This journey was so crazy I must write about it and deliver a message that you shouldn’t underestimate a tropical storm. At the end I needed 48 hours to get to my actual destination, my legs are injured, and my valuables were nearly destroyed. But let’s start from the beginning.
The actual plan
As you might know, I’m traveling around Vietnam, and I stayed a few days in Hoi An, a pretty city in the middle of Vietnam. As I heard about the storm coming to the middle/south of Vietnam, I decided to skip Mui Ne – a city on the beach – and come directly to Ho Chi Minh. The storm was due to hit on the weekend, so I decided to take a train on Saturday and arrive on Sunday – In my opinion, everything would be over, and I could enjoy Ho Chi Minh. My train was due to leave the train station at 1.45 pm on Saturday and arrive at 5.45 am in Ho Chi Minh. I had a bed so that everything would be great, I wake up in a new city and enjoy the Sunday. That was the plan – well, this plan failed drastically.
The first bus and I already got ripped off
I started my journey on Saturday at 10:30 am. I took a motorbike taxi to go to the bus station in Hoi An. From there I would take a 45 minutes Bus to the train Station in Da Nang. I had to pay 30.000 VND (The price for tourists) instead of 20.000 (The cost for locals), but never mind it’s 30 cents, I didn’t say anything. Arriving at the train Station, I waited for about 1 hour to catch my train. The train left on time, and I got a top bunk in a cabin with three other men from China. Everything went according to the plan. At 10 pm I fell asleep, and my alarm went off at 5 am in the morning. And it was there I realized that something is entirely wrong. I woke up, the train was standing still, and I looked at my phone – we were 400 km away from Ho Chi Minh – a look out of the window, and I knew the storm hit us, it was raining like I never saw it before. I met two girls from Finland, and they told us that we were standing in the same place since 2 am in the morning.
Flooded train tracks
The Storm flooded the train tracks, and the train couldn’t move any further. After standing still for about 7 hours, the train finally moved again – however in the wrong direction. We were brought to busses and had to take a bus to overcome the flooded area and take another train after that. At that time, it was 10 am – 5 hours after we should arrive. The bus took 3 hours to drive only 15 km because also the streets were flooded. We saw so many little villages which were flooded and hundreds of workers helping the people to fight against the water.
At 1 pm we were on the train again and started driving to Ho Chi Minh. So, at that point I was traveling for about 26 hours – I only had three small Banh Mi (Kind of Sandwich) a small portion of rice and noodle soup in all that time. Trains in Vietnam run only about 50 km/h an hour because the train tracks are too old to drive faster. What means we had another 6 hours drive in front of us.
Arriving at Ho Chi Minh but still not there
At seven we finally arrive in Ho Chi Minh – but wait, we weren’t at the train station but somewhere 10 km away and the train stopped again. The reason? The tracks were flooded again. Outside the weather was crazy, there is no other word to describe the amount of rain and wind. Everything was flooded around the train, but they just kicked us out of the train. I decided to order a taxi with the two other girls. 2 minutes before the taxi arrived we then left the train stepping into 40 cm deep water. On my back, I had the big bag, and my small bag with my technology inside was in my hand. I started waking through the water and didn’t say that there was no way anymore – I felt around 1 meter deep into the water, my bags felt into water too, and I injured both of my legs. I luckily could save my small bag very quickly and got up myself. Covered in dirt and wet we found the car which would take us to the Hostel.
And again, I was stuck
The girls had another hostel as I, the plan was to drive to their hostel and I would continue to mine after that. Arriving in the street of their Hostel the road was also wholly flooded – around 40 cm deep water. I asked the driver if he could drive me to my Hostel, but he refused it. I had no other choice than to exit the car and join the girls to their hostel. Arriving there I tried to catch a new taxi, but it was just impossible to get one, it was only 2 km to my hostel but without a car impossible to get there. After trying for half an hour to order a taxi, I finally gave up and asked if I could have a bed in the other hostel. By then it was 9 pm – 16 hours after I should have arrived at my hostel.
The most amazing service
We were starving, and nobody could leave the hostel because it was still pouring rain, and everything was flooded. However, the hostel offered us to bring us food to the hostel. One of the staff members went through the storm and brought us pizza. I mean I never saw that kind of service, even if their hostel was half flooded, and they had to fight against the water, but they still arranged our food and went through that weather.
Finally, I arrive at my destination
The next morning, I woke up, looked out the window and to my big surprise everything seemed as never something happened. In the streets, the water was gone, and the little shops opened again. I packed my stuff and went finally to my hostel. Forty-eight hours after leaving I then arrive at the right destination.
It was just a crazy journey, besides my legs which are hurt and have deep cuts, nothing happened, my pc is still alive, and the rest of my stuff is also dry again. It could have been worse, and it was definitely worth an experience but the message of this here is to never underestimate a storm in Asia, it’s a different thing then storms in Europe, we are just not used to something like this.
- Total countries I visited until now: 29
- Distance traveled: 17359
- Planes: 4
- Busses: 18
- Trains: 14
- Boats: 4
- Km running: 705