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What's the weather actually like in Ha Giang

Well, there I was in Dubai, now decided I would be heading to Vietnam. I didn't need these hoodies and sweaters I'd packed for Spain's winter - in the bin they go! I can only describe my first winter in Ha Giang as WTAF!!! Cold like England, but somehow worse, despite higher temperatures. Ha Giang city gets down to lows of about 10c - but it feels incredibly cold, far far colder than 10c would back home, in fact anything sub 15c feels pretty cold. There's no central heating, insulation, indoor fires and being dressed in flip flops and shorts for 10 months, winter really hits with a shock!


There's 4 seasons.. the same timings as Europe...


Spring is short and runs through March and April. These are funny months when it can be be chilly or even hot... its typically dry.. although there will be some rain around. Visibility can also be hit and miss, with morning or even day long fog and mist.


Summer is long and runs from May to September. It gets very very hot with 'Real Feel' temperatures in the low 50c. It's also rainy season. The vast majority of rain falls at night after a very hot day. The sun shines bright and very strong - visibility is usually excellent.


Autumn again is short, running through October and November. It's still relatively hot but the air is considerably cooler than the summer period. Nights and early mornings are pleasant comfortable T shirt temperatures. Its also dry season...Visibility is again typically very good. It's no coincidence that Autumn is high season for Ha Giang.


Winter starts anytime from early to late December... running through Jan and Feb. The air is noticeably cold and wet. It gets incredibly cold, substantially colder feeling than what any thermometer or forecast might say. 10c feels extremely cold here as humidity is still around 80%. Mountainous locations on the loop regularly get to sub-zero figures. Ice and frost is common. Visibility overall tends to be poor, however there are days where perfect blue skies and sun will welcome you... but it's luck.


The weather/season also affects the views/landscapes.......


As with everywhere, Spring is the season of new life.... young rice is plenty and everywhere looks richer and greener. Planting is well underway and activity levels in the fields and mountains are high. Everyone and everything comes out from their winter hideaways and life starts again.


The summer months are the show-stopper... rice is in full bloom at various stages of ripeness and the whole province is covered in carpets of every shade of green. Rivers and waterfalls are full, deliciously refreshing and oh so welcoming. The heat keeps a lot of people away, particularly domestic tourists who prefer to travel in winter months but it is without doubt the best period to experience the full vibrancy of the landscapes.


Autumn is harvest, yellowed fields of rice and various crops being picked but as we move through November... there's not much left, trees begin to shed their leaves, rivers and falls scale back their flows and the landscape starts to take on its winter emptiness.


Various flowers  and blossoms  are only visible during winter which goes someway to making up for the less than vibrant general landscape. Nothing really grows in winter and what are generally epic views can look a little average in comparison to the summer months. Some people also love the appeal of winter, the mist and fog adds a certain moody magic to the scenery and everyone loves a campfire of an evening.


One thing many fear is the rainy season  You should NOT! Its so very hot it really doesn't matter if you get wet... you'll be bone dry 15mins later. Days of constant rain are extremely rare... short, very heavy downpours are far more common.


Oh and every single weather app I've ever used is absolutely terrible.... perhaps reasonably accurate for the next 24 hours only. If you are checking, look at areas such as Dong Van and Meo Vac instead of Ha Giang but honestly take everything with a good

pinch of salt!




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