Hanoi and Ha Long Bay - Feb 2013 - Tet, weather, tours, clothing - HELP!
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Dec 19, 2012 1:31 AM Last Post By: HoangHuyDo
Aug 23, 2012 3:34 PM
I have read many forums and I am receiving a lot of mixed opinions, has anybody been to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay during tet, or in Jan/Feb that can advise on the below? Our flights are booked already, I would just like to be prepared!
Hanoi - Lots of mixed reviews here. Websites say the temp is 10c to 15c. I am from England and so this to me is warm! However I do understand the atmosphere is moist and so it may feel colder. Is there any need to wear coats, scarfs, gloves as I have read on some forums? Or will a jacket/cardigan be ok? If we don't take warm enough clothes, are they expensive to buy out there?
Ha Long Bay - Again I am reading lots of mixed reviews. Some say its better, its quieter, its more atmospheric, the only downside is its too cold to kayak. Others say not to even bother as visibility is so poor. The whole reason we are going to northern Vietnam is to see Ha Long Bay, so I am just wondering if its as bad as some say.
Sapa - Too cold? Can you visit Sapa on a tour without trekking?
Again, mixed reviews. I am reading some forums that say Hanoi is like a ghost town, and most shops are shut. Then other forums say there are fire work displays, markets selling lots of local cuisine and crafts, dragon shows, and anything touristy i.e hotels, tours, bars are business as usual. Also, will Tet affect our trip to Ha Long Bay?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you...
Aug 23, 2012 6:15 PM
Wow, you really are from England, aren't you?
Hanoi is in the tropic, which means it can get quite warm during the day. Your body will react by sweating, the idea being to cool you off via evaporative cooling. Sadly, the higher the humidity (the "moister" the air), the less effective evaporative cooling is. Americans say, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." You haven't been really miserable until you've been hot in 100% humidity.
Once in a while you might need a jacket, but I've never even heard of anyone needing scarfs or gloves in low-lying parts of Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay is beautiful. The water is cold, but on land and in a boat it will be quite pleasant.
Sapa can get quite cold. Still not usually scarfs-and-gloves cold but definitely sweater-weather ("jumper-weather" in the UK?)
Sure, you can easily hire a guy to scoot you around on a little motorbike.
Aug 23, 2012 8:40 PM
2Hanoi can be quite chilly in Feb. I am from Canada, so I know what cold is! That's why I wasn't expecting it to be uncomfortable - I was so wrong! I left my fleece at home and was soon wishing I'd brought it along. So yes, you may need a jacket, but gloves and scarves? No. I was there at the beginning of Feb last year, until the end of March. By the middle of Feb, it was starting to warm up, but then got very humid. In Hai Phong, in my wife's parents' house, the condensation was running down the walls!
Never been to Ha Long in the off-season, but it's so over-touristed these days, and judging by the number of tourists I saw in Hanoi, some of whom must have been doing the usual routine, I'd say it wouldn't be too much better in Feb than any other time. However, I hope you are pleasantly surprised.
Of course you can visit Sapa without trekking. Just take the overnight train, and enjoy walking around. Expect to get mobbed by Hmong girls, selling clothes, jewellery, etc.! Walk around the countryside outside the town; it's beautiful.
I will be in Hanoi for Tet myself, first time, in 2013. From what my wife tells me, it's anything but a ghost town! Accomodation will be booked months in advance, so be prepared. And yes, it may affect your travel plans.
Sep 6, 2012 7:52 AM
Dec 19, 2012 1:31 AM
4In Hanoi, at that time maybe the weather is warmer, it's small rain. There is no much people on the street.
Sapa is really cold :D. Maybe the temperature is 5 -10 oC.
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