Kindhearted volunteers form a rapid response team to help stranded motorcyclists in the capital city late into the night.

Every night, the team gathers at the Khuat Duy Tien-Pham Hung intersection to the west of downtown Hanoi, usually at a stall selling iced tea. As soon as they receive information about an emergency, vehicle type, location and other details, the members would head out.

Team members say that their own experiences of needing help in the night as also the sight of helpless citizens pushing their motorbikes or scooters, looking for a mechanic, motivated them to take action.

The rescue team was established in 2016 with 20 people and currently has over 50 members. “I, like everyone else in the team, have also experienced problems with my motorbike earlier. I felt sad seeing people push their bikes late at night. So people sharing the same thoughts got together and formed a team,” said Vu Van Tuan, member of the team’s managing board.

The team’s evening shift lasts from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. the next morning. The general price for tire patch is VND10,000 ($0.42), for changing tires is VND30,000-50,000 ($1.28-2.14) and in special cases, the service is free. The fees collected only cover the material price.

The rescue team is not made up of professional mechanics. They still have their regular work during the day; some go to work, others go to school. Every month, the team organizes training sessions for new members. The lessons include motorbike repairs, self-defence and first-aid in emergency situations.

Peter Kastain is a travel blogger and an explorer based in Hanoi. After spending 2 years traveling around Southeast Asia, he found his love in the culture, landscapes, and people of Vietnam. His goal is to introduce the beauty of Vietnam to people around the world - the beauty which is so special through his eyes


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