Living in narrow alleys in Ho Chi Minh City can pose a lot of difficulties, but it also offers many unique memories and experiences.

Completely contrary to the wide and bustling roads in downtown areas, the lives of residents in these tiny alleyways can be both simple and challenging on a daily basis.

Motorcyclists usually have to take turns whenever they travel in these alleys, as there is only enough space for one motorbike at a time.

Others are so narrow that even a motorcycle can never get through.

“I recently bought a refrigerator but had no idea how to carry it to my house,” a resident stated.

Two motorcyclists take turn to travel on an alley in Binh Thanh District. Photo: Chu Huy / Tuoi Tre

Two motorcyclists take turns to travel in an alley in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Chu Huy / Tuoi Tre

These alleys also pose obstacles to fire trucks and ambulances in case of emergency, as well as other problems regarding the cityscape, public hygiene, and inundation.

Authorities in many neighborhoods have exerted efforts over the past year to widen local alleys and thus improve the living conditions of dwellers.

An alley on Phan Van Tri Street in District 5. Photo: Nguyen Cong Thanh / Tuoi Tre

An alley along Phan Van Tri Street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nguyen Cong Thanh / Tuoi Tre

The efforts, however, can only pay off if the locals cooperate, as they have to give up part of their homes to make way for the expansion.

Many residents have been more than happy to join hands for the greater good.

A resident runs a small diner inside an alley in District 4. Photo: Nguyet Nhi / Tuoi Tre

A resident runs a small diner inside an alley in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nguyet Nhi / Tuoi Tre

A woman walks along an alley in District 1. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

A woman walks along an alley in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

People travel along an alley in Tan Binh District. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

People travel along an alley in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A man rides his motorbike in a small alley in District 1. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

A man rides his motorbike in a small alley in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

Motorbikes are parked along an alley on Xo Viet-Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh District. Photo: Nguyet Nhi / Tuoi Tre

Motorbikes are parked along an alley on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nguyet Nhi / Tuoi Tre

An alley on Ly Chinh Thanh Street in District 3 after being widened. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

An alley on Ly Chinh Thanh Street in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City after being widened. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

It is much easier for locals to travel along an alley on Rach Bung Binh Street in District 3 following an expansion. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

It is much easier for locals to travel along an alley on Rach Bung Binh Street in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City following an expansion. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

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