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Best time to visit Vietnam - rice fields in Mai chau

When is the best time to visit Vietnam?

When planning your trip to Vietnam, you should consider that the climate varies greatly from region to region. One part of Vietnam can be quite warm, whereas another can be cold. The temperatures from September to January are the mildest in the south, while in winter you can expect low temperatures of around 50°F. During this time it is foggy and cloudy in the north. In July and August it is the rainy season when it is cooler, but also has high humidity. In the afternoon you can expect an overcast sky and short rain showers.

Vietnam has a tropical climate and the temperatures range between the low 70s to the mid-80s. While there are only two seasons in the south, the monsoon and the dry season, a third season is added to the north: the winter. However, there is no bad travel time to undertake a tour of Vietnam.

  Most Ideal Low Season

OVERVIEW

Most parts of the country experience dry and pleasant weather though further north, you can expect cooler temperatures. The wet season draws to an end in Central Vietnam and the air is a pleasant 68°F. Temperatures in north Vietnam are between 50°F – 60°F while readings in south Vietnam are around 85°F.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Go diving in Phú Quốc
  • Kitesurf in Mui Ne
  • Bask under sunny skies in Long Hải

OVERVIEW

It’s time to get festive as the country celebrates Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It is also one of the best times to visit Vietnam as southern parts of the country are bathed in sunshine and central parts of the country almost out of wet season. Temperatures in the north are around the low 60s though you can expect clear, blue skies.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Celebrate Tet amidst a sea of reds and yellows in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Walk beneath a canopy of cherry blossom trees in Hanoi
  • Snorkel around the spectacular coral reefs of Con Dao Islands

OVERVIEW

With pleasant temperatures throughout the country, March is one of the best months to visit Vietnam. Northern parts of the country step out of winter while central and southern regions continue to enjoy beautiful weather. Temperatures are around the mid-60s in the North and around the low to mid-80s in other parts of the country.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Experience the beautiful Lantern Festival in Hoi An
  • Set sail in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay

OVERVIEW

It’s the last month of spring and still a great time to travel to Vietnam. The south starts to see temperatures rise into the high 80s, the north heads towards a wet and hot summer while the beaches of the central coast continue to enjoy glorious weather.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Hike in the midst of serene surroundings in the Hoang Lien National Park in Sapa
  • Take in the sight of mist-covered valleys in the City of Eternal Springs, Da Lat

OVERVIEW

If you want to experience the country without the crowds and are ok with the odd shower, May is a good time to visit Vietnam. The South experiences afternoon downpours and by the end of the month, the North starts to get wet too. You would be well advised to carry an umbrella or raincoat. Temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s across the country.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Unwind in the sandy beaches of Da Nang

OVERVIEW

The northern and southern parts of the country are firmly in the midst of the rainy season. Temperatures and humidity levels are high. In the central regions, days are hot and dry with clear, blue skies making it the perfect getaway from all the rain the rest of the county is experiencing.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Try out the local seafood delicacies at Lang Co
  • Cycle past the lush, green fields of Mai Chau

OVERVIEW

It is the wettest time of the year in Halong Bay, Hanoi and the mountains further north. The southern and northern parts of the country continue to be hot and wet. The only exceptions are the central parts of the country that continue to enjoy dry and sunny days.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Unwind in the coastal resort town of Nha Trang

OVERVIEW

Precipitation levels continue to be high and it is best to avoid cruises along the Halong Bay and treks in the Sapa region. It is the wettest month of the year in Hanoi. The central beaches are still a good bet though, by the end of the month, the region starts experiencing more rainfall. Temperatures across the country are in the mid 80s.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Head to the beaches of Hoi An for some fun in the sun

OVERVIEW

The central region heads into wet season just as the rest of the country heads out of it. Rainfall becomes less frequent in the southern parts of the country, particularly towards the end of the month. Similarly, the northern part of Vietnam sees a drop in temperatures towards the latter part of the month with temperatures in the low 80s.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Visit Mu Cang Chai, famous for its beautiful landscape of rice-terraced fields
  • Savor mooncakes at the Mid-Autumn Festival in Ho Chi Minh city
  • Experience the floating markets of the Mekong Delta

OVERVIEW

With temperatures in the high 70s, it is one of the best times to visit Vietnam. The north experiences terrific weather conditions and it’s the perfect time to hike the mountainous northern region of Sapa. It’s pouring in central parts of Vietnam making the beaches off limits.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Soak in the rich culture of Hanoi
  • Watch the hatching of green turtles in Con Dao island
  • Head to Ha Giang for some breathtaking scenery

OVERVIEW

Cool and dry weather returns making November a popular month to travel to Vietnam. The northern and southern parts of the country are characterized by clear, blue skies and moderate temperatures. It is one of the best months to visit Halong Bay. The central parts of the country are, however, still under a rainy spell with chances of flooding.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Make a trip to breathtaking Cat Bat Island
  • Explore the caves of Halong Bay

OVERVIEW

The rains start to leave central Vietnam and weather conditions continue to be ideal in the northern and southern parts of the country. It is peak tourist season and accommodations sell out quickly so plan ahead if you want to visit the country during this time of the year.

WE RECOMMEND

  • Chill out in the picture-perfect beaches of Phú Quốc
  • Trek through some spectacular sights in Sapa
Excellent / 4.9 out of 5
Vietnam travel guide

What to Pack for Vietnam

Northern Vietnam (Halong Bay, Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Mai Chau)
– Best time to visit: March to May
– Pack light clothes as the weather can get quite warm, and light ponchos or rain jackets for the occasional downpour. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent for your tours around the cities and countryside.

Sapa Hills
– Best time to visit: March to May
– Expect warm weather at this time of the year. It is best to pack light clothes, as well as light ponchos or rain jackets for occasional summer showers. Sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent are a must especially if you wish to hike and trek around the hills of Sapa or in the valley.

Central Vietnam (Hoi An, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hue)
– Best time to visit: January to April
– Expect warm weather especially in Nha Trang which can get quite humid. Pack light clothes that breathe easily such as cotton clothing. Do carry a light rain jacket for the coastal areas which experience occasional rainfall.

Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh, Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet, Mui Ne)
– Best time to visit: November to March
– Expect the southern part of Vietnam to be warm to hot during these dry months. Be sure to carry sunscreen SPF 30+, sunglasses, and lighter cotton and linen clothes. The Mekong Delta can be especially humid around this time so don’t forget to stay hydrated at all time.

Tip:
Packing for a trip to Vietnam can be a challenging task, and depends on where you plan to be visiting. Larger cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi offer upscale restaurants and bars, so pack some clothes and shoes for a nice evening out. It’s not advisable to bring flashy jewelry. Check with your Travel Consultant if you have any questions.

Discover the best times to visit Vietnam with our comprehensive guide. Find out the highlights of the country, month by month and information on what to pack for your Vietnam tour.

Kalani StephensTravel Consultant

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