Lo and behold! It’s not just exotic and tropical in Vietnam, at least not in the northern hemisphere. Saigon might be sunny and dandy all year, but its northerner sister Hanoi has more seasonal surprises. It can get horribly cold and misty in winter, scorching hot in summer, with some unpredictable months in between. But don’t let Hanoi’s fickle weather get in your way! Don’t be surprised, be prepared!
What? So Hanoi weather is not tropical like the rest of Southeast Asia? Well, technically no. The city has a subtropical climate which basically means that it can get pretty cold during winter. It usually starts from mid December and typically lasts until late February or early March. The average temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius, though it sometimes can go below 10 degrees. It doesn’t sound that bad, especially if you’re from countries that are used to a sub-zero winter. But bear in mind that it is a different type of cold. It’s damp, it’s humid, and it seeps into your bones. On the top of that, most buildings in Hanoi don’t have central heating and are poorly insulated so the cold sort of follows you everywhere around. Be prepared. Make sure that you pack some seriously warm clothes when visiting Hanoi in wintertime.
It’s wet! There’s no better word to describe spring in Hanoi. From February to April, springtime brings light drizzles and grey skiy with air heavy with humidity, while the monsoon starts its heavy downpour in May. Temperature ranges from 15 to 20 degrees Celcius, and the constant drizzleing turns the city’s dress code from winter coats to rain coats. But there’s no need to be gloomed out by the grey, springtime’s damp weather creates superb conditions for the flowers to blossom, so expect to see bright, colourful flowers everywhere around in spring!
Hanoi’s summer lasts from June to August and it can get very, very hot. The average temperature is 32 degrees Celcius, though there have been times when temperatures of more than 40 degrees have been reported. It is humid and sticky, so bring clothes that are light, breathable and sweat-absorbent to beat the heat!
Personally, I consider Fall as the best time to visit Hanoi. Lasting from mid September to the end of November, the weather is comfortable with the average temperature ranging from 20 – 25 degrees Celcius. It is less humid, with typically pleasant breezes and ample sunlight. It is the perfect weather to roam around, without being tortured by the heat or the cold!
What do you think about the weather in Hanoi? Have you visited Hanoi during one particular season? Any tips and trick to get around Hanoi’s unpredictable weather? We would like to hear about it!
Check out our article about the best time to visit Vietnam and, if you already know you want to come to the South, read about the best time to travel to Ho Chi Minh City.