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What to do when monsoon season hits Vietnam

By Ha Phuong   August 21, 2016 | 02:51 am PT
Go fishing, capture spetacular storms or get to grips with V-Pop.

Monsoon season has descended on central and northern Vietnam, and is likely to be with us until November. Typhoon Dianmu, the third to hit the country this year, resulted in heavy downpours and strong winds. If you're visiting at this time of the year, you've got to be extra careful and listen out for the weather forecasts. But heavy rain in Vietnam doesn't drown out all the fun; there are tons of ways to enjoy the country and get to know its culture along the way. Here are just three for you to start with. 

Go fishing: Why not?

Continuous downpours here turn streets into rivers, offering fish the chance to explore parts of the town they've never visited before. So what are you waiting for? It’s high time to go out and catch some fish. All you need is a pair of boots, a colorful raincoat and … a bat. Fresh fish are around the corner. But keep in mind Vietnam is notorious for potholes, so stay alert and be careful.

Curious onlookers gather to watch the fishermen. Photo by VnExpress/Le Viet

Curious onlookers gather to watch the "fishermen". Photo by VnExpress/Le Viet

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Even plastic colanders will do. Photo from Vitalk

Sightseeing

If you happen to visit Vietnam in the rainy season, then consider yourself lucky. Many travelers are scared because they think it will ruin their vacation. There's some truth to that as typhoons can be dangerous. But it doesn't actually rain everyday. And when it does rain, learn to stay clear of dangerous paths by keeping an eye on local media and you're set to enjoy the beauty of the tropical monsoon most travelers (unfortunately) choose to avoid. 

To enjoy the tumultuous rain at its most magnificent, take shelter in a rooftop bar or coffee shop, but if you don't mind getting a bit wet, cover up in a raincoat or umbrella and join the colorful traffic. Just be warned, umbrellas don't really work in a monsoon.

When it rains, Vietnamese people pull over the raincoat over their motorbike. Coincidently, the rain often goes along with traffic jam. Youll be amazed at the scene when dozens of colorful raincoats are trapped together; its somehow brighten up the doom street in the middle of the rain. Photo by VnExpress/Xavier Bonjoir

When it rains, Vietnamese people pull over to cover themselves and their bikes with raincoats. Unsurprisingly, with rain come traffic jams. You’ll be amazed at the hundreds of colorful raincoats stuck together, somehow brightening up the the gloomy streets in the middle of the rain. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Splash! Splash! People, stay away. Speed is your friend in the rain. Photo by Nguyen Tin Nhiem/VnExpress Photo Contest

Splash! Splash! Pedestrians stand back. Speed is your friend in the rain, if you're the rider. Photo by Nguyen Tin Nhiem/VnExpress Photo Contest

Splash! Splash! People, stay away. Speed is your friend in the rain. Photo by Nguyen Tin Nhiem/VnExpress Photo Contest

Vietnamese students trying to make it through the rain. Photo by Photo by Luu Binh Duong/VnExpress Photo Contest

If your bike suddenly died because of the flood. Not to worry, there are tons of people willing to help you. Photo by VnExpess/Xavier

If your bike suddenly dies because of the flood, not to worry, there are tons of people willing to help you out. Photo by VnExpess/Ngoc Thanh

Ancient town Hoi An after the rain. Photo by Le Van/VnExpress Photo Contest

The ancient town of Hoi An after the rain. Photo by Le Van/VnExpress Photo Contest

The famous Vietnamese cone hat is also great for rain protection. Photo by Nguyen Chi Nam/VnExpress Photo Contest

The iconic Vietnamese cone hat is also great for rain protection. Photo by Nguyen Chi Nam/VnExpress Photo Contest

The children also find the fun in the rain. Photo by Photo by Luu Trong Thang/VnExpress Photo Contest

Children know best how to have fun in the rain. Photo by Photo by Luu Trong Thang/VnExpress Photo Contest

Kids, you still have to go to school. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest

Kids, you still have to go to school. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest

If you want to take a tour to enjoy the fresh smell of rain as well as the cleaned up and cooled down atmosphere, a trip in a Vietnamese ‘xich lo’ will definitely do the trick.

Foreign tourists caught under heavy rain in the Old Quarter in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Foreign tourists caught under heavy rain in the Old Quarter in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Hues long line of xich lo in the rain. Photo by Le Hoai Phuoc/VnExpress Photo Contest

A long line of 'xich lo' endure the rain in Hue. Photo by Le Hoai Phuoc/VnExpress Photo Contest

Couch potato 

If the storm is too heavy to go out in, hit a convenience store or a supermarket, buy as much as you think you need and stay safe and sound indoors, being a potato couch and enjoying V-pop, for example. Be warned though, it's not for the faint-hearted!

We need some snack to survive through the storm. Photo from IG/ptgnart

Snacks are essential for surviving the storm. Photo from IG/ptgnart

This, for example, has recently topped the Vietnamese charts:

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