Awe-inspiring nature, friendly locals plus affordable services, Vietnam is such an amazing destination to go with it all. When planning your Vietnam itinerary, you may wonder when is the best season to travel to Vietnam. Even though Vietnam lies entirely in the tropic zone, its climate is distinctive from region to region, thus making it a place you can come and explore any time throughout the year.
In the north, from Sapa to Hanoi, the climate is divided into distinctive seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
In the central region, from Danang to Nha Trang, sunshine lasts throughout the year, yet for the months of November and December there are frequent heavy rainfalls. Dalat, at an altitude of 1,500m, is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March. Da Nang and Hue both experience storm season from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.
In the south, from Ho Chi Minh City to Ca Mau, there are two main seasons: wet and dry. The rainy season falls between April and September, with sudden heavy showers (likely in the afternoon) but don’t last for very long. The dry season spans the months of October to March, with higher temperatures and long days of sunshine, followed by cooler nights.
For your reference, here is a summary of the climate in Vietnam.
This is the best time in Vietnam with dry weather and sunny days throughout the country. The temperature varies from cool to hot, from the north to the south, respectively.
Weather conditions continue to be at their best with dry and sunny days across the entire length of the country. February is an excellent month for beachgoers. In the north, the sky is clear with just a bit of rain, whilst in the mountains and highlands, favorable conditions for trekking and adventure activities return.
March is considered the peak season for travel in Vietnam. The country’s weather is characterized by cool and occasional light rains in the north but stays warm and dry in the center and the south. The beaches in the southern and central regions enjoy a blue sky, plenty of sunshine, and hot weather. In the mountainous areas, ideal conditions for trekking and adventure activities continue.
April’s weather becomes unpredictable for it’s the changing period from spring to summer. Whilst the north heads towards its hot, wet summer, there is still an abundance of dry days. The beaches in the center of the country are still at their very best and whilst rainfall starts to become more likely in the south, clear dry days are more prevalent.
Temperatures start to climb across the country. The north starts to see more rain, leading the way into a hot, sticky summer. The central region inches towards its peak, whilst the south slowly begins to slip towards its wet season, a welcome relief from the steamy heat of the past few months. Beaches remain good options at this time in Hoi An, Danang, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc.
In June, temperatures and humidity rise significantly. In Hanoi, the heat is made worse by the volume of traffic and dust. In Hue and Hoi An, the heat is aggravated by the intense amount of sunlight. In Ho Chi Minh City, the heat is coupled with frequent rain. If heat avoidance is crucial, the highlands of Tam Dao, Sapa and Dalat offer a cooler and more pleasant climate.
You will hear the saying “Nong qua!” (“It’s too/so hot”) everywhere you go in July. The north enters the peak of summer with high temperatures and frequent rain. The center of Vietnam remains hot and predominantly dry with the odd light shower. The south experiences the midst of its wet season with daily downpours. Visitor numbers are lower than in previous months, although the beaches in the central region still offer a great deal of sunshine. Trekking is off the cards for most regions, however, with more rain in the northern mountains and central highlands.
In August, the weather is a mixed bag. The peak of summer continues in the north, with high temperatures and continuous rains, while the south experiences the peak of its wet season. The center of Vietnam stays hot and dry with occasional rains. Tourist numbers are generally low even though the central beaches still guarantee a lot of sunshine. The highland areas remain cool but rainy, so trekking is still off the cards in most regions.
The north becomes drier with less rainfall as conditions in the central regions and the south go the other way with rain becoming more frequent. With the rain, however, the climate in places such as Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City is more pleasant than in the previous months. On the coast, storms and sometimes typhoons could happen.
October favors the North as the weather continues to improve with clearer skies and less rainfall, a well-deserved break from the high humidity of the previous months. In the center, it is a totally different story – high rainfall and yet higher chances of stormy weather. The south begins to see a good change with less rain and a promise of the return of summer. In the central highlands and mountains in the north, great weather conditions make for excellent trekking and adventure activities.
The northern regions begin to get cooler, while the rest of Vietnam stays warm. Showers continue on and off in Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An. November is a decent month to visit Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, as the climate is warm and dry. Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet, and Mui Ne are also back to their best and will remain so for the next six months. Great conditions for trekking and adventure activities continue in the highlands and mountains
December announces the cold to Hanoi and particularly the north-west region, such as Sapa. Snow occasionally comes and goes, but it still might be colder than expected. Both northern and southern regions are in optimum conditions, and the central regions continue to improve as the rains start to decrease. The best beaches to frequent are still Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne, although Nha Trang becomes a viable alternative towards the end of the month.
In a nutshell, the best time to visit the northern region is between March and May, and from September to November when you’ll be spared the full brunt of the summer heat and the cold winter downpours. The period between March and May is Vietnam’s spring season and the countryside around Hanoi is in full bloom, so you can check out the lovely flower villages near the city. Ha Long Bay is especially popular during these months, where you can laze on the cruise’s deck, surrounded by warm water and clear skies. And if you’re planning a trip up to Sapa, this is the perfect time as the entire valley is painted the colour of emerald rice fields and is any photographer’s dream.
The best time to visit Vietnam’s southern region is between December and April. The balmy summer days are ideal for gazing across the skyscrapers from one of the dozens of swanky rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City. The dry season runs from January to April; June to November sees the most rain showers occurring in the afternoon.
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