Hanoi city is one of the most peaceful capitals in the world. It is also recommended as a favorite place to visit all year round in Vietnam, its own seasonal charm and beauty. When traveling to Hanoi in December, it is noticeable that the weather is marked by low temperature, dry air, and piercing cold wind. Here below is a quick guide to visit Hanoi in the last month of the year.
I - How is the weather in Hanoi in December?
Enjoy pedestrian coffee in winter - Source: Kenh14
In December, Hanoi is in the middle of winter and the climate is strongly influenced by Northeast wind blowing from mainland China, so the temperature falls down remarkably. Cold, even bitter cold, small sudden rains, and dense mist are the main characteristics of Hanoi weather in December.
1 - Temperature in Hanoi in December
The average temperature in December ranges from 15.6°C - 22°C (it sometimes drops to below 10°C), which is relatively low compared to the annual temperature of 23.6°C. In particular, the temperature usually drops dramatically at night and in the early morning, along with fog and hoarfrost causing the bitterly cold feeling, making the skin parts uncovered feel sore. To avoid drizzles, you should regularly check the weather of Hanoi in December and keep warm when going out.
2 - Humidity & precipitation of december in Hanoi
Summer rain - Source: Mike Kotsch
Due to the influence of the cold dry wind, the humidity decreases to 70%, which makes the weather quite pleasant but also easily causes many skin or respiratory diseases.
The amount of rainfall and the number of rainy days are also quite low during December, with only about 5 days of rain and average precipitation of the whole month is only 15 - 20mm. Even when it rains, it is usually light or drizzle, which does not make the streets wet nor last long. In general, the Hanoi weather in December is dry & cold, making this month is one of the best time to visit Hanoi for taking part in more outdoor activities such as sightseeing at famous attractions, cycling around city lakes, and motorbike riding. Some vespa city tours or to sub-urban areas are highly recommended, bringing you exciting experiences with reasonable prices.
II - Top 3 best things to do in Hanoi in December
1 - Immersing in the season of rapeseed flower
The weather in December in Hanoi is dry and cold, so the scenery of Hanoi this time is not so lively when most of the trees lose their old leaves. However, you can go to the sub-urban of Hanoi to visit the immense yellow rapeseed flower fields, particularly along the Red River. They are great places for peaceful moments, making camping and taking pictures there the best things to do in Hanoi in December. To admire the rapeseed flower blooming, you can check out some of the addresses below:
- Yen Vien rapeseed garden: Yen Vien commune, Gia Lam district, about 16km from Hanoi city center.
- Tay Tuu flower village: Tay Tuu ward, Bac Tu Liem district, about 18km from the Hanoi center.
- Trau Quy rapeseed garden: Agriculture Academy 1, Trau Quy town, Gia Lam district of Hanoi, 17km from the city center.
Check out top places to visit in Hanoi in December - Source: Kenh14
To get the most beautiful photos when the fields are not too crowded, you should go to the gardens in the early morning. Just spend 10,000 VND ($0.4), you can freely sightsee and take pictures in the middle of the rapeseed fields stretching under the immense blue sky. With the sweet, soothing floral scent that brings a sense of idyllic and refreshing, this place has a bold beauty of the countryside in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city. Although this is not a luxurious flower, when immersed in the garden of rapeseed flowers, everyone would love its strange and fresh beauty.
2 - Strolling the streets of Hanoi
Visiting Hanoi in December, you can see all the streets of the city, especially Hang Ma street, are beautifully covered by Christmas decorations. The commercial centers, entertainment areas, churches and chapels of the city are all brightly and colorfully decorated, notably the Catholic ones. In particular, the closer to Christmas Eve, the more splendid St Joseph's Cathedral becomes, which makes it a destination not to be missed visiting in December in Hanoi. Large pine trees, Santa Claus, reindeer carriage, and shimmering lights will create a beautiful background for you to take super pretty check-in photos.
Besides that, if you come on the last days of the year, joining the countdown party is one of the interesting things to do in Hanoi in December. The best places for having a great night out are the Hanoi Old Quarter, the pedestrian street around Hoan Kiem lake and the walking space near the West lake. You can take a leisurely walk to visit the ancient houses, buy some souvenirs for your loved ones or visit famous eateries selling the hot specialties. The dynamic atmosphere of the streets of Hanoi will last for several weeks because the Lunar New Year of Vietnam comes soon after.
3 - Top activities in Hanoi in December: enjoying the local cuisine
A bowl of plain rice flan - Source: Kenh14
For international tourists, Vietnamese cuisine is one of the main reasons to visit Vietnam. And Hanoi is considered as a food paradise in Vietnam with countless dishes to try. Enjoying hot dishes such as hot pot, noodles soup in cool weather is one of the most exciting things to do in Hanoi in December. Some typical dishes standing in the favorite list of Hanoians:
Fried shrimp cake
Hanoi West lake is one of the best places to visit in Hanoi in December. Aside from sightseeing, you should not miss trying “fried shrimp cake” - a typical Hanoi food inspired by the locals in the past. As its name suggests, the firm meat of shrimp are the main ingredients of the dish, covered by flour and fried in oil to create a golden crispy crust. When eating, fried shrimp cake is served with fresh veggies, dipped in a special sweet and sour sauce. Along Thanh Nien street, and around the lake, there are lots of places to enjoy this dish, which is very cheap with the cost of only about $2/piece.
Grilled foods - best things to eat in December in Hanoi
Grilled goods such as sweet potato and corn are extremely popular in Hanoi in December. The roasted corn kernels are golden, supple, fragrant with the smell of smoke, and the baked potatoes are soft and sweet, which will surely make you mesmerized. You can easily find the vendors selling grilled goods at every street’s corner or small alleys in Hanoi, with the price of only about 10,000 - 15,000 VND ($0.4 - 0.65).
Hot Banh Duc (plain rice flan)
Enjoying a bowl of plain rice flan in cold weather is one of the most amazing things to do in Hanoi in December. The fatty taste of pork, the aroma of cilantro, fried onion, and rice flour soup dipped in sweet fish sauce is the best dish to warm up your stomach. The price of a bowl of “Banh Duc” is only from 15,000 to 30,000 VND/bowl ($0.6 - 1.3), very cheap but can bring warmth in the freezing last days of winter.
Having a cup of hot egg coffee and watching the surroundings on a winter day of Hanoi in December will be the most peaceful moments besides the exciting activities. Paying about 50,000 - 80,000 VND ($2.15 - 3.5) for a cup, you can immerse yourself in the strong aroma of coffee, the sweet, fatty taste of eggs with milk, and feel the warmth spreading to each part of the body. This is an extremely suitable dish for those who like to drink coffee but are afraid of the bitter taste, especially women.
Traveling to Hanoi in December, you will be able to admire a lot of attractive landscapes and colorful flowers, and enjoy delicious specialties. Remember to dress warmly so you can get the most out of your trip, participating in festivals and street events in comfort. Hopefully, with the mentioned suggestions, tourists will have a wonderful journey in December in Hanoi as well as at other times of the year.