For many people who are new to living in Vietnam, the monsoon season between May and September can come as a shock. The heavy downpours that are experienced throughout South East Asia are very different than those experienced in the western hemisphere. Yet, those who brave these downpours will get to see Vietnam’s most intriguing color and culture as there are many fabulous festivals during this period, and also, the natural beauty of the country under cloudy skies is something you must see!
Below are a few tips and tricks to help you out during the rainy season.
Keep an Eye on the Time
The good thing about the rains in Vietnam during the monsoon is that they are regular and usually short lived. This allows you to plan your day better as you will know the time of day that it is most likely to rain, most often during the morning or around lunchtime.
If you do get caught out in the rain and manage to find somewhere to keep dry, you will usually only have to wait an hour at most for the downpour to subside. You should then be safe until the next day when the rains likely return.
Grab Yourself a Poncho
An umbrella and regular jacket is unlikely to keep you completely dry during heavy rain, instead you should make use of a poncho. This is Vietnam’s signature rain ware and will keep you dry throughout.
When it is due to rain you will often see shopkeepers moving racks of ponchos into the street. People on motorbikes are able to ride up and purchase one without having to get off of their bikes. The cheapest of the ponchos are nothing more than an oversized plastic bag, however, if you spend a bit more you are able to get thicker and longer ponchos which are much more effective.
Plan Your Journeys
Although major cities should have good drainage systems, there will be parts of the cities where drainage systems are not as good. During heavy downpours these areas may be prone to flooding. For outer urban and rural areas, flooding is very common and roads can become blocked.
If you do need to venture out of town you should try and save the journey for friendlier skies or wait until the day’s downpour has already taken place.
Enjoy The Show
Although the dry season is preferred amongst most expats living in the country, it has some of the hottest weather of the year and this can become a hindrance. The rainy season may be humid and wet but temperatures can drop considerably, making it more comfortable when travelling around.
It can also make for a great show when you are out and have to escape quickly to the confinements of a shop doorway or under a bridge. You get to watch Mother Nature at her finest with front row seats!
Watch as the local’s sixth sense kicks in and people scurry for their raincoats and shopkeepers roll out their awnings before even a raindrop has fallen.
Just remember, a little rain never hurt anyone so sit back and enjoy this part of the season as much as possible.