Best month to Visit Vietnam. Vietnam Weather & When to Travel to Vietnam
Do you prefer spending your time at the beach or seeking thrilling experiences? It doesn’t matter whether you’re searching for a tranquil getaway, a cultural excursion, or an exciting adventure, Vietnam has something for everyone. Thanks to its stunning natural scenery, idyllic beaches, bustling cities, and distinctive culture, Vietnam is capable of providing you with a holiday that offers a wide range of options.
So, What is the best time of the year to visit Vietnam?
The answer is: The ideal timing for your Vietnam trip heavily relies on the specific location you plan to visit and the type of vacation experience you desire. Additionally, holidays and festivities are among the variables that affect the decision of when to travel to Vietnam.
It’s important to make a wise decision about the timing of your travel to Vietnam, as it can impact both your packing requirements and personal comfort. To help you with this, we have presented a seasonal guide that provides useful information regarding Vietnam’s climate, monthly weather updates, and seasonal variations in different parts of the country. Additionally, our quick guide can give you an overview of the best times to visit northern, central, and southern regions of Vietnam.
Vietnam Weather Overview
Vietnam is divided into three main regions, namely the north, central and south, due to its elongated and narrow shape. Each region has distinct seasons and weather patterns. For instance, while the mountainous far north experiences snow, the southern beaches receive plenty of sunshine and wind. It is important to recognize and understand the diverse weather and climate conditions in each region of Vietnam as they vary at different times of the year.
Vietnam weather highlights:
- North of Vietnam: The weather patterns consist of four distinct seasons namely Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. In the northern regions such as Hanoi, the climate is characterized by hot and muggy conditions with periodic rainfall from May to October, while it is comparatively cooler and dry from November to April. However, in the far north, the weather can be exceptionally chilly between December and January.
- Central Vietnam: The usual weather conditions in the central part of Vietnam are categorized as tropical monsoon, which is alternatively referred to as a tropical wet climate. From January to August, this area undergoes hot and arid weather with temperatures reaching as high as the mid-30s Celsius. Conversely, the most substantial rainfall typically takes place during the months of September, October, and November.
- South of Vietnam: In the southern region, there are only two distinct periods of weather: the dry season and rainy season. The dry season typically lasts from November to April and is characterized by hot temperatures. On the other hand, the rainy season occurs from May to October and is marked by warm temperatures and increased rainfall. The months of June to August have the highest amount of rain during this period.
Vietnam Destinations By Region
The best time to visit Vietnam by region is summarized in the table below:
|Region||Best months to visit|
|North Vietnam||January, February, March, April, October, November, December|
|Central Vietnam||February, March, April, May|
|South Vietnam||December, January, February, March, April|
Now, let’s start to get to know more about the best month of the year to visit Vietnam by region:
The North of Vietnam
Northern Vietnam Weather Highlights
Northern Vietnam experiences distinct weather patterns throughout the year. Here are the highlights:
1. Winter (December to February): During this period, the weather can be chilly and dry, especially in the higher regions like Sapa and Ha Giang. Temperatures can range from 10°C to 20°C, and it may occasionally drop below 10°C in mountainous areas.
2. Spring (March to May): Spring brings warmer temperatures and occasional showers. Average temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C. This time of year is known for beautiful cherry blossoms in cities like Hanoi and Ninh Binh.
3. Summer (June to August): Summer is hot and humid in northern Vietnam, with temperatures often surpassing 30°C. Heavy rains and occasional typhoons can occur, particularly in coastal areas like Halong Bay. Despite the rain, this period offers lush green landscapes, and rice fields look magnificent.
4. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is characterized by comfortable temperatures, ranging from 20°C to 30°C. The weather becomes drier, making it ideal for outdoor activities like trekking in places like Pu Luong and Cat Ba Island. The iconic golden rice fields can also be seen during this season.
Overall, the weather in northern Vietnam varies depending on the season, so it’s recommended to check the specific forecast for the time of your visit.
Mountainous far North: Ha Giang, Sapa, Bac Ha, Cao Bang, Mu Cang Chai
The weather in the north of Vietnam, specifically in mountainous areas such as Ha Giang and Sapa, as well as in the northwest region like Mu Cang Chai, can be divided into two distinct seasons. The dry season lasts from October to late March while the wet season occurs from April to September. From December to January, particularly at night, it becomes very chilly and frosty.
The ideal period to explore this area is from October through April, which marks the dry season. However, the temperature can drop significantly during December and January. On the other hand, it’s wise to steer clear of the mountainous far north parts of Vietnam from May to September, as it’s the wet season.
The ideal periods for individuals who have a fondness for adventure and hiking to engage in such activities in Mu Cang Chai and Sapa are from September to November and from March to May.
Cycling and trekking are feasible throughout the year, however, during winter, it can be quite cold and during summer, it tends to rain heavily. Thus, it is advisable to take these factors into account before making any plans for such activities in Vietnam.
Northern Vietnam: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh …
Generally featured by the tropical climate, the north of Vietnam has four distinct seasons, namely spring, autumn, summer and winter.
The best time to visit northern Vietnam is spring (from March to April) and autumn (from September to November).
The period from May to early September is not ideal for visiting northern Vietnam, as it corresponds to the rainy season. During this time, the air is both hot and humid, which can be quite uncomfortable for many European tourists.
The best time to visit North Vietnam includes:
- November: about 26°C, with 5 sunshine hours, 5 rainy days, 25°C water temperature
- December: about 22°C, with 4 sunshine hours, 3 rainy days, 22°C water temperature
- January: about 20°C, with 3 sunshine hours, 5 rainy days, 20°C water temperature
- February: about 21°C, with 2 sunshine hours, 7 rainy days, 19°C water temperature
- March: about 23°C, with 2 sunshine hours, 11 rainy days, 20°C water temperature
- April: about 27°C, with 3 sunshine hours, 9 rainy days, 23°C water temperature
Best places to visit in the North of Vietnam in each season:
|Month||Best places to travel|
|Spring (March-May)||Moc Chau, Ninh Binh|
|Summer (June-August)||Cat Ba, Tam Dao, Co To, Thanh Hoa|
|Autumn (September-November)||Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Ha Giang, Cao Bang|
|Winter (December-February)||Sapa, Mau Son, Moc Chau, Mai Chau|
What to pack:
When visiting the north of Vietnam, it is important to pack appropriately for varying weather conditions. Here are some essential items to consider packing:
- Warm clothing: Bring layers of warm clothing as the weather can be quite chilly, especially in the winter (November to February). Include items like sweaters, jackets, scarves, and gloves.
- Rain gear: Rainfall is common in the northern region, so it’s advisable to pack a lightweight waterproof jacket or umbrella.
- Comfortable footwear: Pack sturdy and comfortable shoes suitable for walking and hiking, as there are many beautiful landscapes and trails to explore.
- Insect repellent: Be prepared for mosquitoes, especially in rural areas. Carry mosquito repellent to protect yourself from bites.
- Sun protection: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to shield yourself from the sun, particularly during the summer months (June to August).
- Medications and basic first aid kit: It’s always wise to carry any necessary medications with you, as well as a basic first aid kit for any minor injuries or illnesses.
Remember to check the weather forecast before you travel and adapt your packing list accordingly.
Center of Vietnam
Central Vietnam Weather Highlights
Central Vietnam experiences a tropical monsoon climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Here are some weather highlights for central Vietnam:
1. Dry Season (January – August): The dry season is the best time to visit central Vietnam as the weather remains mostly sunny and rainfall is minimal. Temperatures range from 24°C (75°F) in January to 35°C (95°F) in July and August.
2. Rainy Season (September – December): The rainy season brings heavy rainfall and occasional typhoons to central Vietnam. Flooding can occur in some areas, particularly in September and October. Temperatures range from 23°C (73°F) in September to 28°C (82°F) in December.
3. Hue’s Weather (Central Vietnam): Hue, a popular city in central Vietnam, experiences high humidity throughout the year. The hottest months are from May to July with temperatures reaching 38°C (100°F). The rainy season here is from September to December.
4. Hoi An’s Weather (Central Vietnam): Hoi An, another popular tourist destination in central Vietnam, has similar weather patterns to Hue. The dry season from February to August is ideal for exploring its ancient streets and landmarks. The rainy season from September to January brings cooler temperatures and occasional showers.
5. Da Nang’s Weather (Central Vietnam): Da Nang has a mild and relatively dry climate compared to other parts of central Vietnam. The best time to visit is from February to May when the weather is pleasantly warm. Temperatures range from 18°C (64°F) in February to 34°C (93°F) in July and August.
It’s important to note that these weather patterns are general guidelines, and actual conditions can vary. It’s recommended to check the weather forecast before traveling to central Vietnam to ensure a comfortable trip.
Best places to visit in Central Vietnam in each season:
|Months||Best places to travel|
|Spring (March – May)||Hue, Hoi An, Dalat, Quang Binh|
|Summer (June – August)||Hue, Hoi An, Dalat, Quang Binh|
|Autumn (September – November)||Dalat, Hoi An|
|Winter (December – February)||Dalat|
What to pack:
- Light cotton clothing
- Good walking shoes
- Beach gear
- Enough money to have a piece of tailor-made clothing made (Vietnam Dong/ US Dollars)
The South of Vietnam
South Vietnam Weather Highlights
The weather in South Vietnam can vary depending on the season. Here are some highlights:
1. Dry Season (December to April): The dry season is characterized by warm temperatures and low humidity. This is considered the best time to visit South Vietnam. In cities like Ho Chi Minh City, the average temperature ranges from 25°C (77°F) to 35°C (95°F). It’s perfect for exploring the attractions and beaches in the region.
2. Wet Season (May to November): The wet season brings heavy rainfall, especially in the months of June, July, and August. The temperatures during this time remain warm, but the humidity levels can be high. Be prepared for occasional tropical downpours, which can sometimes lead to flooding in certain areas.
3. Typhoon Season (July to November): South Vietnam is prone to typhoons during this time, particularly in coastal areas. These tropical storms can bring heavy rains, strong winds, and potential disruptions to travel plans. It’s advisable to stay updated with weather forecasts and follow any safety advisories if you’re traveling during this period.
Overall, South Vietnam experiences a tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. It’s best to plan your visit during the dry season for more favorable weather conditions.
Best places to visit Southern Vietnam:
|Month||Best places to travel|
|March – May||Phu Quoc Island, Nam Du archipelago|
|June – August||Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)|
|September – November||Vung Tau, Ho Tram, Con Dao, Long Hai|
|December – February||Mekong Delta|
What to pack:
- Light cotton clothes
- Quality walking shoes
Best month visit to Vietnam
Best places to visit Vietnam each month:
|Month||Where you should visit||Where you shouldn’t visit|
|January||Phu Quoc Island, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hanoi,
Mekong Delta, Ban Gioc Waterfall, Moc Chau
|Fansipan (Sapa), Cat Ba island, Ha Giang|
|February||Hoi An, Mui Ne, Con Dao, Phu Quoc Island, Hanoi, Mekong Delta, Sapa||Fansipan (Sapa), Cat Ba island, Ha Giang|
|March||Tay Nguyen (Pleiku & Gia Lai), Hue, Hoi An, Da Nang, Phu Yen, Dien Bien Phu, Quy Nhon, Ninh Thuan, Ho Chi Minh City|
|April||Hanoi, Sapa, Ly Son Island, Ninh Binh, Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay, Hue, Da Nang||Public beaches on April 30 holiday|
|May||Mu Cang Chai, Cat Ba Island, Pu Luong, Ninh Binh, Nha Trang, Halong Bay||Public beaches on May 1 holiday|
|June||Hue, Danang, Con Dao Island, Hoi An, Da Lat, Mui Ne||Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Northwest Vietnam|
|July||Halong Bay, Phu Quoc Island, Phong Nha Ke Bang, Da Lat, Con Dao Island, Mui Ne||Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Northwest Vietnam|
|August||Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Phong Nha Ke Bang, Nha Trang, Cat Ba Island, Mui Ne||Mekong Delta, Coastal beaches where typhoons happen, Northwest Vietnam|
|September||Hanoi, Sapa, Mu Cang Chai, Bach Ma National Park, Hue, Phu Quoc Island, Mui Ne||Phong Nha Ke Bang, Hoi An, Coastal beaches where typhoons happen|
|October||Ha Giang, Hanoi, Sapa, Can Tho – Mekong Delta, Halong Bay, Da Lat, Ba Be Lake – Ban Gioc Waterfall||Phong Nha Ke Bang, Hoi An, Coastal beaches where typhoons happen|
|November||Hanoi, Ha Giang, Sapa, Halong Bay, Can Tho – Mekong Delta, Moc Chau, Mui Ne, Con Dao Island, Long Hai, Ho Tram, Ho Chi Minh City||Phong Nha Ke Bang, Hoi An, Coastal beaches where typhoons happen|
|December||Moc Chau, Halong Bay, Ban Gioc waterfall – Ba Be Lake, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc Island|
Vietnam during annual festivals
Vietnam is known for its vibrant and festive atmosphere during annual festivals. Some of the famous festivals celebrated in Vietnam are:
1. Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year): This is the most important and widely celebrated festival in Vietnam. It usually takes place in late January or early February and marks the beginning of the lunar calendar. During Tet, families gather, streets are decorated with vibrant colors, and people engage in traditional activities like giving lucky money, visiting relatives, and enjoying special traditional dishes.
2. Mid-Autumn Festival: Also known as the Children’s Festival, this festival occurs on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, usually in September. It is a time for families to come together, and children participate in lantern parades, dragon dances, and enjoy mooncakes.
3. Hung Kings Temple Festival: This festival is held annually in April to honor the Hung Kings, who are considered the founders and first emperors of Vietnam. It takes place at the Hung Temple in Phu Tho province and includes ceremonies, processions, and rituals to pay respects to the ancestors.
4. Hue Festival: This is a biennial festival that takes place in the city of Hue in central Vietnam. It showcases cultural performances, historical reenactments, traditional music, dance, and art exhibitions. The festival aims to celebrate the rich heritage of the former imperial capital of Vietnam.
5. Danang International Fireworks Festival: The Danang International Fireworks Festival is an annual event held in Danang, Vietnam. It features spectacular firework displays from teams around the world, competing against each other to create the most impressive and captivating shows. The festival attracts a large number of tourists and locals who gather along the Han River to witness these breathtaking performances. The event also includes various cultural and entertainment activities, making it a popular attraction for visitors to Danang.
These are just a few examples of the many festivals celebrated in Vietnam throughout the year. Each festival has its unique traditions, customs, and regional variations, providing a wonderful opportunity for locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam.
It can be challenging to suggest the ideal time of year to travel to Vietnam due to varying geographical conditions in different regions. However, a general guideline would be to plan your visit during the dry season to minimize the risk of encountering storms or typhoons.