Hanoi in winter

Early November, when the weather gets chilly, the sunset goes out faster, and the daisies begin to bloom, locals know a new season is coming.

These days, while wandering the crowded streets, getting a glimpse of vendors selling daisies,  we knew one thing for sure: Hanoi has entered winter. Known as the unique "winter leopard" flower of Ha Thanh land, the nightingale brings a pure and pure beauty and blooms only for about two weeks in November. It seems that this year winter comes early; a few monsoons come from the end of October, making people change their closet a bit earlier.

These days, chrysanthemums and florists are also filled with heather white and pink-purple colors, attracting many buyers. If the chrysanthemums at the beginning of the season are about 50,000 - 100,000 VND/bundle, the small and more giant heathers cost about 30,000 VND/bundle.

Daisy not only "walks" the street on flower shops but also appears in many cafes, dotted with winter colors for spaces from ancient to modern. Photo: Trung Nghia

Step up the old collective stairs to enter Dinh, an ancient town cafe by the Hoan Kiem Lake, empty on weekends but indispensable for a vase of daisies in a tight corner. Like many cafes in Hanoi, Dinh never lacks flowers in every season. If summer is lotus, autumn is pink; multi-colored chrysanthemums are always at the beginning of winter.

This year's winter season begins on November 8; Hanoi is gradually putting on darker colors, the sky slowly takes on a characteristic gray color, and the trees show signs of withering.

This winter in the capital began with mild cold spells accompanied by rain but still a few days of sudden sunshine, not as sweltering as the summer days nor as strong as the milky floral scent of autumn.

Each cold spell at the beginning of the season and the dry, sunny days mixed in the cool breeze easily make people nostalgic, like musician Do Bao: "My Hanoi has cold winters/The streets are empty in the mist."

Taking advantage of the times when the sun is little up and after many months of separation, the poetic streets like Phan Dinh Phung, around Sword Lake, West Lake... have become a dating and photography spot for young people.

Winter comes, the afternoon falls on West Lake faster, the sunsets become less and turn off early at about 5 pm. But to welcome the east wind in Hanoi, everyone must have taken a car ride around the lake to enjoy a little sunshine at the end of the day and a peaceful space.

Original blog in Vietnamese by Khánh Trần published on VNExpress.