Hanoi- the heart of Vietnam- lies in the North which has a more diverse climate than the rest of the country. The region is in the active region of Asian monsoon resulting in its respective monsoon climate. Throughout the year, there are two types of winds flowing throughout the region. The North-East wind is responsible for the dry, chilly weather meanwhile the hot and humid weather is attributed to the South-West wind. The seasons of spring and autumn walk by briefly between the long winter and summer.
The best time to visit Hanoi would be its Golden Autumn around late August and early October when you can bask in its golden sunlight without being burned. The heat already cools off after a long summer. The precipitation is low so that it is always possible for a nice walk around. The city changes into a more golden shade when its evergreens are changing their leaves. The whole air is filled with the blooming scent of its distinct “milk” flower. The autumn is also the time of the beloved Vietnamese festival – the Middle Autumn festival. Then, Vietnamese celebrates the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. Colorful lanterns lit up the commercial districts. Kids are high with the possibility of toys and dragon dances. It is an equivalent to Christmas to kids. Also, you can taste a wide range of moon cakes and young rice snacks. The nurturing weather also brings more fruits onto fruit stands in Hanoi’s wet markets. To name but a few: Asian pear, papaya, durian, grapefruit and sweet persimmon.
Another good period to visit is late spring to early summer from late March to early May when the drizzling rain stops. The streets get more dried and clean. The warmer weather fuels the abundance of green leaves and flowers. The weather is cool as the heat is still weeks behind. It is a good plan to combine the trip to Hanoi around this time with a trek into Sapa as the weather then at Sapa provides the best and verdant view for any avid trekkers.
The bad time to visit Hanoi would be around the Tet holiday and some week after the holiday as the weather is outcast and rainy. Unless, you want less traffic turbulence which basically is a Hanoi specialty then visit around the Tet holiday with almost empty streets as Hanoi’s immigrant workers have left for their hometowns. If you are a party person, this is also not the good time as the nightlife dies down quite a bit without its young, working-class attendants. The month of June, July and early August is either scorching hot or abundantly rainy.
The time around Christmas is not so bad for trip. Though the sky is a bit gloomy, there are occasionally some sun hours. Also, the chilly breeze will be less exhaustive than the burning heat of the summer.