October 23, 2018
People say: “Hanoi’s weather is changeable just like the mood of Vietnamese women”.
Well, a foreigner who has never experienced the winter in Hanoi may think it’s a joke, yet it cannot be more accurate.
Hanoi’s seasons tend not to follow calendar seasons. Officially it should be winter now in Hanoi because it is almost November. However, the weather is still very mild and even hot. It is not really windy and the temperature feels much more like Autunm. It tends to not be until January, maybe the end of December to 2 weeks into January that the weather starts to feel like winter. That is 6 to 8 weeks later than the calendar season for winter.
Winter in Hanoi tends to be from the months of December to February or two weeks into February. Spring starts from early March until around two weeks into May and Summer from May to the beginning of September.
All seasons in Hanoi tend to happen later than the official calendar seasons. You still get the seasons just at different times than the calendar says. You may ask why don’t they change the official calendar seasons then? Well the thing is Vietnamese people follow traditional lunar calendar months, so it is not that easy to just change it.
IS HANOI’S WINTER COLD?
The answer is YES, IT’S FREEZING COLD someday.
Hanoi’s humidity is high all the year. Hot temperatures on a humid day can feel much hotter than the actual temperature because the body is cooled through evaporation and that action is stifled due to the moisture in the air. Vice versa, cold temperatures with high humidity, also feel colder because having a higher humidity makes our body evaporate less water, and that’s the case of the winter in Hanoi.
The construction of most Vietnamese houses is to suit long and hot summer. 90% of apartments and flats are built of hard concrete. Therefore, it’s pretty difficult to warm up the room, or you need to have a good powered air-conditioner or heater.
In fact, air-conditioners with heating function and heaters in Vietnam are not as good as in the Global North. In Vietnamese people mind, heating equipments are costly and require lots of electricity. Locals prefer choosing small, efficiency electric-blanket (require low electricity) rather than buying large heaters or air-conditioners with heating function to warm up the whole room.
However, for foreigners who prefer warm atmosphere in all area of the room, air-conditioners with good heating function is a must in the apartment. Owners often cut cost by equip only air-conditioner for cooling, because they believe it is not necessary to spend more. As a newcomer to Hanoi, you should always look for a good apartment with good heating equipments to survive the winter.
If you live in Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City or the Southern parts of the country, well then this article is not for you.
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