I just endured a 30 minute Saigon deluge on my motorbike riding from Thao Dien (in District 2 near An Phu) to District 1. I am drying up at Java Cafe now with a hot chocolate and warm brownie. I got real wet out there today.
I have ridden the District 1 to Thao Dien route for nearly a year now and the Dien Bien Phu and Nguyen Huu Canh streets for nearly 7 years now. I know which streets to avoid during a rainstorm here.
After 10 minutes of downpour, the streets in Thao Dien were already underwater. That was my indication to avoid Nguyen Huu Can and The Manor area. I thus detoured and went down Dien Bien Phu to get to District 1. It never floods on Dien Bien Phu. Umm, well not until today. After about 15 minutes of raining, half of Dien Bien Phu was underwater. The motorbikes were fighting for limited roadway that was not underwater. I never seen this before.
The first traffic circle to Nguyen Minh Khai was underwater. I decided to avoid that and head to the next traffic circle. Still along the way, the road was underwater. It was amazing to see small rivers flowing from the car lanes and sidewalks unto the motorbike lanes. The water drains all along the road could not handle the downpour. Motorbikes were dying like crazy due to wet spark plugs.
Once I finally got to District 1, the roads seem to be clear of water.
Something is definitely wrong with the multimillion dollar sewer system in Saigon. This is the only second significant rainfall this rainy season. It is going to be a long wet rainy season.
(Sorry no pictures this time, there was no dry area for me to stop and snap some photos).