Hanoi is at its charming best in autumn when the city is garbed in blue sky and a cool breeze blows.
People agree that the year’s best weather in Hanoi is during autumn. The sun is no longer beating down.
You can start the day by watching sunrise at the Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake, a symbol of Hanoi, in the downtown at 6 a.m.
Opposite the lake are Hanoi Post Office (right ) and the Ly Thai To public garden (left), both city landmarks in Hoan Kiem District.
Around the city, people seemingly want to go out and enjoy the weather. You can see them walking, jogging, exercising, and drinking coffee around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Speaking about walking, you can stroll through streets like Phan Dinh Phung and Hoang Dieu in Ba Dinh District, which are famous for their rows of giant old trees and much less traffic.
Phan Dinh Phung is considered “the most romantic street” in Hanoi. Along it are three rows of trees and old villas built during French colonial times. It is also home to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, regconized as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2010.
Autumn is also an occasion for people to wear the ao dai, Vietnam’s national costume, on the streets for photos.
Hong Trang, a local, says: “This is the most beautiful season of the year. Everything from the weather to the scenery makes me want to live slower and enjoy them.
“Autumn is the only time when I do not hesitate to go out and ride around the city on my motorbike to relish the pleasant weather. It is a bit melancholic, true, but autumn in Hanoi is unique and delicate.”
In the alleys of the Old Quarter, people hang the Vietnam flag outside their homes to celebrate the 1010th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi and 66th anniversary of the capital’s Liberation Day.
You can also enjoy the city’s quintessential delicacies during this season. It is easy to find a shop or vendor selling com (green sticky rice flakes) at this time of the year.
One seller said com is most delicious in October because it is then soft and sweet. It is also used to make other popular dishes such as sweet soup and cake.
The fruits of autumn include crispy persimmons. They are as small as a child’s hand with green skin and sweet yellow pulp.
A dish that can warm you in this chilly weather is rib congee made from chopped ribs and shredded pork and has fried flour toppings. It is Hanoians’ favorite snack during autumn and winter.
Vendors on bicycles selling flowers are a ubiquitous sight in autumn, with daisies, heath bells and roses adorning the city with their bright colors.