Best time to visit Vietnam | Weather by Region and Month
Vietnam is a beautiful country located in Southeast Asia that attracts millions of tourists each year. With its stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and rich culture, Vietnam has something to offer visitors year-round. However, when planning your trip, it’s important to consider Vietnam’s seasons and weather patterns to find the ideal time for your vacation.
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, meaning there are distinct wet and dry seasons. The weather varies considerably between regions, from the cooler mountainous north to the hot and humid south. Generally speaking, the best time to visit Vietnam depends on your interests, budget, and tolerance for heat, rain, and crowds.
Vietnam’s weather is influenced by the monsoon seasons. The northeast monsoon lasts from October to March, bringing cooler and drier air from China. From May to September, the southwest monsoon picks up warm, moist air from the Indian Ocean, causing hot, humid, and rainy conditions.
April and October are shoulder seasons with pleasant temperatures countrywide. The dry season is November to April, while the wet season spans May to October. However, even during the wet season, rainfall tends to come in short bursts rather than all-day downpours.
What is the best time to visit Vietnam
High season (June-July)
The high tourist season in Vietnam runs from June to July. This coincides with summer vacation in the West. Expect blue skies, hot and humid weather perfect for beach days, along with bigger crowds and higher prices on accommodation, tours, and transport.
June-July is a good time for:
- Beach holidays in Central and South Vietnam
- Cultural sights in cooler northern regions
- Festival season nationwide
Avoid major metropolitan areas like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City during these months if you don’t like intense heat and humidity.
Low season (September-October)
September to October is shoulder season in Vietnam, with fewer tourists, lower prices, pleasant weather countrywide, and lush green landscapes. Highlights include:
- Comfortable daytime temperatures and low humidity
- Local festivals and celebrations
- Fresh fruit harvest season
- Rice terraces at their verdant peak
This is a best time to visit Vietnam on a budget while still enjoying ideal weather conditions. The tourism high season starts ramping up in November.
Rainy season (May-September)
Vietnam’s rainy season lasts from May to September, with the wettest months being June, July, and August. During this time, expect high humidity, frequent downpours, and potential typhoons.
The rainy season has its advantages though, including:
- Lower prices on accommodation and tours
- Smaller crowds at attractions
- Vibrant green landscapes
With some preparation for the rain, you can still have a great vacation. Just plan indoor activities for the afternoon storm periods each day.
Typhoon season (July-November)
Typhoons hit Vietnam between July and November, with the highest risk period being August to October. These strong tropical storms can cause flooding, landslides, flight delays, and tourists excursions cancellations.
During typhoon season:
- Monitor weather forecasts closely and adjust plans accordingly
- Have backup indoor activities planned
- Consider trip insurance for weather delays
- Avoid basement rooms or ground floor accommodation
While typhoons are unpredictable, they normally last just a day or two before skies clear again. With preparation, you can still travel during this period.
Best time to visit Vietnam per region
Vietnam stretches over 1,600 km from north to south, so the ideal travel months depend on your destination. Here is an overview of weather patterns by region:
Mountainous Far North (Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Ha, Mu Cang Chai)
The far north experiences a cool, dry winter and spring followed by a hot, wet summer.
- October to December – Moderate with clear blue skies. Best for trekking and motorbike loops.
- January to March – Chilly and foggy. Good for culture and city life.
- April and May – Pleasant weather before the summer rains.
- June to August – Hot with dramatic afternoon storms. Low season for tourists.
North Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Cuc Phuong, Mai Chau & Ninh Binh)
North Vietnam sees hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters.
- September to November – Lovely weather and fewer tourists. Ideal season for sightseeing.
- December to February – Cool, dry winter. Good for city life and culture.
- March and April – Temperatures rising but still comfortable. Festivals galore.
- May to August – Sweltering hot and summer storms. Avoid for city stays.
Central Vietnam (Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Dalat, Quy Nhon & Nha Trang)
Central Vietnam experiences a hot, dry winter and a hot, wet summer.
- December to April – Dry and sunny. Best for sightseeing and beaches.
- May and June – Hot weather before monsoon rains.
- July to September – Typhoon risk increases. Heavy rain with tropical storms.
- October and November – Rain lessens. Cooler weather returns.
South Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, The Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc & Con Dao, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne, Ho Tram & Long Hai)
The south sees high temperatures year-round with distinct wet and dry seasons.
- December to April – Dry, sunny weather ideal for sightseeing.
- May to November – Very hot with tropical downpours. Travel with rain prep.
- June to August – Low season with fewer tourists. Good deals on accommodation.
- September and October – Typhoon risk fades. Rain lessens towards November.
Weather by month
Here is an overview of average monthly temperatures and rainfall across Vietnam:
With cooler and drier weather, January is an excellent month to visit Vietnam. The north sees average highs of 20°C while central and south Vietnam enjoy balmy beach weather averaging 27°C. Plan sightseeing in the north and beach time in the central or south regions.
Similar to January, February brings moderate temperatures in the north and warm, sunny weather in central/southern areas. It’s a quieter month for tourism with Tet New Year celebrations finished. Hit the beaches or explore the cities and countryside before crowds pick up in March.
March signals the start of warmer weather nationwide, making it ideal for activities like motorbiking, trekking, and beach time. The thermometer creeps up to 30°C in central and southern Vietnam while the north remains comfortable in the low 20°Cs.
April is one of the hottest months in the north with temperatures reaching a humid 30°C. Central and southern areas also turn up the heat, averaging 28-33°C. Alongside sunshine expect some tropical downpours nationwide.
May marks the start of the rainy season in northern Vietnam while central and southern areas enter the hottest and driest stretch. With average highs of 36°C, limit time in Ho Chi Minh City and head for beaches or hill stations like Da Lat.
The serious summer heat sets in across Vietnam in June. The south sizzles around 34°C and rainfall increases from north to south. June is low season with good flight and hotel deals. Plan water activities and indoor sightseeing to escape the midday sun.
July is peak summer nationwide with hot, humid, and wet conditions. The north averages 32°C while central/southern regions see highs of 33-35°C. Expect tropical downpours and sweaty nights. This is low season, so tourists can score discounts on accommodation and tours.
August sees scorching temperatures continue countrywide along with frequent heavy rainfall. Humidity levels hit their annual peak resulting in muggy, uncomfortable conditions. Limit physical activities during afternoon storms. It’s an ideal month for cultural pursuits in cooled spaces.
Heading into autumn, Vietnam starts cooling off in September as the rains taper off. The north enjoys pleasant 25°C days while the central region remains hot around 30°C. With luck, fewer downpours make for more sightseeing opportunities.
October brings lower humidity, comfortable daytime temperatures, and fewer rainstorms across Vietnam. With the tourist high season ramping up, enjoy pleasant weather and sights without summer crowds. North and south Vietnam average 25-28°C – perfect for active pursuits.
November signals the start of the peak tourism season. The north transitions to a cooler, drier winter while central/southern parts enter their hot, dry stretch. With minimal rain, sights like Halong Bay and Hoi An can be enjoyed year-round.
December ushers in dry, sunny winter weather in northern Vietnam with average highs of 22°C – ideal for sightseeing in Hanoi and Sapa. Meanwhile hot and dry conditions continue in central/southern regions with temperatures around 27-30°C during the day.