Ho Chi Minh (commonly referred to as Saigon) is the largest city nestled at the Southeastern part of Vietnam. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country considered as the business and financial capital.
The city has continuously been a hot spot for tourists due to its intriguing french-inspired structures, rich culture, towering skyscrapers, and fascinating temples that are scattered all throughout the city.
Generally, Saigon only has two seasons – dry season and rainy season but different cities have different weather conditions and seasons. Ho Chi Minh has two seasons, northeast monsoon falls from November to April and southeast monsoon from May through October.
The ideal months to travel to this city is from December to April which is mostly dry but if you ever get caught in the rainy months, read on to know what to expect so you can prepare for your trip!
Rain in Saigon has its own characteristics – it comes and goes at a similar rhythm with the hustles of this city.
Arriving at the rainy season in this city, prepare yourself for a whole lot of flooding. Saigon is located near two main rivers – Saigon River and Dong Nai River. During the rainy season, the situation is worsened due to a combined high tide and overflow of the rivers – making most parts of the city vulnerable to flooding.
The flooding can go as high as above the knee level causing engine failure to different modes of transportation in the city. The flooding can be as bad as having a natural swimming pool around the city.
Locals say that each year, the situation worsens as they have been experiencing heavy rainfall, a possible effect brought by climate change. The usual road flow along the streets of Saigon can also become chaotic during the rainy season as travelers would rush to avoid getting caught up in the heavy rain however, piles of cars, motorbikes and lowered trucks (that can go as 1 kilometer) stuck in the middle of the roads can make the situation a tormenting experience.
Aside from these, be wary of trees that surround the city, falling tree branches are common due to strong winds. If you are backpacking, it would be best to book a room at least at the second floor of the building as there are areas that are considered sunken.
Some first-floor homes along the city had several experiences wherein the water enters their houses leaving their stuff wet and damaged at the same time. Some of these properties would need a pump to totally dry out the place.
Are you still planning on wandering around Saigon during the rainy season? It would be nice to experience something new and authentic to learn more about the place while traveling but this definitely crosses out the ‘fun’ part of exploring this extraordinary city. Considering the situations you’ll get into just by trying to get past the main streets, it would be best to stay indoors. Make yourself comfy and dry until when the flooding subsides!