The rains are here, and they’re going to stay until November. It’s time to get ready for the water, both the stuff falling from the sky and the stuff that floods the streets and makes getting around a nightmare.
Get a big golfing umbrella to protect the whole family, and a smaller folding version for your handbag or backpack.
Expect to pay around VND100,000 for a big one, and about half that for a smaller one.
You can find umbrellas for sale in supermarkets, convenience stores and from wandering vendors.
Waterproof phone cover
Sometimes it’s best to build in a few levels of redundancy, especially when it comes to your expensive smartphone, which is probably filled with precious photos and important information, such as the address of your favourite eatery.
Protect your phone from the elements with a waterproof case, available from phone shops and computer stores such as iKnow.
Expect to pay around VND300,000 for a quality waterproof phone case.
Keep your everyday items dry with a backpack cover.
Some backpacks have this feature built-in, or you can buy one from a sports store, department store, luggage shop or online.
Expect to pay between VND20,000 and VND250,000.
Waterproof shoe covers
These stylish numbers slip on over your footwear to protect your shoes and your delicate tootsies.
Rain ponchos and waterproof trousers
Most popular among motorbike riders, rain ponchos are designed to protect one or two people and their vehicle from the elements.
Rain ponchos are available in one- and two-headed versions, and some even have a nifty clear panel to allow the motorbike headlight to shine through.
One of the great things about Vietnam is that when the rain starts, the raincoat sellers come out, like flowers blooming in the desert rain. You can usually pick up a flimsy single-use raincoat for VND10,000 from a street vendor. Supermarkets usually sell higher quality rain ponchos for anything up to VND200,000.
Waterproof trousers are a bit harder to find. Only some supermarkets stock them (and only in one standard “free size”), and they can cost up to VND350,000.