When is the best time to travel to Vietnam?

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Are you planning to go to Vietnam but you don’t know when is the best time to travel there?
 
Depending on the time of the year you spend your holidays, you can decide which region you want to visit. Or vice-versa, you can decide where you want to go in Vietnam and then book your vacation at that time.
 
Wherever you are going, it is useful to do some research on your destination. Different countries have different climatic conditions. Even within the same country, things can vary greatly from region to region. Vietnam is a good example. I will walk you through this «  when is the best time to visit Vietnam » guide, so that you can decide and plan your trip in advance.
vietnam map

As you can see, Vietnam is a long and narrow country located at the eastern end of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. This elongated S-shaped country has great climatic variations between its three main regions: North, South and Central Vietnam.

Longest distances: 1,650 km (1,025 miles) from north to south; 600 km (373 miles) from east to west, coastline of 3,260 km (2,030 miles).

The weather in Vietnam

Dear alyne in Vietnam

Whilst Vietnam weather is typically warm and humid, the weather can vary significantly from one region to another due to the country’s length.  At times there has been snow in the mountainous far north whilst the beaches in the south are sunny!

The temperature in Vietnam is diverse. In the North, May-October is hot and humid with high rainfall; November-April is cooler and dry. In the far north, December-January can be particularly cold.

Central Vietnam has hot and dry weather in January-August while September-November can experience high levels of rainfall.

Southern Vietnam is generally dry and hot from November to April, and between May & October wet and warm, with the highest rainfall in June, July & August.

Vietnam seasons are also different across regions. Some regions have seasons that others don’t necessarily have. Okay, I won’t keep it any longer for you.

Now, let’s dive right into more details about visiting Vietnam in different seasons.

Visiting Vietnam in Spring

light show in the lake vietnam

In Vietnam, spring usually begins in March and ends in late April/early May, depending on the region. The weather in Vietnam is hot and dry.

In spring, the mountainous region of the Far North is a good destination for trekking and adventures. Although trekking and cycling are possible all year round, the winter can be rather cold, and the summer can be rather wet.

Spring is therefore an ideal time for outdoor activities in the mountainous regions, from March to May. Daytime temperatures vary between 15 and 28°C, and night-time temperatures between 10 and 18°C. The best conditions for trekking in Sapa and around Mu Cang Chai are in March, when the weather is hot and dry.

Visiting Vietnam in March is generally a good option for various destinations from north to south. The capital city, Hanoi, and the neighboring provinces also experience fairly good weather. When visiting Halong Bay in March, you can probably expect clear blue skies most of the time.

Going to the center of Vietnam is also a good choice.
Here you can take a trip to the incredible Phong Nha Caves in Phong Nha-ke Bang National Park, where the largest cave in the world is located. Hoi An and Danang will give you sunshine and blue sky and you will quickly realize the charm of these cities in spring.

Going further south in the spring, you can enjoy warm days, perfect for lying on the beaches and doing water sports. Nha Trang, Vung Tau are popular sandy beach towns where you can enjoy sunny days. 

The Central Highlands are also an excellent choice if you want to spend some time in nature. The weather in March in Dalat is considered the best time to visit this romantic city, as well as other provinces in the Highlands.

In spring, the temperature in southern Vietnam can be around 30°C (I think summer is already very hot for many of us, which is great!) In southern Vietnam, especially towards the end of spring, you may get the occasional rainfall.

But they come quickly and you shouldn’t worry too much about them, because most of the time, the sky is blue and clear and the days are warm and sunny.   

Towards the end of spring, especially in May, the country begins to switch to summer or monsoon mode, with rising temperatures. This means that there is more and more humidity, especially in the south.

This is the time when you want to be in the cities on the central coast, as you still experience many warm and sunny days. Nha Trang, for example, has a longer dry season (usually January to September), with high temperatures and little rain. 

Visiting Vietnam in Summer

visiting vietnam in summer

In general, Vietnamese summer is between May and October, when temperatures are higher throughout the country. This is also the period when it is wet and the region experiences its heaviest rainfall, hence the rainy season in Vietnam in many cities, although the exact time of the beginning and end may vary from region to region.

In May-June, most parts of central and northern Vietnam experience sunny and mild days, with average temperatures of around 30°C. This temperature range allows you to enjoy the sunny beaches of many coastal cities.

You can also join an excursion to Halong Bay, as the clear blue sky reflects beautifully on the waters of Halong Bay. The months of July to September are often the wettest months of the year in these areas. During these months, extreme weather conditions can sometimes make it impossible to navigate in Halong Bay, for example, although this type of weather is rare.

Some regions in central and northern Vietnam experience an increase in rainfall from June onwards – such as Dalat and the mountains near the borders of China and Laos. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof jacket!

Summer can be experienced in South Vietnam throughout the year, as temperatures remain in the warm range (25-35°C). In southern Vietnam, June is the rainy season, but showers are usually short and heavy, while temperatures still average 28°C.

If you visit the country in July, the central region between Danang and Nha Trang is the best place to visit. Temperatures in these areas average 31°C at this time of year, with only the occasional showers bringing a bit of coolness. July is also an excellent time to visit the beaches of these cities. The cities in the north are also warm during this period, but receive a little more rain.

Cities in the south also experience rainfall during July, but they are also very sunny. For much of the rainy season, rainfall is usually heavy but of short duration (up to a few hours), and often comes in the form of heavy mid-afternoon showers. 

In the far south, the islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao can be visited all year round, with good chances of sunny days, although if visited outside the dry season, showers can occur in the afternoon. 

Summer in Vietnam is the time when tourists, both foreign and domestic, travel to their holiday destinations. This means that prices are higher and crowded in some popular places. It is best to book in advance.

Visiting Vietnam in Autumn

Alyne visiting the famous bridge in vietnam

From September to November, it is autumn in Vietnam, although November is considered winter in the Far North (see section Vietnam in Winter).

Daytime temperatures vary between 15 and 28°C, and night-time temperatures between 10 and 18°C. While it is drier in the north and south, the opposite occurs in the centre with storms. The mountainous region of the Far North is again a good destination for trekking and adventure. 

In Vietnam, the temperature in September is still high after the summer. The Octorber is the period when the sun is the least present in the North, but it is still a good condition to travel in the region.

If you come to Vietnam in November, the weather in the North is quite pleasant, neither too hot nor too cold (it is already winter in the Far North). The slight cooling of the weather in Hanoi has given many people nostalgic and romantic feelings. November is also an excellent time to discover the beauty of Vietnam with a cruise in Ha Long Bay.

If you decide to go to the South in November, it is also a good idea because it is not too hot compared to daylight saving time.

However, the central coast does experience monsoon weather at this time, especially in November. Some of the islands in this region are even inaccessible because of the high tides and stormy weather.

Visiting Vietnam in Winter

dear alyne with nas and the project nightfall

North Vietnam has a very special winter season. The winter, cool but mostly dry, lasts from November to April, with average temperatures of 17 to 22°C, with the coldest months being January to March.

You can experience winter in North Vietnam with popular destinations such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, Cuc Phuong, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh. Especially in the mountainous Great North (popular destinations: Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Ha, Mu Cang Chai), it can be very cold and freeze in December and January, especially at night. Sometimes you can even see snow. 

For central Vietnam (popular destinations: Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Dalat, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang), during the winter months, rainfall increases, especially in October and November, reaching maximum levels, sometimes in the form of typhoons.

In northern and central Vietnam, Hue is often cooler than Danang and Hoi An, especially at the beginning of the year. The small mountain range between these two regions can cause the weather to vary considerably from one day to the next.

The further south you go, the warmer and shorter the Vietnamese winter is. Winter temperatures in Quy Nhon and Nha Trang range from 22 to 27 degrees and last about a month from December onwards.

When you arrive in South Vietnam, there is not really a winter. Popular destinations: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc & Con Dao, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne, Ho Tram & Long Hai.

With temperatures that remain constant all year round (25-35°C), the southern climate is divided into two simple seasons: wet and dry. The dry season in southern Vietnam runs from November to April/early May, with late February-May being slightly warmer and wetter.

The wet season is from May to early November, with the months of June to August experiencing the heaviest rainfall of the year

What is the best month to visit Vietnam?

After all, there isn’t the very clear answer to when is the best month to visit Vietnam, due to its distinct weather conditions in different regions.

Basedon above suggestions, you can either choose the time when you are travelling, then choose the destinations that have the good weather.

Or if you are flexible with the time, you can choose the destinations first (mountains or beaches, your call) and then visit and make the best out of your time there.

What to do when it’s rainy

It is recommended to avoid travelling in the far north during the rainy season. The weather makes hiking and outdoor adventures dangerous.

 In addition, the central highlands, such as the town of Dalat, are wet from June to October, making outdoor activities difficult. 

In the cities and on the beaches of the central coast, the rainy season runs from October to early December, with October and November being the wettest months. This is not an ideal time for beach and water activities. Sometimes you may be faced with heavy flooding.

On the other hand, in October, the south becomes drier and warmer, making it an ideal month to visit the Mekong Delta and its floating markets.

What to do when it’s sunny

When it is sunny and dry, you can do outdoor activities such as trekking in the far north, visiting the beautiful rice fields for picturesque views.

You should also take advantage of this time in the North to visit the local minorities and discover their cultures.

If you are in a holiday mood, you can lie on the beach and explore the central and southern islands. Visiting cities in the central highlands, such as Dalat, is also a good idea, where the number of tourists is not as high as in the coastal cities.

 

Thanks to Bambi who contributed this amazing blog post. Bambi is a video content creator at Beyond Bambi where she shares stories beyond oneself. She makes videos about social issues. One of her most viewed videos is about her REAL name, an UGLY name, a real-life story as a result of gender inequality which she had to experience from day 1 of her life. Watch her story here and go follow her for more quality content on Instagram.

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