Climate Averages in Hanoi in May
The monsoonal, hot summer season officially commences in May as temperatures increase significantly to 77-87°F (25-30.6°C) and heavy rainfall becomes more frequent. Hanoi receives 5.3 hours of direct sunlight during the month of May, representing 40% of the average 13.1 hours of daylight. At the beginning of the month, hot temperatures begin at 2 pm and last until 5 pm, while temperatures remain hot from 11 am to 8 pm by the end of the month. The 77% humidity adds to the May heat.
Compared to April, the amount of rainfall received doubles to reach a total of 188.5 mm over the course of 14.2 rainfall days. Heavy rainfall is unpredictable and can occur at any time of the day, although the duration of these showers is much shorter compared to the upcoming summer months. Rainfall continues to increase from the beginning to the end of May.
Things To Do in Hanoi in May
Although there are no major festivals taking place in Hanoi during the month of May, the Vietnamese celebrate International Labor Day or May Day on May 1, which is often combined with Reunification Day on April 30 to give workers an extended break. Families celebrate the public holiday by spending time together, picnicking, and taking advantage of the sales offered at local shops.
On May 19, the Vietnamese also celebrate the birthday of former Vietnam President Ho Chi Minh, who was responsible for leading the Vietnamese nation to independence and freedom. Residents celebrate this public holiday through photo contests and documentary exhibitions about the former president.
Vietnamese Buddhists celebrate Phat Dan, otherwise known as Buddha’s birthday, on the eight day of the fourth lunar month. The festival is celebrated in temples, pagodas and other places of worship across Vietnam where incense is burned, gifts are placed in front of shrines, and monks lead calls of prayer.
Tips for Visiting Hanoi in May
With May’s warm temperatures, high humidity, and heavy rainfall, it is best to wear light, airy clothes when visiting Hanoi to remain comfortable. It is also recommended that you have rain gear on hand as showers are unpredictable and more frequent compared to April.
Hanoi can become extremely crowded at the beginning of the month due to International Labor Day as many families from across the country plan to visit Vietnam’s capital city. Many businesses in Hanoi will be closed, so it is best to avoid visiting during this time.
As May is typically the off-season for tourists, this may be a good time to visit Hanoi as store and restaurant prices will be lower.