I - Hanoi weather in December
1 - Climate
In December, Hanoi steps into the middle of winter and is strongly influenced by cold wind blowing from the Northeast, so the temperature as well as the humidity are very low. The weather is usually cold, even bitter cold. Additionally, the fog sometimes appears in the early morning or at night, which increases the cold of the winter in Hanoi.
However, the feeling of cold usually becomes a challenge for visitors coming from tropical countries. For the tourists living in the Americas and Northern Europe, the winter of Hanoi is quite comfortable. Therefore, depending on you, you should prepare yourself with the most suitable outfits, and traveling experiences.
2 - Temperature
The average temperature in Hanoi in December ranges from 15.6oC to 22oC. This level is relatively low compared to the annual temperature of 23.6oC. In particular, the temperature usually drops lower at night and in early morning, which may lead to frost and fog. Going outside under the foggy weather, you can feel the much colder weather and more severe climate, which will affect your health badly.
Therefore, it is a good idea that tourists should stay at your accomodation in the early morning and late night. Sometimes you have to go out, in which case, you should pay attention to prepare necessary stuff such as gloves, hats, socks, towels, earplugs and warm clothes. Moreover, a cup of hot ginger tea is also good for you.
3 - Humidity
Due to the influence of the cold air mass coming from the continent and following the Northeast direction, the humidity in the air also decreases to 81.3%. The highest humidity level in the year falls in April, which is 89.4%. The low humidity can cause dry, chapped and flaky skin. To solve this issue, you can supplement moisture by drinking lots of water and using moisturizers for your skin.
Source: Mike Kotsch
4 - Precipitation
The amount of rainfall and the number of rainy days in Hanoi in December are quite low. (only about 5 days). The precipitation of the whole month is only 20mm. The number of sunny hours is 124 hours.
In general, the weather is dry which makes it suitable for outdoor activities. You can choose the form of sightseeing, or walking to both keep the body warm and bring interesting experiences.
II - Landscape and activities in Hanoi in December
1 - The season of Rapeseed flower
The weather is dry and cold, so the scenery of Hanoi at this time is not vibrant. Trees on streets lose their old leaves, leaving only spindly branches in the cold wind. However, there is a kind of flower that overcomes this harsh weather, blooms beautifully, and "dyeing" the whole field with yellow flowers. The vibrant yellow rapeseed fields blooming along the Red River are always an ideal place for tourists inside and outside Vietnam. Travelers can visit some of the following places to enjoy the flowers and take photos.
- Yen Vien rapeseed garden: Yen Vien, Gia Lam, Hanoi (16km from the city center, about 30 minutes by scooter).
- Tay Tuu flower village: Tay Tuu, Tu Liem, Hanoi (18km from the city center, about 35 minutes by scooter)
- Trau Quy rapeseed garden: Agriculture Academy 1, Trau Quy, Gia Lam, Hanoi. (17km from the city center, about 35 minutes by scooter).
Recently, most of the rapeseed gardens are not professional tourist sites but agricultural areas of indigenous people. Therefore, it is forbidden to pick flowers and break branches. To get the most beautiful photos, you should go to the garden in the early morning.
2 - Hanoi streets
Christmas Day falls in December; therefore, on these days, on the streets of Hanoi, the Christmas atmosphere spreads fully in malls, shops, and supermarkets in Hanoi with familiar images of Christmas trees, and colorful light. At the same time, it is also the transition time between the old and the new year according to the Solar calendar. Accordingly, you will have a chance to join the Countdown festival that often takes place in Hanoi (at the night of December 30) at some center places such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, Truc Bach Lake,...This is a special music festival to welcome a New Year.
It can be said that coming to Hanoi in December is one of the most ideal times for you to experience the biggest street festivals of the year. You can also consider some noticeable destinations such as St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hang Ma Street, Sword Lake, and so on.
3 - Hanoi cuisine
For international tourists, Vietnamese cuisine always brings amazing experiences. It may lie in processing steps, ingredients or the process of enjoyment. Coming to Hanoi in the cold winter days of December, you must try some typical dishes standing in the favorite list of Hanoians:
Banh duc (plain rice flan)
In the cold winter afternoon of Hanoi, sitting in a pavement stall, ordering a bowl of hot “banh duc'' is the awesome idea. The fatty taste of pork, the aroma of cilantro, onion, and dough will satisfy every customer. The price of a bowl of “banh duc” is only from 15,000 to 30,000 VND / bowl (~ $0.64 - 1.29 $)
Grilled sweet potato and grilled corn
On winter evenings, around the streets or small alleys of Hanoi, you can easily find and buy a baked corn and sweet potato at the price of 10,000-15,000 VND (~ 0, 43 - 0.64 $). In particular, instead of using electric ovens as many tourists mistakenly imagine, this dish will be baked in about 45 - 60 minutes in charcoal stoves. Therefore, not only the natural sweet taste of corn and sweet potato are preserved but their flavor also becomes more attractive.
A cup of hot egg coffee and watching the scenery of Sword Lake on a winter day must be one of your unforgettable experiences. Egg coffee is made from two main ingredients, coffee and egg. However, it has no fishy taste. The egg yolk even adds a natural fatty flavor to the coffee. It usually takes about 50,000 - 80,000 VND (~ 2.15 - 3.44 $) to enjoy a cup of egg coffee.
Hopefully, with the mentioned suggestions, tourists will have a wonderful journey to Hanoi in December as well as at other times of the year.