When we first moved to Hanoi, it was hot. Like, hot hot. I think in that first month we averaged in the high 30s (celsius). Even coming from Korea, where it can get hotter and more humid than a manky monkey’s armpit, it was hot. But it didn’t take long to acclimatise to it and we learned how to be comfortable in Hanoi without running the AC 24 hours a day. It got hot, and stayed that way until late September. At which time, it got gorgeous. High 20s, low 30s, it was amazing. Then, winter came.
I had read that “winter” here could be very cold. I could understand that because of the humidity, the cold would feel colder than it would in drier climates. But seriously. “Cold” here was still double-digits. So even though I had read that it could get “cold” here, I confidently ditched most of my winter clothes before I left Korea. I didn’t have the space for them in my overloaded bag anyway.
It did get cold. 10 degrees here was cold. Shivery, not wanting to leave the bed cold. But I feel like it wasn’t as bad as people online make it out to be. It just was so much colder than what we had been experiencing so it took time to get used to the change.
It feels a lot colder, I believe, because homes here are designed to release heat, not retain it. Although we made it through this year without a heater, I will buy one before next winter. It would take it from barely tolerable to comfortable. We didn’t buy one this year because a) money and b) by the time it got cold enough to want one, we figured that we were already too late to get one and make real use of it. Surely warmer weather was always just around the corner.
It was also bloody cold when on the motorbike. I was so grateful that I kept my leather jacket! I wore that, leggings under my jeans, and a scarf (not a winter scarf, just a scarf) and I was okay. I will be sure to get gloves next year though, as my hands were very cold, especially at night if the air was particularly damp.
I did buy slippers this winter, and I was happy to have them. That and a couch blanket made the evenings a lot more comfortable. I may invest this year in a couple of nice warm jumpers to wear as I currently only own one hoodie, and I’m a big believer in being cozy.
Other than that though, winter was tolerable. We did have some warmer weather in December (25c on Christmas, for example), and the longest periods of cold were over January and February. It wouldn’t be a time of year I would recommend for folks to visit, but I’ll still take winter in Hanoi over Canada or England any day.