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Exposure

Baskets, Hula Hoops, And Sharks: The Things You Find On A Vietnamese Motorbike

Vietnam’s economy rides on the back of motorbikes, and people sure buy interesting things.

  • <p>These are the motorbikes of Vietnam, as photographed by Hans Kemp.</p>
  • <p>He spent two years riding the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, looking for the strangest cargo he could find.</p>
  • <p>The results range from eggs...</p>
  • <p>...to gift baskets?...</p>
  • <p>...to live fish...</p>
  • <p>...to dead sharks.</p>
  • <p>And while it might appear so exotic.</p>
  • <p>Keep in mind, if you could see inside the semis of the United States, things might not look so different.</p>
  • <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/9628563734/?tag=slatmaga-20" target="_blank">Buy his book, <em>Bikes of Burden</em>, here</a></strong>.</p>
  • 01 /09

    These are the motorbikes of Vietnam, as photographed by Hans Kemp.

  • 02 /09

    He spent two years riding the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, looking for the strangest cargo he could find.

  • 03 /09

    The results range from eggs...

  • 04 /09

    ...to gift baskets?...

  • 05 /09

    ...to live fish...

  • 06 /09

    ...to dead sharks.

  • 07 /09

    And while it might appear so exotic.

  • 08 /09

    Keep in mind, if you could see inside the semis of the United States, things might not look so different.

  • 09 /09

    Buy his book, Bikes of Burden, here.

Vietnam was once a country of whooshing bicycles. Now it’s one of roaring motorbikes, and they are everywhere, loaded with all manner of goods.

Photographer Hans Kemp spent two years documenting the strange and wonderful things carried on the back of motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City for his book Bikes of Burden. Rotting sharks. Cartons of eggs. Enormous baskets. Rusting wheels. Bags of glittering goldfish no doubt wondering what in the world is going on.

Kemp cruised on the back of a motorbike himself during the process, patrolling the streets for oddities. When he spotted something of interest, his driver would U-turn, match the speed of the person and Kemp would snag the shot.

It’s remarkable to see people boldly weaving through traffic with all manner of cargo on their backs. And while incredible and often strange, it’s no stranger than what Walmart or Amazon ships every day, using tons of semi trailer steel and cardboard boxes.

Buy Bikes of Burden here.

[Hat tip: Slate]

Slideshow Credits: 01 / Hans Kemp; 02 / Hans Kemp; 03 / Hans Kemp; 04 / Hans Kemp; 05 / Hans Kemp; 06 / Hans Kemp; 07 / Hans Kemp; 08 / Hans Kemp; 09 / Hans Kemp;

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