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northern winters

Melbourne
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northern winters

Hi,

I am just pondering weather in North Vietnam during December and January. Maximums around HANOI average about 21 degrees celsius. Which is pretty reasonable.

However, is it generally persistently foggy at that time of year or do the fogs lift (like in Melbourne!)?

We are thinking of doing a trip up to Ba Be National Park and surrounds where it assume it will be colder.

The questions is, how cold and how persistent is the foggy?

Can someone local to Hanoi comment on my expectations.

Thanks again,

Simon

(Flying into Vietnam December 22nd 2008 - January 19th....woohooo!)

Melbourne
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1. Re: northern winters

Oops... didn't proof read the above! : -)

Hell, Norway
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2. Re: northern winters

Was in Hanoi in early February. Very misty all the time but not a fog. While I was there the temperature was around 7C. VERY cold.

Melbourne
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3. Re: northern winters

Was it 7C all day or was that the minimum?

Any other comments?

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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4. Re: northern winters

We were in Hanoi, Sa Pa and Ha Long Bay in mid to late January this year. Hanoi wasn't too bad, only a couple of cold days, but Sa Pa and Ha Long Bay were freezing. Can't tell you the temp but we were wearing thermal vests and leggings, shirts, pants, polar fleece jackets and I had a polar fleece hat and gloves and a stole folded up into a scarf. It was so foggy in Sa Pa most of the day you could barely see the other side of the road, and Ha Long Bay was also fairly foggy for much of the day. We enjoyed ourselves despite the cold and fog. Some hardy souls even went swimming at Ha Long Bay, though the concensus was that they were insane :-)

Melbourne
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5. Re: northern winters

Thank yu very much for the detailed response. Did you still enjoy the Sa Pa experience or 'next time' would you spend your time elsewhere?

The problem with the cold conditions is that you then have to carry extra clothing.

Can anyone add to this story?

Simon

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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6. Re: northern winters

The thermals and jumpers didn't take up that much room so it wasn't too bad. We loved Sa Pa and only regretted we didn't get to see more. We did get a clear afternoon when we went walking to Cat Cat village and the falls. We met others who had been in Sa Pa a few days before us and they said that while it was cold, there was no fog, so you could get lucky. We're planning to go back next year in clearer weather.

Hell, Norway
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7. Re: northern winters

You buy silk wraps and sleeping bags for a couple of dollars, and they do keep you warm on those cold nights. I was there in February for 9 days and it was around 7C during the day the whole time.

Inverell, Australia
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8. Re: northern winters

Hi Simon,

I suspect my family is the insane lot that YorkFoodie mentioned - Hi Yorkie. :-)

Halong Bay Dec 31 was cool - jeans, t shirt and light jacket on occasion. But for kayaking it was fine.

And husband and kids enjoyed the swim as well. Pleased to hop out and have a warm shower but no problems in the water.

Sa Pa was cold - jeans, and three layers (singlet, t shirt, long sleeve shirt or light jacket). We didn't have specific cold weather gear and the days were manageable because you are moving around. Hotel was freezing.

We had clear skies while we were there in early Jan.

Hanoi was only a little cool. Long shorts or three quarter pants were fine most days, but a light jacket was useful, as well as a pair of jeans.

It will be great!

Search

Melbourne
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9. Re: northern winters

Thanks! - Now i have to go back and read all of your trip reports - which are very informative. This 'researching Vietnam' is addictive.

Simon

Seoul, South Korea
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10. Re: northern winters

Hi,

This year it was very cold around northern Vietnam. Local people say it was the coldest winter in 20-30 years.

I am from Korea so I am kind of used to cold weather, but it was really cold to me too. I think the main reason is because houses here are not well insulated and generally have no heating system. Also, winter in Vietnam is quite humid, so it feels a lot colder than the actual temp.

In terms of foggy weather, it is not very foggy, but rather cloudy around whole winter. I think I could only see sunshine only couple of days during winter.

So if this winter gets back to average, I think it will be great for traveling but if like last year, you need to prepare more for cold.