When is the Best Time to Visit Vietnam

Posted By Maeve Nolan / Best Time to Visit, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City / No Comments

The best time to visit Vietnam depends on your destination.This vibrant country at the eastern extreme of Southeast Asia offers more than 2,000 miles of coastline, as well as three distinct topographical regions.

While this means Vietnam offers a rich diversity of cultures and experiences, it also means you need to plan carefully for Vietnam’s varying seasons.

Seasons in Vietnam

When planning a Vietnam holiday, it helps to think of the country as three separate regions with differing weather patterns.

While south and central Vietnam have two main seasons, wet and dry, north Vietnam has closer to four distinct seasons that include spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Although most of Vietnam has a tropical climate and an annual monsoon season, it’s surprising how different the weather can be from place to place!

Visiting Vietnam in Spring

best time to visit Vietnam: Autumn - Sapa landscape with rice fileds in northern Vietnam

Spring weather information

Period: February to April

Temperatures: In South Vietnam, temperatures range from 20°C to 30°C, and as high as 40°C in the hotter months of March and April.

In Central Vietnam, you’ll find similar temperatures and humidity, but just a bit cooler.

The north can get cool-cold in the early months of the year, with rainy days, and a damp feel. In the far northern provinces the temperature can drop to freezing, and it snows every few years, so pack accordingly.

Rainfall: Although higher humidity begins to set in around March, it’s likely you won’t see rain during this period.

 

What to pack for Spring

Light, breathable clothing is recommended for trips to Ho Chi Minh City, along the Mekong Delta, and to the beaches of Southern Vietnam. Pack your swimwear so you can take cooling dips in swimming pools at midday if you wish.

If you’re heading to Central Vietnam, bring along a light sweater as well, as mornings and evenings can be cool.

Northern regions experience several cold snaps throughout the winter months, so bring enough warm clothes if you are travelling to this area.

Where to go in Spring

This is the dry season in South and Central Vietnam, making for mild weather and beautiful skies.

This is the perfect time to head to the pristine beaches and islands of the south, such as the Con Dao Archipelago and Phu Quoc, or to visit the amazing lakes and waterfalls of Dalat.

In Central Vietnam, head to the ancient port town of Hoi An, picturesque Hue, and the beaches of Nha Trang.

In the Northern mountains of Vietnam the rice is planted in late Spring,  and the rice terraces are iridescent green.

Unmissable experiences in Spring

On certain years when the beginning of the lunar calendar falls in February, you’ll get to see the spectacular celebrations of Tet, or Vietnamese New Year, which is the largest holiday in Vietnam.

Also taking place in spring is the Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, which falls in April and commemorates the ancient founders of Vietnam with a remarkable, costumed parade in Phu Tho Province.

Amazing Experiences when visiting Vietnam in Spring

✈ The Treasures of Hanoi and Halong Bay

✈ Vietnam’s Last Frontier: Ha Giang

Traveling to Vietnam in Summer

Best time to visit vietnam: Summer - local woman on her bicycle along a rice field in Bac Son

Summer weather information

Period: May to August

Temperatures: Hanoi and northern Vietnam hit maximum temperatures of around 30°C (high 80s°F) during the hot, wet summer months, and it can climb up to 40°C in southern and central Vietnam.

The south, although wet at this time of year, can also be fresh and lush, as the rains bring respite from the heat. Most of the beaches however are not recommended during this period in the south, due to rough seas.

Rainfall: As this tends to be the wettest time of year, watch for daily showers in southern and northern regions. This is monsoon season in southern Vietnam, with peak rainfall occurring between June and August.

 

What to pack for Summer

Light, waterproof rain gear is a good idea, as well as light, quick-drying clothes to help you stay cool during the withering heat.

Where to go in Summer

This is generally the wettest and hottest season throughout Vietnam.

If you want to avoid the monsoon, head to the northern hills, which get showers but are lovely and verdant at this time of year.

Hoi An and Hue can still be pleasant, as is the south if you don’t mind high temperatures.

We do recommend avoiding the lower areas of the Mekong Delta, which can be hit by monsoons and flooding from roughly June to September.

Unmissable experiences in Summer

A whole host of religious, national, and local events take place in summer, but you won’t want to miss the Ghost Festival in August, when lit lanterns and boats are released on bodies of water to help the spirits of deceased loved ones find their way home.

Cool Experience to live in Summer

✈ We offer you to relax on Nha Trang beach

Discovering Vietnam in Autumn

best time to visit Vietnam - Phu Quoc island in the south of Vietnam

Autumn weather information

Period: September to November

Temperatures: Average daily temperatures throughout Vietnam hover in the mid to high 20s°C (high 70°F to low 80s°F).

Rainfall: Central Vietnam sees its peak monsoon season in October and November. We advise avoiding the central coast.

 

What to pack for Autumn

If you’re heading to higher altitudes, make sure to bring a sweater or light jacket for the mornings and evenings. Otherwise, dress for hot days with light, breathable clothing.

Where to go in Autumn

This is the warm, sunny season in Northern Vietnam, temperatures are most pleasant in Hanoi and Halong Bay. This is also the best season to hike through mountainous Sapa in the Far North.

In the south, the rains have mostly dried up and temperatures cool significantly, making for great days at destinations like Ho Chi Minh City, along the Mekong Delta, and island destinations.

Unmissable experiences in Autumn

Two very different types of festivals take place in autumn, the patriotic National Day and the folkloric Ooc Om Boc Festival.

While National Day celebrates Vietnam’s independence with parades and fireworks in urban Hanoi, the boat races of Ooc Om Boc commemorate Khmer culture and honor the moon.

Amazing Experience to live in Autumn

✈ Why not cruising in Vietnam’s undiscovered Bai Tu Long Bay?

Traveling to Vietnam in Winter

Best time to visit Vietnam: winter - Halong Bay landscape

Winter weather information

Period: December to February

Temperatures: In northern Vietnam expect average temperatures of 20°C (70°F), and in the south, enjoy “dry summer” temperatures of 26°C (78°F).

Rainfall: Travel dry in the winter, with little to no rain in the north and south. The exception is the far north, in areas such as Sapa, which gets rain and snow.

 

What to pack for Winter

If you’re heading to the far north or northern central provinces, bring warm clothes! If you’re heading anywhere else, pack your light summer wardrobe, with maybe a light jacket if you’re traveling around Hanoi.

Where to go in Winter

Winter can be downright cold in the northern reaches of Vietnam, with some areas such as Sapa experiencing snowfall.

But for the most part, this is a great time to visit northern and southern Vietnam. Even the central coast begins to see less rainfall during the later winter months.

We advise reveling in the drier, cooler weather in the southern hot spots of Saigon and the Mekong Delta, or taking advantage of prime beach weather in Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet or Con Dao.

Unmissable experiences in Winter

Winter is the time of Tet, or Vietnamese New Year, the most important holiday of the year. Across the country you’re sure to see fireworks, dragon dances, musical performances and families gathering to celebrate.

If you’re in Ninh Binh Province just south of Hanoi, be sure to check out the colorful Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival.

Unforgettable Experiences to live in Vietnam in Winter

✈ Be an insider in Saigon by discovering its cuisine, heritage and culture.

✈ Live like a local in the Mekong delta and be hosted by inhabitants!

Vietnam Weather

Average temperatures in some cities (°C)

 Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  July Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
Hanoi171820242830302928262219
Danang222224272930302826242221
Ho Chi Minh City272829302929282827272727

Average rainfall (in mm)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hanoi18283881197238322343252984221
Danang101311218474299117447530221208
Ho Chi Minh City154134222133131426833426811456

Climate in different Vietnamese cities

Climate in Hanoi

Spring: some drizzling with occasional sunny days.

Summer:  wettest and hottest time of year from June to September, with typhoon season in August and September.

Autumn: some rain in September but mostly dry/clear skies.

Winter: cool dry days with clear skies until Jan-Feb when the temperature drops and light drizzle is frequent.  

Climate in Hue

Spring: some drizzling but mostly dry.

Summer: Hot and dry with the occasional summer shower.

Autumn: some rain in September but mostly dry.

Winter: cool dry days with clear skies until Jan-Feb when the temperature drops and light rain is frequent.

Climate in Danang & Hoi An

Spring: The most beautiful time of year in the centre. Clear skies and calm seas.

Summer: The temperature rising over the summer however skies are clear and sunny.

Autumn: The rainy seasons starts Sep – Oct so storms are frequent.

Winter: Rain is frequent, however the temperature is comfortable during this season.

Climate in the South Central Region (Nha Trang)

Spring: Sunny and dry with the occasional rain shower.

Summer: Sunny and dry with the occasional rain shower.

Autumn: the rainy season starts from October through to November.

Winter: Sunny and dry with the occasional rain shower.

Climate in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) & the Mekong Delta

Spring: Hottest and driest time of the year.

Summer: Rainiest time of year from June to October however it’s also a ‘fresh’ time of year, due to the storms, and sunny days are frequent.

Autumn:  Sunny and dry with the occasional rain shower.

Winter:  Sunny and dry with the occasional rain shower.

Special Tips for Monsoon Season in Vietnam

We recommend avoiding the central coast of Vietnam during October and November, when the monsoon weather is at its peak. It’s also extremely wet in the far south and far north, with the possibility of storms.

If you’re planning to travel to Vietnam during monsoon season, just be prepared to duck into a shop to avoid sudden downpours, or to invest in a poncho!

Unmissable events through the year in Vietnam

Tet is the biggest and most important holiday of the year. The dates of the holiday changes according to the lunar calendar. During the week long celebration families gather to feast, and towns host local festivals with fireworks and dragon dances.

The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival is the best time to visit this iconic Buddhist temple. During the festival, which falls on the sixth day of the first lunar month, you’ll see colorful processions, folk games, and costumed dancers as well as traditional Buddhist rituals such as incense offerings.

Thanh Minh is a beautiful holiday dedicated to the spirits of deceased family members and loved ones. On a day in early April based on the lunar calendar, the Vietnamese go out to clean the graves of their ancestors and make offerings.

The Hung Kings’ Temple Festival is a three-day festival dedicated to honoring the ancient rulers and founders of Vietnam. A large procession of costumed revelers makes its way through Nghia Linh Mountain to the Hung King Temple in Phu Tho Province.

Buddha’s birthday is celebrated across Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia. Known as Le Phat Dan in Vietnam, the holiday is commemorated by displaying lit lanterns outside of homes and shops.

The Ghost Festival, also known as Vu Lan, is an important festival that aims to easing the suffering of the dead. Incense, ritual food, joss paper and papier-mache are offered to visiting spirits. Feasts are held with empty seats for deceased family members, and lanterns or boats are released on water to help the spirits find their way home.

National Day is a nationwide holiday celebrating Vietnam’s independence from France. Expect to see spectacular parades and fireworks in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square.

The Ooc Om Boc Festival is an important festival of the Khmer people who live along the Mekong Delta. It features an exciting boat race on the Maspero River, along with folk dances, singing, food, arts and crafts.

Hoi An hosts a Full Moon Festival during every full moon. As night falls, the city comes to life with a carnival-like atmosphere with street art, food vendors and live music.

When is the best time to visit Vietnam?

The best time to visit Vietnam is Spring and Autumn when the weather is slightly better with less rain. In Spring (February to April), temperatures are around 20-30°C in the South, a bit cooler in the Central region and colder in the North. In Autumn (September to November), temperatures are between mid and highs 20s°C but avoid the Central region because of the monsoon.

Before leaving your country, don’t forget to have a look at the weather forecast.

What would be YOUR best time to discover Vietnam?

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Our locally based Travel Specialists will be happy to give you more information on a tour around Vietnam. If you’re ready to start planning your holiday in Vietnam, contact us and we’ll help you build the perfect itinerary.

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