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Vietnam forum

is it going to be worth it?

Posted by jak on 15/7/2010 at 04:11

hi,
sorry to post about the weather but i'm finding it difficult to find topics relating to what i'm asking.

I was thinking about taking a gap year and travelling around south east Asia, with some friends before going off to different universities. However since we are low on funds, we were thinking about working for 7-8 months in England to fund the trip.

The basis of the trip was to spend an organised 10 weeks in Borneo with a gap year company, then backpack around S.E.A. for the following 11/12 weeks.

However due to need to raise the funds we won't be getting to Borneo till the end of march and then Vietnam, Laos ect. until around the start of June and from what I can gather this is the 'rainy season'.

Does this mean that there will be the occasional thunder storm in the afternoon but otherwise sunny or full blown days-on-end typhoons?

on the trip we were hoping to spend the time taking in scenery in the highlands and watersports on the beaches, Also travelling by motorbike. Would this be possible in the rainy season?

any information much appreciated :)

#1 jak has been a member since 6/7/2010. Posts: 4

Posted by CharleyNoir on 15/7/2010 at 13:18

Posted from within Vietnam.

I'm curious...has the art of internet searching been suddenly lost? Jak, you can find the information you seek by just a few minutes googling - or indeed checking out the 'Travelfish' Vietnam pages... A bit practice before you go to University!

#2 CharleyNoir has been a member since 7/7/2010. Posts: 8


Posted by rawjer on 15/7/2010 at 13:49

I actually think those are very reasonable questions, especially since he said he did some searching already in his first sentence.

Another reason is I think the "rainy season" is often misunderstood, even though I don't quite have a handle on all of it myself. I'm currently staying in Bangkok after a long swing through Vietnam and Cambodia, and it's the rainy season here too, of course.

Based on this plus other tropical places I've been during rainy season, it is almost always a sunny morning with clouds rolling in in the afternoon, and then sometimes it pours for 30 to 60 minutes and then stops, and other times it doesn't rain at all. So yes, except for maybe the peak month, it will be sunny much of the time, and when it rains it tends to come all at once.

So depending on where you are it's usually easy enough to duck under shelter when the skies open up. Sometimes it rains in the mornings or evenings instead, but all-day rainfall does seem very rare in the tropics. Also, temperatures are a bit lower too, so even with a bit more humidity it's often less miserable than the peak month of April.

The possibly tricky thing could be the motorbike touring. It seems like all the main roads in Vietnam are nicely sealed, so you can probably keep going in the rain, but it really could be awful and maybe even a bit dangerous.

I think others around here have much more experience with this so hopefully one or more can help out.

#3 rawjer has been a member since 20/1/2010. Posts: 104
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Posted by jak on 15/7/2010 at 15:03

@CharleyNoir
Wow google you say? I wish I'd thought of that...
i was hoping to find some definitive answers as I've read some blogs that compare it to the scenes in Forrest Gump where the rain doesn't stop for 4 months and others like rawjer who say that it can just be for an hour in the afternoon.

@rawjer
Thank you for the reply! Exactly what I wanted to know, fantastic post! I'm really grateful for the advice as I was considering cancelling or postponing the trip, but I think I could live with that kind of weather. Also I think the motorbikes may have been wishful thinking as flash floods and landslides seem to be an issue in the more remote areas. Once again thanks!

#4 jak has been a member since 6/7/2010. Posts: 4

Posted by CharleyNoir on 15/7/2010 at 17:03

Posted from within Vietnam.

Well Jak, a quick Google returned this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh_City#Geography_and_climate

Actually the rains came late this year - June was essential dry. So if you're looking to spent the period March to June in Vietnam you might miss 'mua mua' altogether... That apart, rawjer's correct - (in the South at least) it rains heavily for an hour or two, usually in the afternoon or early evening. Its a fascinating country and the people are friendly...enjoy!

#5 CharleyNoir has been a member since 7/7/2010. Posts: 8

Posted by jak on 15/7/2010 at 21:50

thanks for the reply Charley, as I've never visited SAE so was a little confused by the term 'rainy season' but afternoon/evening down pours are fine and wont confine me to my hotel room for 3 months :P

#6 jak has been a member since 6/7/2010. Posts: 4

Posted by Pablot on 16/7/2010 at 07:44

Posted from within Vietnam.

In Central Vietnam the monsoon season starts in September and runs at least thru December and often with patchs of rough weather thru until May! it is the monsoon season that travelers must be careful with heavy rains, flooding, etc.!

#7 Pablot has been a member since 4/5/2009. Posts: 102

Posted by jak on 16/7/2010 at 20:46

sorry, is south east Asia reserved for people who wish to spend all day everyday in museums?

#8 jak has been a member since 6/7/2010. Posts: 4

Posted by AmericanVietnamese on 18/7/2010 at 11:24

Posted from within Vietnam.

"is SE Asia reserved for people who wish to spend all day everyday in museums"? WTF?

#9 AmericanVietnamese has been a member since 25/6/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 13
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