Multiple dam discharges soak Vietnam's ancient town

By Nguyen Dong   November 3, 2016 | 08:49 pm PT
Some tourists struggled to stay dry, others found ways to appreciate the waterlogged tourist town.

Portions of Bach Dang Street disappeared under half a meter of water on Wednesday afternoon. Heavy rains that began Tuesday night were compounded by discharges from six upstream hydropower damns. Taken together, the two events caused the Hoai River (which abuts Bach Dang) to overflow into the town.


Two foreigners stopped their bikes on a flooded street to shoot photos. The managers of one upstream hydropower dam informed town officials they would discharge water on Tuesday night. Two others sent discharge notifications at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The three dams discharged up to 4,800 cubic meters of water per second, in total.


Two foreign women stuck to the sidewalks.


A man stops to take in the brownish waters rippling through the town's streets.


One woman cleverly decided to get off her motorbike and brave the flood barefoot. 


A couple took photos on the submerged bank of the Hoai river. 


A group of tourists decided to turn back after encountering a 0.3 meter puddle. The bicyclist in the cowboy hat, naturally chose to press on.


A tourist takes photos of a local boy playing in the water. Things could have been much worse. Three years ago, Hoi An virtually disappeared under three-meter floodwaters.


A group of tourists rented a boat to paddle along Bach Dang Street. In the distance, local students wade from school.


A fear of electric shock gripped a group of tourists after the town switched on its street lamps.


Many restaurants along the Hoai River remained empty on Wednesday night. Once a bustling trading port, Hoi An now provides an alluring mix of heritage buildings with a unique blend of local and foreign influences, colorful lanterns, craft villages, beautiful beaches, river cruises, and delicious food.

Photos by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

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