HCMC 'too hot', foreign tourists complain

By Bich Phuong   May 1, 2024 | 11:31 pm PT
Many tourists traveling to Ho Chi Minh City during the Reunification Day and Labor Day holidays said the city was "too hot" and they were "melting" under the strong heat.

According to information from the Southern Regional Hydrometeorological Center, temperatures in the city during the five-day holiday that ended Wednesday ranged from 37 to 39 degrees Celsius, with scorching weather affecting outdoor travel experiences.

Yania, a Spanish tourist, said she arrived in the city on April 28 and her first feeling after landing at Tan Son Nhat airport was it’s so hot that she "could melt."

At that time, the temperature reported on her phone was about 37-38 degrees Celsius, but the actual outdoor temperature was more than 40 degrees Celsius.

"HCMC is too hot," Yania said.

Yania trong trang phục thoải mái, đeo kính mát, luôn đem theo nước khi du lịch TP HCM dịp lễ. Ảnh Bích Phương

Yania stands in front of the Independence Palace in downtown HCMC, April 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Bich Phuong

Yania said she mainly walked in the city because the central tourist attractions are close to each other.

The hot weather made her tired and she coped by wearing short and light clothes as well as bringing along water, glasses and a hat. She drank water constantly and limited going out in the middle of the day.

The temperature of 40 degrees Celsius in HCMC made her body uncomfortable but didn’t affect her trip too much, she said.

The indispensable items for many foreign tourists to the southern city these days are a handheld mini fan and filtered water.

In front of the War Remnants Museum, a popular tourist attraction, cold water and battery-operated mini fans were the most-sought items.

Du khách Ấn Độ liên tục dùng quạt chạy pin mini khi tham quan Bảo tàng chứng tích chiến tranh. Ảnh: Bích Phương

An Indian tourist use mini battery-powered fans when visiting the War Remnants Museum in downtown HCMC, April 29, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Bich Phuong

Some foreign tourists escaped the heat by only going out before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

"The weather was really hot," said Grant Wilson, 61, an Australian tourist who also visited the city during the holiday.

During his five-day stay in the city, Wilson maintained a schedule of waking up at 6 a.m. to have breakfast, drinking coffee at a sidewalk cafe in District 1, then walking to Tao Dan Park to exercise and relax gently until 7 a.m.

"Sitting at a shop in an alley with shady trees to drink coffee, coconut water, or fruit juice is an effective way to cool down," he said.

After 5 p.m. he started going out again because in the evenings the weather was less intense and often windy. At night, he spends time enjoying the city by drinking draft beer.

Wilson followed the heat news from north to south and said the weather was "unusual and crazy."

He planned to visit Phu Luong, Thai Nguyen and Ninh Binh in the northern region at the end of April to enjoy the cool air but canceled his plan to fly directly to HCMC.

A Vietnamese friend also invited him to Ca Mau in the Mekong Delta during the holiday, but Wilson said he had politely declined the offer due to the scorching weather.

"Getting there by a packed bus in the 40-degree-Celsius sun, combined with traffic jams and rough roads made me discouraged," Wilson said.

Despite the extreme weather, HCMC is still a place worth visiting because the pace of life there creates a pleasant feeling, he added.

In addition, it is not difficult to find beverages such as fresh coconut water and kumquat tea on downtown streets, priced at only VND15,000-20,000 (US$0.59-0.79).

He said he hoped that the city would build more public swimming pools to cool off during the peak hot season.

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