Hanoi, Vietnam, and finished his project with a twist – he photographed them in the late evening capturing the astonishing glow of the city. And who knows… maybe he documented a part of history?
Bags of live fish
Children’s toy footballs
Water for office workers