January is the last month of winter in Hanoi, but the temperature drops quite deeply due to the influence of the northeast monsoon (from Central Asia and mainland of China to Vietnam). Therefore, there may be prolonged severe cold conditions, negatively affecting the daily life of people. The gap between day and night temperature is about 6°C, the coldest time falls late at night & early in the morning, accompanied by dense fog that increases air pollution and reduces visibility.
I - Overview of Hanoi in January weather and climate
1 - Humidity
Due to the influence of the cold northeast wind, the humidity in the capital at this time is always less than 80%, while the annual average humidity is 82%. The humidity in the air is low and the wind blows often, which can lead to dry skin. If you visit Hanoi in January, remember to pack some moisturizers and to drink more water.
2 - Temperature
The average temperature in Hanoi in January fluctuates between 14.3°C - 19.7°C, while the average annual temperature is about 23.6°C. Winter is not such a good time for wandering along the beaches, that is the reason why planning a trip to Hanoi is a great idea for cultural tourism and exploring beautiful corners in Hanoi. Tips for traveling:
You should pay attention to the northeast monsoon rain. The cold shouldn't be a problem, but the rain can make you feel unexpectedly numb as the temperature suddenly drops below 10°C. Along with low temperatures in Hanoi in January, there are cold winds and dense fog. Therefore, to have an fulfilling trip, you need to ensure good health and regularly pay attention to the daily weather forecasts to be thoroughly prepared when going out or taking part in outdoor activities.
You should also actively prepare items to keep warm such as clothes, shoes, towels, wool hats,... A compact heat-retaining sticker is also very useful when it is necessary to warm up the body fast. Tourist activities such as visiting museums & cultural sites, shopping, enjoying Hanoi food,... are the best things to do in Hanoi in January.
- You may concer: Hanoi weather all year round
3 - Precipitation
The number of sunshine hours in this month is relatively low with only about 47 hours, while the rainfall in Hanoi in January is at low of only about 18mm. Most of the time the weather is dry and cloudy. Sometimes drizzle appears because January is also transitional time between winter and spring. Bringing an umbrella is enough for the January weather in Hanoi.
II - Admiring the beauties of Hanoi in January
1 - Bustling streets life
Although the weather in January is a bit more extreme than at other months of the year, traffic is still busy throughout Hanoi's streets. Because this is the end of the year, people prepare to welcome the new year according to the Vietnamese traditional calendar with activities of purchasing necessary items, home decoration to welcome the Lunar New Year. New year atmosphere and commercial activities make Hanoi's streets even more vibrant and bustling.
On the central streets in January in Hanoi, you can easily see colorful images of red peach blossoms, kumquats, pottery products, and items for Tet decorations. At ancient temples or pagodas, you can experience the Tet-welcoming atmosphere of the people going to pagodas to pray for peace. On December 23th of the lunar calendar, local people often clear the kitchen and buy goldfish (carp) for preparing the farewell ceremony to worship the Gods of Kitchen. It is believed that the Gods of Kitchen (Mr.Cong and Mr.Tao) would ride the carp to fly back to heaven to report all things happening in the owner’s house to the God of heaven. The streets are also more beautifully decorated with shimmering lights combined with the image of red and yellow flags, fresh flowers,...making a vibrant Tet’s atmosphere everywhere.
- Related topic: How is New Year in Hanoi
2 - Strolling around Hanoi Old Quarter - best things to do in Hanoi in January
To those who want to immerse in the cheerful atmosphere of traditional Vietnamese New Year and discover traditional cultural beauties, Hanoi Old Quarter is definitely a must-visit place.
Hang Luoc flower market (a unique hundred-year market that opens once a year for 2 weeks before Tet) is a nice place for admiring a wide range of Tet’s flowers and plants such as peach blossom, kumquat tree, colorful flowers. Hang Ma street which is famous for its delightful color with Tet’s decorated items is the most impressive space to explore.
What to do in Hanoi in January? - Source: Vnexpress
Stretching along those streets are mostly the red color of lanterns, home decorated things, flowers.. which are believed to bring luck, health and happiness for a new year.
Dong Xuan Market: Being known as one of the largest wholesale markets in Hanoi, at the pre-Tet time, Dong Xuan Market located in the will be fully filled with bright red decorated items such as lanterns, bonsai hangers, red envelopes, toys and clothes… Coming here to try local dishes, go shopping and savor the cultural atmosphere is really a nice cultural experience.
3 - West Lake
When visiting Hanoi in January, you should not miss taking a walk around the West Lake. Coming here for sightseeing, enjoying crunchy & flavorful shrimp cakes - a specialty of local people here, or immersing in the cold air with an ice cream stick is an interesting experience. Along the road surrounding West Lake, you can visit Van Nien pagoda, Quan Thanh temple and Tran Quoc pagoda for enhancing your experience about local culture and worshiping ancient rituals.
You will have more interesting cultural experiences when visiting Hanoi in January and exploring Vietnamese Lunar New Year atmosphere. For a complete trip with nice memories, you need some tips on travel information. On the 1st - 2nd day of the new year, most of the business activities for traveling, transferring and dining in Hanoi will be closed temporarily, therefore, room and other tourist services should be booked a few weeks in advance.