Best time to visit Vietnam

When is the best time to visit Vietnam? 

The Overall View

At nearly 1,200 miles long – and an almost a straight vertical country and with a varying topography, finding the best time to visit Vietnam requires some research. Get it wrong, and if you’re visiting the entire length of this beautiful country, you could be in for a spoilt holiday, so here is our rundown on what to expect across the whole country, followed by some detail of the regions for those not visiting it all.

Atmospheric Hanoi, is the capital and lies in the country’s north. Because of this it suffers from cooler and wetter winters than any other part of the country. If you are also heading to, the now over-touristy Sapa region, it is about the same weather here too. To visit Hanoi from late November and into February, expect cool weather, a need for a jacket, and misty rains. Th narrow streets in Hanoi can be waterlogged.

Halong Bay also in the north, is a stunningly beautiful area but come here from late November to February, with mist and low visibility, spoils the experience. Conversely, if visit this region in the summer – from June and into September it can be unbearably humid. This leaves March, April and May as the best months for the northern region. The weather is warm, the skies blue, the vegetation is rich and the views are staggeringly beautiful.

The central region also sees a similar mixed bag of weather, and whilst the winters are milder, they’re also prone to typhoons and flooding particularly from around October and into November.

Moving south to Danang, Saigon (and west to the Mekong Delta) the climate is more tropical and never cool, but keep in mind the monsoon season starts here from June onwards – right through until October/November. This brings humidity as well as sharp downpours.

If you are moving further south and to the islands for example Phu Quoc – one of Vietnam’s largest islands, the weather pattern is similar to Saigon, with overly-hot summers, and rains in the monsoon period June to September.

Taking all the above into account in terms of climate, the best time to visit Vietnam, particularly if you intend to see the whole country are March, April and May. At this time Hanoi is warm but not overly so (April is a great month) and you avoid rain virtually everywhere in the country – there is no risk from the monsoon season too.

If you would like to visit just the central region and south of the country only – therefore forgetting Hanoi and Halong Bay – then you can come earlier from February onwards – it’s pleasantly warm with no rain, but avoid the festival of Tet – the Chinese/Vietnamese New Year that falls usually this month (they work from a Lunar calendar) as hotel rooms are very difficult to find and prices shoot up.

In case you are not visiting the whole country and just intend to see a region, here is a more detailed summary.


When to visit North Vietnam (Sapa, Hanoi, Halong Bay)

Winters up here, particularly from December to February see temperatures drop to 0°C or cooler. The summer months (June to August) are very hot and humid. The best time to visit northern Vietnam is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when days are generally warm and sunny.

When to visit Central Vietnam (Hue, Hoi An)

The coastal region of central Vietnam suffers from typhoons during its wet season. And it is very difficult to predict when these rains and hurricane conditions can occur, but when they do, they often impact traveller friendly cities like Hoi An (where you’ll want to visit), generally the typhoon season begins from August and into November.

We’ve seen tour operators have to cancel their whole itinerary in the central region in November – so why take the risk? The rainy season usually falls away by in the central region by February, when you can expect to enjoy warm and sunny days. Temperatures begin to rise from 22 degrees in February and heat up in August to over 32 degrees.

When to visit South Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta)

South Vietnam experiences warm, pleasant weather year-round. However, if you are not a lover of intense heat, read on…The dry season is from December to May and the rainy season June through to November. There can be flash flooding at in the rainy season, but generally, rain comes in hour long downbursts and you can manage your travel around it. If you are sensitive to the heat however, avoid coming here from June as it can peak to 40°C.





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