Hanoi's summer heat really hit the roof and we've been drenched in sweat! The real feel temperature was hitting 48 celcius (humidity close to 100%) and it is absolutely unbearable. There are still ways you can make it an enjoyable adventure around this charming city in the north of Vietnam.
Here is how we still had fun in Hanoi travelling with two young children in summer!
1. Plan your schedule around the temperature
If you are planning to explore the outdoor attractions like the Sword Lake or West Lake, go early in the morning between 7-10am. The heat isn't that intense yet at that time. You can also plan a trip to a mall or indoor attraction during the hottest hours of the day (between 12pm-4pm).
Notable shopping malls to escape the heat while visiting Hanoi:
-Vincom Mega Mall Royal City (Ice skating rink and many BBQ restaurants)
-Vincom Mega Mall Times City (Bowling and Aquarium inside)
-Lotte Centre (Very upscale departmental store)
2. Hydration and breaks keep you alive
Hydrate yourself and take breaks! Heatstroke risks are real in this kind of heat and humidity. We survived by hopping from cafe to cafe between our walks around the city. You won't have a problem finding cafes serving great coffee, tea, juices and beer because they are EVERYWHERE in Hanoi.
(Beer is quite often cheaper than a fancy coffee! A 330ml bottle costs between SGD 1 to 2, USD 0.70 to 1.40)
3. Grab a ride
Walking is healthy and Google maps tell you its only 1.2km away, how bad can it be right? All 4 of us were absolutely exhausted and drenched in our own sweat after 10 minutes into the 1.2km. I love long walks, just not in the extreme summer heat.
If the walking distance is more than 1km, use your Grab/Gojek apps and get a Grab car/Taxi. It was noon time and we wanted to have lunch so we took a Grab car from the hotel to the restaurant. After we've eaten, we took another Grab car to our next destination. Total distance of 3.27km in two cabs costing only 62,000 Dong (S$3.71, US$2.65). This journey was done during the hottest time of the day and it would have been miserable without catching a Grab car.
We arrived at the museum around 310pm and visited all the indoor exhibits before seeing the outdoor ones only around 4pm. (The museum closes around 430pm). It made the experience a lot more pleasant because we catch a comfortable ride at an affordable price.
We were able to learn about the horrors of war and to reflect on the fact that peace is fragile and we must never take it for granted. There's nothing glorious about killing for power and killing to decide who is right. Wars don't determine who is right, they just determine who's left.
4. Be a vampire (just the nocturnal part okay?)
Come out only after the sun sets. Like most asian cities, Hanoi's retail as well as F&B operate till late. Most shops don't close until 930-10pm. Food opens late and beer places operate into the wee hours.
5. Bring and wear protection
There is nothing beautiful about having your skin burnt bright red. Unprotected exposure to harmful UV rays risks hyperpigmentation and skin cancer. Too much harmful UV rays can harm your eyes too. Bring shades, caps/hats, cooling clothes and put on sun protection on your skin. Wear a good pair of sneakers and bring along a poncho in case it pours.
After 8 enjoyable days in Hanoi, we decided it was time to see another part of Vietnam! You can see the first instalment of our Hanoi adventures here if you missed it! We have embarked on an epic journey to a place that's just overwhelmingly beautiful. Please stay tuned!
Lastly, we want to express our thanks to those of you kind souls who have privately messaged us and chat with us about missing our quality handcrafted baby shoes. We are also very thankful for others who have mentioned that you enjoy reading our blog posts. Others have supported our work by shopping our travel inspired products that we are working hard to add on to!
Till the next post....live your life to the fullest, be grateful!
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.
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