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Adapting to the climate in Vietnam

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to Vietnam is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of Vietnam?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in Vietnam?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,

Priscilla

Depends whether the wife is in a good mood or not. Sometimes its warm, sometimes its lukewarm, some times its hot and every now and then it's icy.

The changes can occur at any time without warning.

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to Vietnam is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of Vietnam?
If you live on the plains in Vietnam there will be several months every year that are very hot and so humid it feels like you are breathing under water. You sweat, but you don't cool down. Your clothes just get wet. If you live in the mountains expect cool to cold weather for several months each year. Sapa on the Chinese border even gets snow every few years. (see snow pic at http://img.cdn2.vietnamnet.vn/Images/en … 0626-2.jpg)

Hanoi has four seasons, with winter around Christmas-New Year and summer mid-year.  Saigon and the Mekong delta have three: the cool dry from mid-November to mid-January, hot dry from mid-January to mid-May and the wet season from mid-may to mid-November. The Nha Trang wet season is from September until January, with floods most common in November, and summer is from June to August (but it can be hot anytime from March onwards in some years).

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?
Lots of locals and expast get sweat rash and skin problems in summer. Expats can get various illnesses caused by not drinking enough water, which doctors say you should drink 2.5 litres a day in hot weather. On the plains, the locals start to get colds and flu as soon as the temperature drops below 27 Celcius.

In the wet season, don't even think about going out in the rain, unless  you take complete change of clothes with you. No matter what raincoat or umbrella you use, you will still get wet. Do what the locals do, just pull over under any awning and wait half an hour for the rain to stop. Regular flooding in many parts of Vietnam inhibit travel and commuting to work in the wet season. Motorbikes tend to stop when the water is up to the top of the saddle.

What are the pros and cons of the climate in Vietnam?
As in other parts of the world, you get used to the climate where ever you live.  Accept the heat, accept the cold, accept the floods and adapt to them.

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.
It is easiest to adapt if you go to your new place to live when the weather is the best for the year. In Hanoi that is autumn; Nha Trang in September-October and December- January; and the cool-dry season in Saigon.

Enjoy the weather because its a reminder that your alive. Rain means use an umbrella and you get a free motorbike wash from God. Hot means use two fans on full blast or pay for AC. Drink lots of water. Don't  like the wet? Don't like the hot?? Quit your sniveling, you might drown yourself.

eodmatt :

Depends whether (the weather?)

The changes can occur at any time without warning.

Thanks Matt.  I can empathise.

I always prefer weather to a wife.

..the changes are so much more reliable...             

And the weather reminds us we are alive:

..but not quite as vividly...              :idontagree:

vnescape :

Enjoy the weather because its a reminder that your alive. Rain means use an umbrella and you get a free motorbike wash from God. Hot means use two fans on full blast or pay for AC. Drink lots of water. Don't  like the wet? Don't like the hot?? Quit your sniveling, you might drown yourself.

Don't forget ice cold beer for when its hot. I just started making ginger ale by the gallon. It's very refreshing served cold and is only about 4% alcohol (you can make it with less alcohol just by adjusting the sugar content at startup).

Right now in Q9 there are cool breezes almost daily and crazy downpours of rain where the rain comes down like broom handles (different colour though, obviously). However the rain also washes a lot of dust and pollutants out of the air and everything smells fresh and new when the rain stops.

ralphnhatrang :

Saigon and the Mekong delta have three: the cool dry from mid-November to mid-January, hot dry from mid-January to mid-May and the wet season from mid-may to mid-November.

Hmm. Not calling you a liar, sir, but 'hot' and 'cool' are different where I come from! Cool is San Francisco. Hot is San Jose. Adjusting for my adjectives:

"Saigon and the Mekong delta have three: the hot and dry from mid-November to mid-January, very hot and dry from mid-January to mid-May and the very hot and wet season from mid-May to mid-November."

December - January 2016 were relatively pleasant, not all but some days down to humid 27c = 80f. Like Hawaii. If you are outside in the daytime for an hour, you will get hot; in Saigon non-winter months, you will get very hot!

And currently in July in saigon we are having relatively cool weather with rain showers and cool breezes.

Climate condition in Vietnam is not very exception. South is hotter than north. In north, when Hanoi temp. is 4-5 deg C then its 20 deg in HCM. For me all is OK because I love Vietnam and there people.

Not sure I can add much to that which has already been written but for me, it isn't about the temperature, it is the humidity that makes acclimatisation more difficult.

Climate change in Vietnam.  If anyone has lived in Colorado, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco or the desert outside of LA...that is climate change.  I've lived in all these places in the US...temps from as low as -50 degrees F to 130 degrees F.  As one mentioned, San Francisco is a place where you need an overcoat, raincoat, shorts and bathing suit all in the same day.  I've seen snow in the hills of Oakland, California.  And the heat at the Fountain of Youth outside LA is great during the winter months... for the snowbirds.
As to the weather in Vietnam...the heat is much like that of the US during the summer.  Temps of over 105 degrees F with the humidity at 100 percent can be found most any place at times.   Heat and humidity, is difficult for many to deal with.  Drinking plenty of water and not over doing the activities during the high point of the sun...if you are not used to doing such.
I like it in Danang, great beaches and sun.  I like it mostly from the hours 930 am to about 3 pm.  I walk mostly during these hours and enjoy it greatly from 1130 to almost 2 pm.  No one on the beaches, and many are still taking a nooner and you can usually walk the streets much safer during this time frame. 
I for one love the sun...and the heat.  I drink plenty of water when I'm out during the walks and at the pool or beaches.  I'm out in the sun for as many as 6 or 7 hours walking the beach or streets.  I've been to the beaches here after 4 pm only twice in the dozen years I've lived in Vietnam; only once before 7 am.  Far too many individuals on the beach and that is not for me.   I prefer high noon when I can swim more than a couple inches without running into some one. 
In the Northern part of Vietnam, during the winter months, a warm coat or jacket and even gloves if on a motorbike could be used during the evenings.  As to Ho Chi Minh City...I've never had a use for a heavy jacket other than as a rain coat.  Lived in areas, where I've never had to use air conditioners also.  Lots of flooding in both areas. 
Climate change...I'm waiting for the temps to really change around here 'IF' the mini- starts to come back in the next few years...mini-ice age that is.  And also beware of as one pointed out...Vietnamese wives can be a great indicator of 'climate change'.

Living south of Saigon in Lap Vo, march April and May is nothing but HOT. When the Vietnamese family sits' in the shade fanning themselves you know it's hot. So I guess there's no getting use to the heat. I put a ac big tv with cable in the bedroom so that's how I deal with the heat just can't keep them out now. Love the rainy season

Anthony64 :

I like it in Danang, great beaches and sun.  I like it mostly from the hours 930 am to about 3 pm.  I walk mostly during these hours and enjoy it greatly from 1130 to almost 2 pm.  No one on the beache

Yeah, now there is a cultural difference from the west. My first time to Vũng Tàu: beachfront hotel, I wake up early, 6am, and look out the window. Dawn, just enough light to see silhouettes of masses of people standing/walking in the tidal area of the beach. A few swimming. I wonder "Wow, what happened? Beached whale? Marine life event? Religious ceremony?".  Nah. This newb learns later that Vietnamese like the beach that time of day best. No sun, no worries of tanning, nice way to start the day.

And there you go, on topic, another way to adapt to climate.

Viet Nam is located in both a tropical and a temperate zone. It is characterized by strong monsoon influences, has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity. Vietnam's climate in the North, the South and Central Vietnam is different from each other.

North of Vietnam has 4 seasons: Spring (February - April), Summer (April - September), Autumn (September - October) and winter (November - January)

South of Vietnam has 2 seasons: rainy season (April - November) and dry season (December - March). This temperature is high throughout the year.

Central Vietnam: it's very cold in winter and accompanied by much rain. In summer, it's dry and hot

WIth this kind of climate, Vietnam has flood, drought and storm. In the North, in the dead of winter and summer, the number of people becoming sick increases. However, agriculture in Vietnam strongly develop and there are many kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Generally, the weather in Viet Nam is tropical but the weather of each place  depends on each season and each area because of its geography. Therefore, i think if you want to know more detail about weather of destinations in Vietnam, you should search from reliable tourism websites to find out more information.

Nha Trang has the lowest humidity in Vietnam so if the humidity bothers you the most, you might consider Nha Trang.

i have the most trouble getting a cool temp in my room at night as i sleep better. still havent found the right formulae....aircon (nice but way too expensive to run 9 hours a day). window open (ok but get mauled by mosquitos). window open fan on (better and less mosquito bites)...

azurest :

i think if you want to know more detail about weather of destinations in Vietnam, you should search from reliable tourism websites to find out more information.

http://i.imgur.com/1jzdx4w.png
I thought this was a reliable tourism website. My bad!

Ok Expats, off to TripAdvisor, they know their stuff...

http://i.imgur.com/2lisgFO.png
:cool:

Coming from Hawaii, my climactic adaptation to Vietnam has always been negligible.  Southern Vietnam seems slightly warmer than Hawaii where the temperatures top out at about 32C but bulb temperatures are not that different.   Hawaii does have a comfort advantage of breezy weather while southern Vietnam is often calm and muggy.   I experienced worse shock when I moved from the US mainland to Hawaii in January, many years ago.  I thought it was unbearable.  The next January, I was wearing a jacket by day and sleeping with a heavy blanket at night.  My guess is that if someone arrives from the temperate Northern Hemisphere in Winter or southern Australia in Summer, Vietnam is going to seem hot.  If you stick around for a full year, you won't even notice the next January when it gets warm again.

I grew up in Oklahoma and now live in Colorado. I don't like the heat and humidity in Saigon but it's not much different than many parts of the US.

As far as Saigon being dry, it isn't. It's wet 365 days a year.  It's hot 365 days s year. To me,  if it's not snowing, it's not cold.  I think I've been ruined by Colorado weather.  Here I wear short-sleeved shirts 365 days a year.

And now I'm leaving the lot weather in Denver to spend the summer in Saigon. Go figure.

'I always prefer weather to a wife.'

Hadnt heard this one before and it is growing on me
There are weather forecasts aren't there, even radar so one can see whats coming, be prepared for it when it arrives
One can take shelter when needed, relocate to better weather in a new climate in a new
location. If it gets too hot, one can cool things down with airconditioning, when it gets very cold, again the airconditioning
Help me out here, am I on the wrong track?

12 years ago when I first went back to Việt Nam I thought I would be terribly uncomfortable. La Vang in August was my destination  and I knew it would be hot. I had always been miserable in high temperatures and high humidity so I expected to be pretty uncomfortable. That turned out not to be the case, I learned a technique for cooling off a bit when I got overheated. I just stop and sit and stay still as possible back straight and as relaxed as I can get,  breathing shallowly  to keep my chest muscles from moving more than minimally. It takes 5 minutes to cool the body a few degrees. I was never so uncomfortable as I had expected and I think it is because there was no A/C anywhere. In the US if I was hot and sweaty I knew that I need only go through any door on the street and I could be cool and dry. Not so in VN in 2003.  I was not depriving myself of coolness by staying outdoors.  I walked several miles daily, still do, and as time passed I sweat less and needed to carry less water.  I suspect I would be acclimated thoroughly by now did I not spend intervals back in America.

I find that an overhead fan and no mattress allows me to sleep comfortably in the hotter weather in Sài Gòn or in Khánh Hòa. That mattress is an efficient insulator and keeps the body heat in. A sleeping platform with a straw mat and  perforations allows the body heat to escape to be blown away by that overhead fan. I do not like AC. It instantly de-acclimatizes me and makes it much more uncomfortable for a while when I go back outside.

I love the weather here shorts and T shirt everyday. Their are no cons as far as I'm concerned, that's one of the reasons I moved here to get away from the cold winters back home.

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