A horrible rainstorm in Saigon

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).

  • I go Thao Dien all the time (Jane lives there). I know it can be really bad when it rains. But I never fight the traffic on this side of the river because I take the ferry. For 2000VND, you too can avoid all the traffic and the insanity that can be the Saigon Bridge. Traffic from the ferry terminal to Thao Dien is usually very light.

  • Sean

    The flooding was insane yesterday evening, too, after the relatively brief downpour around 5PM. I agree that it’s looking grim for the rainy season.

  • Clifton Buck-Kauffman

    THe weather pattern in HCMC is all screwed up!

    The “rainy season” usually doesn’t start until some time in May and continues until sometime in November. During the six months the dry season has been interrupted by rain, with thunder and lightning, numerous times each month.

    April is usually the hottest month of the year although this year the first half of April was relatively mild, it has only been real hot and steamy the last few days.

    THe usual HCMC weather predictability has not been evident, that’s for sure!

    • And hot, hot, hot. Climate change. Is this becoming the norm for the world? Probably. I think 2006 was the last normal weather here in Saigon that I can remember. 2007 got all freaky.

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