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HomeNews and travel articlesWhen is the best time to visit Vietnam?

When is the best time to visit Vietnam?

03 October, 2018
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Halong Bay Vietnam

Vietnam is an unrivalled travel destination offering experiences for the whole family.

Golden beaches at Phu Quoc, a fairy-tale atmosphere in the glow of the lanterns in Hoi An, high-speed traffic in Ho Chi Minh City and cosy streets in the capital Hanoi are just a sample of what Vietnam has to offer.

But when is the best time of year to visit the country?

Read here to find out when you should travel to Vietnam.

NB: The guide below is a guideline only.

Vietnam’s climate

Ricefields in Sapa

Vietnam is a great country to visit all year round!

It is a really long country, measuring a massive 1,650 km from north to south and extending over two climate belts. So there are major differences in weather during the year, depending on whether you are in northern, central or southern Vietnam.

For the same reason, there is no clear answer to when it is the best time to visit. It depends largely on what you wish to experience.

Vietnam’s two monsoons

The weather in Vietnam is determined, among other things, by the two monsoons, the south-west monsoon and the north-east monsoon

  • The south-west monsoon lasts from April to September and is characterised by wet, warm weather.
  • The north-east monsoon lasts from October to April and is not as wet but cooler.

These monsoons are the biggest force affecting the Vietnamese weather, but there are also more local weather conditions that determine the weather in the different parts of the country.

Big differences in north and south

Vietnam’s two climate belts and monsoons mean that there may be big differences in the weather that awaits you, depending on where and when you visit Vietnam.

Northern Vietnam

Ricefields in Chiang Mai

Northern Vietnam can be roughly divided into two areas: The area at/near the coast of Hanoi and Ha Long, as well as the mountainous area inland where places such as Sapa are located.

Although both areas are in the subtropical climate zone, there is still a big difference in the weather, whether you’re in mountainous areas or not.

The dry season is roughly between November and March:

In the coastal area, the dry season is characterised by:

  • The lowest temperatures of the year.
  • The coldest months, December to February, are also the driest.
  • From March, the temperature rises again.

In Sapa and the mountains, the dry season is characterised by:

  • From December to February, it’s cold and there may be frost and snow.
  • It may also be foggy during this period.
  • In March and April, the weather is still dry and clear with plenty of sunshine.

The rainy season is roughly between April and October:

In the coastal area, the rainy season is characterised by:

  • High temperatures. The hottest months are from June to August.
  • With the heat comes the rain. Humidity is high and heavy showers can occur.
  • Rain falls throughout the period, but mostly in July and August.

In Sapa and the mountains, the rainy season is characterised by:

  • Rain falls throughout the period, but mostly in June and August.
  • The daytime temperatures are warm, but it can become chilly at night.

It is best to visit the coastal areas of Northern Vietnam:in the spring or autumn.
The best time to visit Hanoi is from September to November. The weather is clear during these months, with very little rainfall. However, the temperature is cooler (and perhaps more comfortable) than in other months. Ha Long Bay is best in the spring or the autumn, when there are clear skies and pleasant daytime temperatures.

It is best to visit Sapa and the mountain areas between March and April, when the weather is dry and sunny, and October and November, when the rice terraces are at their most beautiful and the weather is clearer.

Weather statistics for Hanoi: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature  19 19 23 26 31 32 32 32 31 28 24 21
Average minimum temperature  15 15 18 21 24 25 26 26 25 22 19 15
Rainfall mm  10 30 50 100 150 190 210 200 160 100 60 30
Weather statistics for Sapa (Lao Cai): JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature  13 14 18 21 24 24 24 24 23 20 17 15
Average minimum temperature 7 8 11 13 16 18 18 18 16 13 11 8
Rainfall mm 14 38 56 117 219 219 301 339 243 116 59 24

Central Vietnam

Hoi An Vietnam

The weather in central Vietnam near Hué and Hoi An is more transitionary.

The dry season falls roughly between January and August and is characterised by:

  • Hot weather throughout the period
  • Especially in May to August, it can get really hot with daytime temperatures of up to 40 degrees.
  • On the other hand, there is very little rain.

The rainy season falls roughly between September and December and is characterised by:

  • The months offer hot weather and extremely high humidity
  • It rains throughout the period, though mostly in October and November.
  • Between August and November, it is typhoon season in the western Pacific, and it can hit Central Vietnam.

It is best to visit central Vietnam between: February and April, when the weather is mild and there is only a little rainfall. If you don’t mind the heat, May to August are also good months. However, you should expect more rain during this period.

Weather statistics for Hoi An: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 24 26 28 31 33 35 34 33 31 29 27 25
Average minimum temperature 19 20 22 24 25 26 26 25 24 23 20 20
Rainfall mm 92 32 30 34 56 99 90 104 297 526 363 206

The southern part of Central Vietnam

Nha Trang

In the southern part of Central Vietnam lies the beach resort of Nha Trang, which, thanks to its tropical climate, offers hot weather all year round.

The dry season is roughly between January and August and is characterised by:

  • Hot weather, especially between May and August.
  • Little rain throughout the period

The rainy season is roughly between September and December and is characterised by:

  • Slightly cooler weather than in the dry season, but still hot. It is hottest in September, after which temperatures drop slightly as the months progress.
  • Most rain falls in October and November.
  • The beach resort may experience typhoons between September and January.

The best time to visit the Nha Trang area is between: January and August, when it is dry season. If you wish to avoid the hottest weather, you should travel between January and April, when temperatures are milder.

Weather statistics for Nha Trang: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 26 27 28 29 32 30 31 31 30 28 27 26
Average minimum temperature 21 21 22 23 25 24 25 25 24 24 22 21
Rainfall mm 40 10 20 40 50 50 30 40 150 240 240 170

Southern Vietnam

Phu Quoc Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta and the holiday island of Phu Quoc – and the rest of southern Vietnam – are located in the tropical climate zone. Due to the tropical climate, the temperature is largely the same throughout the year.

The dry season is roughly between December and April and is characterised by:

  • Sunny days, very hot weather and lower humidity than in the dry season.
  • From the end of February, the weather gets even hotter and the humidity rises.
  • The hottest months of the year are April and May

The rainy season is is roughly between May and November and is characterised by:

  • Very hot weather throughout the period and temperatures of 40–45 degrees are not abnormal
  • Large amounts of rain and rising humidity.
  • The rainy season coincides roughly with the south-west monsoon.
  • Most of the rain falls in the afternoon and mainly during June, July and August.
  • There may be problems with flooding in the Mekong Delta and on the holiday island of Phu Quoc during the rainy season.

It is best to visit southern Vietnam between: December and April (the dry season). It’s hot during the period, but , but less rain falls and humidity is lower than in the rainy season. You should also be aware that it gets really hot in the south, especially in the rainy season, when the humidity can make it feel even hotter.

Weather statistics for Ho Chi Minh City: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 32 33 34 34 34 32 32 32 31 31 31 31
Average minimum temperature 22 23 24 26 26 25 24 25 25 24 23 22
Rainfall mm 10  10  10  40  140  180  190  170  190  160  120  40
Weather statistics for Phu Quoc: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 31 31 32 34 33 32 31 31 31 31 30 30
Average minimum temperature 22 22 23 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 23 22
Rainfall mm 40 36 80 130 193 266 290 398 296 276 212 104

Would you like to visit Vietnam?

It can be difficult to choose the right time to visit Vietnam as there are such big differences in the climate from north to south.

But no matter when you visit Vietnam, you will find that it is a wonderful country.

Would you like to visit Vietnam?

Please note: This is a guideline only! We always recommend that you contact our travel consultants if you are unsure when to travel.

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