Vietnam is hot.
Really hot. If you’re not native to Florida or the rim of an active volcano, you’re going to sweat here.
We’re going to walk through the five stages of heat tourists commonly experience in Vietnam. My goal here today is to prepare you for a worst-case scenario on your next trip.
Remember, these feelings are totally natural. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed—they’re all part of the grieving process.
Shock & Denial
You feel it as soon as you leave the plane.
Gee whiz, the airport sure is stuffy! Maybe I’ll feel better with some fresh air.
But you don’t feel better with fresh air. There is no fresh air.
Wow, it’s hot outside. Really, really hot. Hey, is the AC in this taxi working? Are you sure? Maybe they’re having a heat wave today.
Nope, that’s no heat wave. It’s just called weather.
What the hell do you mean, my hotel only has two air conditioners? What happened to the rest of them?
You sit down to eat at the first restaurant of your trip. Every second that goes by without a refill of iced tea brings you closer and closer to strangling the entire waitstaff.
I don’t KNOW why we sat so close to the door, honey! YOU’RE the one who wanted to watch all those morons being cooked alive on the street! WHERE IS MY GOD DAMN WATER!
If only I’d listened to my friends. I should have gone to Quebec like mom told me. Maybe…maybe if I promise to be a better person, the weather will improve.
Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. It’s Vietnam, baby.
Hey, hey fella. Sorry I choked you a little bit there. I was just really hot and you were taking too long with that tea. See? See, I’m trying!
Guilt & Depression
You stay in your hotel for a full three days. You don’t eat anything except ice. Your AC is turned down as low as possible, all the curtains are closed and the lights are off. Curled into the fetal position, you sob into your phone and desperately bid your friends and family goodbye.
I will die here.
Deep breath. I can do this. OK, it’s still really hot. But…that’s alright. We’re going to be just fine.
You emerge from your cave slathered in sunblock. Just remember—everybody else is hot too. Even the locals. All you have to do is stop every 15 minutes for a smoothie or a coconut, and maybe—just maybe—you won’t melt into a puddle.
You’re gonna make it.
My name is Hank, and I’ve been hot for 5 days. I don’t know when I’ll feel normal again, but darn it, I’m not going to let heat take control of my life.