Hey! I'm going to SE Asia this summer (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore) and I'm not too worried about the wet season, but there is a woman at work (one of those know it all types) who was giving it "have you ever been in a monsoon? Oh the rain's bad. You're not going to enjoy yourself" blah blah blah!
Anyway, I think it'll be fine. I can handle rain. I've been in tropical storms, and countries where there is the usual mad rain mid afternoon everyday when the skies open and the ground gets flooded. But before you even care the sun is back out again. Is this what I can expect? Extreme downfalls, followed by sunshine?
I'm not changing my trip. It's all booked. But I thought I'd ask for your opinions!
You're right about the usual afternoon mad downpour for an hour or two, with the possibility of flooding parts of a city for another couple of hours after that. And yes, sunshine after that if the rain is not in the late afternoon. Except for a few parts of the region where rain can be longer than the usual hour or two, there's no real worry about the monsoon. Remember, the monsoon only hits from one side per season, so if one side is badly affected (e.g. east), the other side (west) would still be hit, but it'll be fine. You'll still get rain (no matter which side you're on) during the peak season, but it's not all bad. Don't worry, just go and enjoy your trip.
It's not all bad, unless you get caught up in the flooding. Although much of the region is hit-and-miss, some areas get cut off.
SEA covers a lot of territory. Within the larger cities, the flooding usually kept under control. Head couple kilometers outside, and it can be a different picture altogether.
Also, the whole of SE Asia doesn't experience a monsoon season all at the same time.
For example, it might be pouring down in Northern Vietnam, but in Ho Chi Minh City it might be glorious. Probably best to check local weather reports nearer the time.