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Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bucket List, long term travel, Southeast Asia, Travel, Vietnam

Typhoon Ketsana Puts A Damper On Things


I was settling into a groove in Vietnam. We had seen so much, and every city we visited left me more surprised than the last. I was loving the diversity of the land. We had seen rice paddies and tribal villages, ocean bays with limestone casts, bustling cities and ancient ruins. So much is packed into this small country. Add to this an amazing cuisine and friendly people, and any traveler would be happy.

Hue was a very special city. We spent four days touring the Forbidden City and the Citadel, taking a river tour to visit pagodas and temples of ancient emperors, dining on some of the best food of the trip, and really immersing ourselves into the culture. Part of what was so nice about Hue was that we really slowed down. We had been seeing cities in three days and then quickly moved on to the next.

We spent about eight days in Hue, four of which we were sightseeing, but not at breakneck speeds. The other four days were spent mostly confined to the hotel. Unfortunately, it was wet season, more specifically, it was typhoon season, and after Typhoon Ketsana caused all the damage it did in the Philippines, it decided to plow right into Hue.

The rain arrived on a Tuesday afternoon as a steady shower. We were still able to get out and about- it was more annoying than anything else. Wednesday brought hard, steady rain, and this continued non-stop for the next 2 days. We watched as the water levels rose in the streets, glad that we still had cable and an internet connection. On the third day, the rain was now seeping into the hotel lobby, and we were confined to our room for the most part. Now we were just glad to have power and hot water. The streets had turned into rivers. Some residents were still trying to bike around, others had opted to turn their bikes in for boats and were paddling through the streets. The river had breached and it became quite dangerous to walk around, seeing as the water levels were up to mid-thigh on me, and there was quite a strong current.

Our guesthouse was running out of food and milk, so we braved the rain and went around the corner for food, and stocked up on water and cookies in case we couldn’t get out again later in the day. Finally on the fourth day, the rain subsided and the sun came out. However, by the end of that day, the water levels were still only just below the knee, and we were unable to go anywhere. By the fifth day, the rainwater had drained away, but no buses or trains were running, and by this point in time cabin fever had set in, and I was itching to move on.


Looking back, the break was probably a good thing, and I was glad we were safe and that no one was too terribly affected (unlike the Philippines). But we were so happy to hear that buses would be running the following morning, and we were making our way to Hoi An.