Vietnam is blessed with cultural and natural attractions throughout the three regions which means each region and destination has its distinct ideal time for visiting. For first-time visitors to Vietnam, worry no longer! In this travel guide, we’ll show you in detail what to notice of weather in Vietnam, best season to visit Vietnam, when and best places to visit Vietnam in the most visualized and easiest way to follow.
At a first glance, Vietnam is a long country, stretching vertically and is divided into three main distinct climate zones: North, Central and South. In general, weather in Vietnam is deeply influenced by monsoon season which brings each region different weather characteristics, partly affected by the oceanic climate. Therefore, even though Vietnam is located at tropical area and adjacent to the equator, the climate of Vietnam is still milder than that of a lot of countries that are located on the same latitude thanks to the winter season in the northern part. Let’s look at the weather in Vietnam throughout a year.
Seasons of Vietnam
1. Spring (Late January – April)
From January to March in Vietnam is one of the best seasons for tourism activities and also the months with the most diverse weather characteristics throughout the country. January is the first month of the year in the Gregorian calendar but the last month in Lunar year. This makes the atmosphere in Vietnam generally bustling, festive and happy. North Vietnam in January is blessed with the prime of winter which brings almost no rain, dry air and low temperature (average 10-15 degrees Celsius). Water activities in Halong Bay, Cat Ba island and other beaches in north Vietnam are quite impossible because of the cold temperature. In Sapa, there’s a chance that it might snow. Central and South Vietnam in January are warmer than North Vietnam with average temperature at 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. If you’re seeking some tropical sunlight, then we suggest you to go south.
2. Summer (May – September)
Summertime weather can vary depending on where you are in the country. The south is quite warm, with highs climbing above 35 degrees Celsius regularly, and is often victim to frequent heavy showers. If you’re in the northern part of the country, you’ll want to bring plenty of insect repellant—mosquitoes are at their peak, due to frequent heavy rainfall. However, this time is the perfect time to check out some amazing beaches such as Cat Ba, Halong Bay.
3. Autumn (Late September – Early October)
Autumn in Vietnam is very short. Rains continue through September and October, but typhoons can cause rough seas. Unsuspecting tourists should also beware that central regions of Vietnam are subject to hurricanes during the fall months.
4. Winter (Late October – January)
At last, come December, the country dries out. Winter marks the best time for seaside vacations in Vietnam, but the northern part of the country can be quite cool and gloomy. Expecting temperatures in the around 10 – 18 degrees Celsius and occasional drizzle.
Regions of Vietnam
1. Mountainous Far North (Sapa, Ha Giang, Mu Cang Chai)
The climate in Sapa and Vietnam’s north-west region including Mu Cang Chai is divided into two seasons: the dry season runs from October to late March with the wet season lasting from April to September. It can get very cold and frosty in December and January, especially at night. The best months to travel in the north-east (Sapa, Ha Giang) is during the dry season, from October to April, although December and January can get very cold. We recommend avoiding travelling in Ha Giang during the rainy season (May to September).
The best trekking conditions in Sapa and around Mu Cang Chai can be experienced between September & November, and from March to May. Daytime temperatures range from 15-28°C, and night-time temperatures from 10-18°C. Trekking and cycling are possible year-round, however the wintertime can be rather chilly, and the summer rather wet.
2. North Vietnam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh)
Hanoi and North Vietnam has a distinct winter and summer season. The cool but mostly dry winter lasts from November to April when temperatures average 17-22°C with the coldest period around January – March. Summer lasts from May to late August when it is hot and humid, and the region experiences its highest rainfall. July to September are often the wettest months of the year. During these months severe weather can prevent junks sailing in Halong Bay although such weather is rare.
3. Central Vietnam (Hoi An, Hue, Da Nang, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Da Lat)
Hoi An, Hue and Da Nang in the center of Vietnam have hot and dry weather from mid-January to late August, with temperatures often reaching the mid-30°C. During the winter months, the rainfall increases with October and November achieving peak levels, occasionally in the form of typhoons.
Hue is often cooler than Hoi An, especially early in the year. In addition, with each sitting on opposite sides of a small mountain range the weather can often differ between the two greatly on any given day.
Quy Nhon – a new famous attraction to tourists nowadays – is a six-hour drive from Hoi An. It shares a similar weather pattern due to its proximity to the southern system.
Nha Trang benefits from a longer dry season (typically January to September), with high temperatures and little rain. And Da Lat, in the central highlands, is wet from June to October but except from that period, this is a great attraction that we highly recommend you to visit during your stay here.
4. South Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh city, Phu Quoc, Con Dao)
With temperatures remaining constant year-round, the climate of the south is split into two simple seasons, wet and dry. The dry season begins in November and ends in April/early May. The period between late February to May is slightly hotter and more humid. The wet season lasts from May until early November. The months from June, July and August receive the highest rainfall of the year. Throughout much of the wet season rainfall is generally heavy but short lasting, often occurring in a mid-afternoon heavy downpour.
The average temperatures in the south including Ho Chi Minh city range between 25 – 35°C year-round.
In the far south, Phu Quoc island and Con Dao island can be enjoyed year-round, with high chances of sunny days. Although if visiting outside dry season, afternoon downpours should be expected.
We hope this guide helps you understand more about weather in Vietnam and plan on visiting this country wisely. If you are still not sure where to visit in this beautiful country, we suggest you start with Sapa. For more information about beautiful attractions, check out Trazy.com, #1 Travel Shop for Asia to find out more!