I moved to the coastal city of Da Nang, Vietnam for the endless summer. I came for the stunning tropical beaches, the laidback beach lifestyle, the lively beach bars and the gorgeous islands that are only a boat ride away. I came here to sip on coconuts on Sunday nights, feast on seafood on Saturdays, and eat ice cream every damn day of the week. I came here so that my life would look like this:
But instead, IT LOOKS LIKE THIS.
When moving to Da Nang, I didn’t factor in rainy season. Ya’ know, the dreaded, three to four months of the year that your tropical dream-life is washed away by endless amounts of rain and carried straight into the SEWAGE. Okay, maybe I’m being melodramatic. But this sure ain’t what I bargained for. It’s been raining here basically since I arrived three months ago. And to be honest with you guys, over the past few months I’ve seriously thought about leaving Da Nang for a dryer destination. However… I’ve almost made it through.
Here’s How I’ve Managed to Survive Rainy Season in Vietnam
1.) Get poncho-ed up.
FIRST THING’S FIRST. Find the biggest, most ridiculously oversized and absurd-looking poncho you can. I’m not talkin’ those crappy plastic ones, but invest in the real deal. You will feel ridiculous wearing it, but it will be your lifeline for the next three+ months, so make sure it’s a sturdy one. After wearing it everyday for three months, you will begin to DESPISE that thing with all your might but remember: it’s saving your life. Or at least all of your clothes from being eternally sopped. Bonus points if yours has a really offensive print.
2.) Get some pilot goggles.
As if you didn’t already look ridiculous enough. Chances are, if you’re living in Vietnam you’ll have a motorbike. If you value your life and like seeing the road as you drive, GET GOGGLES. If not, every time you drive you’ll be squinting to the point where your eyes are nearly closed… and no one likes driving with their eyes closed. Note: you don’t see many locals wearing goggles in the rain…this is one of the only times on this blog you’ll hear me say don’t follow their lead. (They are on another level with their motorbike skills.)
3.) Accept that your entire life is going to be moist.
Your clothes, your house, your shoes, your bike…you. Nothing will be 100% dry until that first random sunny day, so accept it. PRO TIP: Use the fans in your house to blow your washed clothes and wet shoes dry.
4.) And with moisture… comes MOLD.
First I lost my fave pair of suede boots to the mold. Next, my boyfriend lost his guitar case to the mold. Then our arch nemesis mold started attacking our walls, our cutting board, our pants, my leather wallet….and OUR LIVES. Mold is an evil, evil villain and it WILL take over all of your belongings. PRO TIP: No fear, tea tree oil is here! Tea tree oil is mold’s kryptonite. Once I discovered the magic of tea tree oil, my moldy life was changed. Dilute a few drops of that liquid magic with a cup of water, and go crazy. Sprayers’ discretion.
5.) Get a solid list of delivery places.
Ohhh, how I love street food. Sitting on a tiny plastic chair outdoors as you chow down on a flavor-packed bowl of noodles…while getting drenched in the rain? UHHHH, no thanks. You’re not gonna want to leave the house unless you absolutely need to. So, delivery will become your best friend and savior. PRO TIP: Download the Vietnammm app and my personal favorite, the foodie app for all that good street food delivered right to your dry door.
6.) Force yourself to leave the house occasionally.
Totally contradicting #5, get the hell outta the house. It’s wayyyy to easy (and appealing) to curl on up with a cup of tea and some Netflix. I made the mistake of staying in my first few weeks here and not getting out to bars, meetups and other community activities. I thought I’d just “wait till the sun comes out” to do it all. Then, I started getting a severe case of cabin fever and realized I had no friends. DON’T follow my lead! I changed my attitude, dreadingly putting on my poncho to get on out there and become a part of the very moist social fiber of the community. And my poncho and I haven’t looked back.
6.) Remember why you’re there.
I was ready to give up on Da Nang. I forgot why I moved here, my tropical fantasy becoming a far removed dream. And then, like a sign from the weather gods telling me to stay, the sun came out last weekend. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. I swam in the ocean, did beach boot camp with my new friends, ate seafood at a beach shack, and even got my first sunburn! THIS is why I moved to this tropical paradise of a country. With only a few weeks left of rainy season (rumors say it ends in January) and the days slowly becoming dryer and dryer, the sun awaits at the end of the really frickin’ wet tunnel. And when that happens, we’ll all raise our coconuts and cheers to making it through rainy season.
Have you ever been stuck in a tropical rainy season? What are your tricks to survival?!