Guide to Planning Your Vietnam Holiday: High and Peak Season

16, December, 2019

Guide to Planning Your Vietnam Holiday: High and Peak Season

Vietnam is a country of beautiful beaches, unique animal experiences and amazing food, with many incredible sights to see and experience. Although it is always a wonderful time to visit the country of Vietnam, the best time of the year in terms of weather, also known as high season, is from October through April. During this season from January through April,  in Northern Vietnam it will be cool and dry, and in both Central and Southern Vietnam it will be hot and dry. For November and December the only difference is that in Central Vietnam it will be hot and quite wet. But overall, these are considered the best months to visit Vietnam.

High Season in Northern Vietnam
The Northern regions of Vietnam are generally mountainous and good for trekking. The areas around Sapa and Ha Giang will be cold in both December and January, and the dry season is between October-March, while the wet season begins in April. The best time to trek in these areas would be between September-November, and March-May. This is not during the high season, so you will have to decide if trekking is the main point for your visit to Thailand. Riding motorbikes is another activity in Vietnam, and can be done in the North to Ha Giang and on the Ha Giang loop. It is important to avoid the rainy seasons due to risks of flood and landslides, so high season would be the ideal time to do this.

What to pack for high season in the North of Vietnam:
●    Light cotton clothes
●    Rain jacket
●    Good walking shoes
●    Sunblock
●    Backpack

ha giang loop tour in north vietnam

High Season in Central Vietnam
There are four seasons in Central Vietnam, winter, spring, summer and autumn. The high seasons for Central Vietnam include the Spring, which is March-May, and Autumn which is September-November. In mid-central Vietnam the rain will be at its highest from October-November, and Hoi An can actually be prone to flooding. There is also a possibility of typhoons coming off the Western Pacific between September through December, so if you are planning outdoor activities, you might want to avoid this part of the rainy season even though it is the beginning of high season. In South Central Vietnam, the weather patterns change slightly, and it is best to visit this part of Vietnam during March through May, and June through August.

What to pack for high season in Central Vietnam:
●    Light cotton clothing
●    Good walking shoes
●    Beach gear
●    Sunblock
●    Backpack
●    Money to have a piece of tailor-made clothing made

travel vietnam in peak season

High Season in Southern Vietnam
    There are two main seasons in the South of Vietnam, the wet and dry season. The high season in the south of Vietnam is from December to April, which is also the dry season. February and April are hotter and more humid, as this is right before the wet season. The temperatures will generally be around 77-95 degrees fahrenheit (25-35 degrees celsius) year round.

What to pack for high season in the South of Vietnam:
●    Light cotton clothing
●    Good walking shoes
●    Backpack
●    Sunblock

High Season on Phu Quoc
    The island of Phu Quoc is a tropical island in the south of Vietnam, and it has its own weather pattern as well. High season on Phu Quoc falls between November and March, and during high season prices are a bit higher than the rest of the year.

phu quoc island

Activities During High Season
●    Boat Tours
This is a very popular activity that occurs on Halong Bay. If you choose to visit Vietnam out of high season, you might have rough seas, and your boat trip could be canceled. That is why visiting during the high season might be a good idea, to avoid cancelation of your plans.

●    View the emerald rice fields in bloom
In the North of Vietnam, during high season (March-May), the entire countryside is in bloom and it can be an incredible sight to see.

●    Bike through the central highlands
Many people enjoy biking down to Da Nang, but in order to make this happen through Central Vietnam you will need to do so during high season. The period to do this is between January-April, otherwise you will either experience intense rains, or intense heat.

●    Enjoy the rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City
From February-May, in the south of Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, you can enjoy the weather and city life from a rooftop bar. The best part of high season to experience this, is during January-April, as this is the dry season in the south.

●    Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year) – January/ February
This festival occurs in Hanoi over 15 days. It is to ring in the new year. Decorations line the streets, and fireworks light the sky.

●    Danang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF) – April
This festival which occurs in Danang, once again lights the sky with fireworks. There is a different theme each year, and the show can be seen from the east side of the Han River.

●    Hue Festival – April-May (every two years)
This is a festival located in Hue, with different art exhibitions, film screenings, kite flying, fashion shows and street performances. It only occurs every 2 years, with the next year in 2020!

●    Quest Music Festival – November
This is Vietnam’s ultimate music festival. This outdoor festival lasts 3 days, and includes music, costume parades, and a great time. Not only locals attend but expats as well.

●    Hoi An Lantern Festival (14th day of each lunar month)
If you happen to be in Hoi An during this time in high season, you will truly enjoy yourself. Prepare to see The Ancient Town lit up with hundreds of colourful lanterns and candles. The streets will also be filled with music and lantern making classes.

    Although flights can often cost a bit more during high season, generally the weather is incredible throughout the country. Try to book at least 2-3 months in advance, as places can book up quickly. Most of all, enjoy your time experiencing all the wonderful festivals, interesting architecture, incredible food, and welcoming people. Vietnam truly is a diverse culture, and what better time to experience it than the high season.

Read our: Why should you travel in Vietnam in low season?