what to pack?
UMBRELLAS & A Sense of Adventure
t's no secret that the monsoon season can be a literal damp squib in central Vietnam. The harvest is done, the national sport of sleeping revs up a gear, the torrential rain of the monsoon arrives and with it, the threat of flash floods - Even the traders at the local market come wrapped in plastic bags.
Fortunately, it takes more than a tropical monsoon to stop play in Hoi An, but if you are stumped for ideas, we've got you covered.
October is famously the wettest month of the year in Hoi An, but the risk of flooding carries over to November, and ocassionally December. During these months a basic translation is that you are likely to see more wet days than dry ones, so be prepared! Over the last few years increased flood defences have meant floods are no longer an annual event. Triggers are storms (it's still typhoon season) and full and half moon spring tides following a deluge of rain in the mountains surrounding Hoi An.
TIP: Everything is tightly monitored, flood warnings are issued in plenty of time and past frequency of these events means that for our temporary hosts, it's water off a duck's back.
The main areas to flood are: - Cẩm Kim, Thanh Hà, Cẩm Phô, Minh An, Sơn Phong, Cẩm Nam, Cẩm Châu, Cẩm Thanh and An Hoi.
See our Hoi An flood map below for areas affected.
Photographer: Vu Trong Phan
accommodation: where to stay:
The safest bet during a flood is to book accommodation at the beach if that's your thing. Unlike most resort towns, Hoi An businesses rev up a gear during the colder months, so you'll not struggle to find restaurants, bars and laundry services begging you to 'come in please' even if it's blowing a gale. Discount island locales - An Hoi, Cam Nam - anywhere that is accessed by a bridge - when the river is high, you won't be crossing it.
In the countryside, the areas:- Tra Que and Cam Chau are your safest bets if you're hoping for a country stay midway between beach and town.Cam Thanh is more risky as access bridges and riverside locales can quickly be affected during the larger floods and access in and out can be difficult - if not impossible during high floods.
In the old town, you are better looking towards the out skirts. Ly Thuong Kiet (The Almanity, La Senta, Emm Hotel, Azumi), Ly Thai To (Emerald Waters, VIVA, Leaf Homestay) and sections of Cua Dai Rd (Maison Vy, Belle Mason Hadana, Eat West Villa).
The Beach: The beach does not flood. For resorts, the Sunrise, Boutique, Victoria and luxe retreat the Four Seasons Nam Hai are all recommended. On An Bang discount the cheaper home stays (if you've been out in the rain all day, these can get a bit chilly and damp) instead, plump for a private villa or one of the larger new boutique hotels: The Beachside Boutique is our pick.
the beachside boutique, an bang beach
Amanity spa hotel, Hoi An
photography:vu trong phan
a rainy day itinerary:
morning: On a rainy day, ditch the hotel breakfast. Instead take an early morning amble down to Hoi An's central market, grab a mi quang from the food hall and enter the ‘food jungle’ that offers more than 80 types of fruits, vegetables, flowers, roots and herbs unique to the countries climate and biodiversity. Down by the river a banquet parade of seafood awaits - lobster and blue crab fresh from the nets, line-caught snapper and grouper, and fat juicy scallops. It’s a paradise for any chef and tips you off to what's in season.
Souvenirs: Quang Nam chilli jam, Phu Quoc fish sauce and black peppercorns.
From here you can continue your walk along the beach, or grab a cab back to your digs for pre-lunch present opening.