The “Top Gear Dream” – Part 5: Typhoon Party in Hue
As we pulled into the centre of Hue under overcast skies, we came to a road block where water had completely engulfed a causeway over the Perfume River. Despite this roadblock we managed to find our way to a hotel and checked in. We had originally planned on staying only a day or so in Hue; that was until we looked at the weather forecast and saw that Typhoon Haiyan was projected to hit land right on top of us in two days time. After learning this, we opted to stay put and stocked up on provisions to weather out the storm from our hotel rooms.
The following day we went to a local grocery store where we piled as many packets of Oreo cookies, Ritz Cracker sandwiches, instant noodles and rice wine onto our scooters. Once we had our provisions to weather the storm we packed all of our bikes into the hotel lobby and waited. The streets quickly became eerily quiet as shopkeepers began readying their buildings for the storm to hit the next day. Thankfully one shop that remained open throughout the storm was the A-Mart across the road from the hotel, as we had to make frequent trips to restock on beer and pringles.
The morning of the storm I had psyched myself up for a full blown disaster, when I awoke I was expecting to see roofs of buildings flying by my window and water filling the streets. I was quite happy to see that this was not the case but apparently we had not seen the worst of the storm. So later that afternoon all of the ‘Sons of Vietnam’ piled into our hotelroom which had the best balcony view for storm watching, and anticipated that this is where we would be for the next several days.
Originally the typhoon was forecasted to hit land directly over Hue, but thankfully as it approached shore it began to change course and headed further North. That night as we bunkered down we ended getting some pretty heavy rain and strong winds, but it really wasn’t much worse than the storms we encountered for the remainder of our journey. When we woke up the day after the storm had passed it was actually quite sunny and we decided that it was a good a day as any to head off to the next town of Hoi An. We later found out that unlike the Philippines that was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, Vietnam was left relatively unscathed. In fact, more people died during preparation for the storm than from the storm itself.