Vietnam is a country with stunning scenery, a coastline that stretches 3,260 km, and several different weather systems. With such a variation in the climate as you travel the length of the country, there isn't really a wrong time to visit this part of SE Asia.
While Vietnam weather and climate is typically humid and hot, the temperature can see significant variations from region to region due to the size and length of the country. For instance, the south can enjoy sunshine and 32° C, while the far north with the mountainous terrain can see snow at times.
When planning the travel itinerary for the Vietnam holiday it makes sense to research the intended destination to ensure the weather is acceptable at that particular time of year. Also, make sure to know what to pack for Vietnam tour for the most comfortable travel experience.
What is the best time to visit Vietnam?
Vietnam's weather is split between three distinct regions. In Hanoi and northern regions, the weather can range from particularly cold in the far north from December to January; November to April is dry and cool, while May to October is humid and hot with ample rainfall. In central Vietnam, travellers can expect to see high rainfall from September to November; the region is hot and dry between January and August with temperatures likely to climb to 35° C or more. In the southern regions of Vietnam, the highest rainfall takes place between June and August; the climate from May to October is wet and warm, while the climate from November to April is mostly hot and dry.
Generally speaking, a trip to the north such as Sapa and Hanoi is best experienced between October and December when the skies are clear and there is little rain. The first half of the year is perfect to explore the coastal stretch that includes Hue and Nha Trang, while the south - Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City is great from November until March.
The north of Vietnam has a quite distinct summer and winter season. The summer season runs from May until October when the weather is humid and hot, but can also see the region's highest rainfall. The wettest months are likely to be July to September. In times of severe weather during this period, there is the risk of interrupting popular tourist attractions, such as a cruise on a traditional junk-style boat on Halong Bay – although, this is a rare occurrence. The dry, cool weather runs from November until April with the temperature in the region of 17° to 22° C. The coolest months to be noticed on the Vietnam tour packages are January, February and March.
Popular travel destinations in the north of Vietnam include: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Mai Chau and Cuc Phuong.
Far North (mountainous regions)
The climate in Vietnam's north-western regions, including the popular tourist destination of Sapa is split between the dry and wet seasons. The wet season runs from April until September, while the dry season lasts from October to the end of March. The mountain air gets quite frosty and cold in December and January
A great time to witness the beautiful scenery of Ha Giang in the north-east is throughout the dry season, which lasts from October until April – although the temperature can get quite chilly in December and January, especially in the evenings.
Trekking is a must-do activity when in the north of Vietnam and best experienced in a region like Sapa or Mu Cang Chai. The best time to travel to join a trekking tour in the north is between March and May or September and November. The temperature is a warm and pleasant 15° to 28° C for the daytime, and this falls to an acceptable 10° to 18° C in the evening. Cycling and trekking tours can take place at any time of the year in this region, however the summer can get a little wet, and the winter does get quite cold.
The best places to visit Vietnam in the far north of Vietnam include: Sapa, Mu Cang Chai, Ha Giang, Bac Ha, and Lung Cu.
Tourists planning to visit central cities like Danang, Hue or Hoi An can expect to witness the dry, hot climate from January until August with the temperature in the region of 35° C. For the winter months the rainfall can see a significant increase with peak levels arriving in October and November. On occasion the rainfall can lead to typhoons. Hoi An has a climate warmer than Hue, which is mostly noticed at the start of the year.
In the central highlands, Dalat is quite dry from November to May, but will get chilly between December and January. The heavy rainfall is mostly noticed from June until October which can cause issues for outdoor activities in the region.
Nha Trang is in the far south of central Vietnam and gets to enjoy a climate that is warm, dry with little rainfall and lasts from January until September. The wet season takes place from October to December with a lot of the rain falling in the months of October and November.
Popular travel destinations in central Vietnam include: Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An, Quy Nhon, Dalat and Danang.
The south of Vietnam has a temperature range that is quite constant year-round (25° to 35°C), but is still split between the dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from November until late-April/early-May with the travellers on the Vietnam holiday likely to experience the hot and humid weather from late-February to May. The rainy season runs from May to November with the greatest rainfall taking place between June and August. Even though the rainfall can get heavy at times it is quite predictable and often occurs in the afternoon with a short, heavy downpour.
There are plenty of things to do in Vietnam in the far south with its idyllic islands such as Con Dao and Phu Quoc blessed with a lot of hot, sunny days, although there is the risk of downpours taking place outside the dry season.
Popular travel destinations in the south of Vietnam include: Ho Chi Minh City, Long Hai, Ho Tram, Phan Thiet, Mekong Delta, Con Dao, Phu Quoc and Mui Ne.
When is the Best Time to Visit Vietnam?