There’s no better time to travel to Vietnam. The country is more than 1000 kilometers long and that causes a lot of climatic variations. That means that in the north you probably have to wear a coat and in the south you die of heat. So there’s no better time to travel to Vietnam for everything. It’s very difficult when you visit the country to find good weather everywhere. In this post we analyze which is the best time to travel to Vietnam considering its areas (north, center and south).
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO VIETNAM
Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries we’ve visited, and it rained on us 12 of the 17 days we were there! If you look at pictures, you’ll see it’s all green. That’s a sure sign that it’s raining hard. But when is the best time to travel to Vietnam? It all depends where you go!
Weather in Vietnam
The best time to travel to Vietnam will depend on the destination you’re interested in. In general, Vietnam receives tourists throughout the year as it is a country that offers very diverse destinations: beach tourism, cities, outdoor activities … We can divide the country into three main regions: north, center and south. And because of the elongated shape of Vietnam, these areas experience different seasons all year round.
However, temperatures in the south remain the same (quite high) throughout the year, while in the north there are many more variations. To give you an example, we visited the north in December and had to buy two jackets – it was freezing! However, when we arrived in Saigon a bit more and passed out from the heat.
When is the best time to travel to Vietnam if I want to see the whole country
If we were to decide on a specific date, we believe that the best time to travel to Vietnam is spring. Specifically between the months of February and April. These are the months with the least amount of rainfall in the whole country. In addition, temperatures are pleasant almost everywhere, although in the north they are still fresh. If you travel during this time of year, you will most likely enjoy good visibility in Sapa and Halong Bay. Also low rainfall in central Vietnam and in the south is the best time to travel to Vietnam! All the Vietnamese recommended us to come in April.
However, during the autumn, from August to October, these are also very good dates. The temperatures are more moderate, there is less rain and the prices are better than in spring or summer.
1. When to visit North Vietnam
Northern Vietnam is perhaps the most interesting area of the country. It has beautiful places like Sapa, Hanoi, Halong Bay or Ninh Binh. The climate in northern Vietnam is the most extreme in the country. That is, it is where you can experience the most changes. For example, in Hanoi during the summer months it can reach 40ºC and in winter, with a cold and humid climate, you will need a good jacket to go out.
Spring and autumn, the best time to travel to Vietnam and get to know the north of the country
The best time to visit the northern region of Vietnam is generally between March and May, and from September to November.
This way you will avoid the stifling and sticky heat of the summer months and also its abundant rainfall. Without a doubt, spring is the best time to travel to Vietnam. Even so, we will go into detail in each destination so that you can see the dates that suit you best.
The climate in Sapa and the northwest region of Vietnam can be divided into two seasons: the dry season, which runs from October to the end of March, and the wet season, which runs from April to September. Sapa is a perfect destination for hiking and outdoor activities. So you should expect good weather. There are no shopping malls or museums in Sapa where you can take refuge from the bad weather.
Therefore, a priori, you should avoid winter and summer. Bear in mind that in winter, during the months of December and January, it is not advisable to travel to Sapa because it is very cold and there is poor visibility, and to see this beauty you need clear skies! It is also not advisable to travel to Sapa during the summer because it is the rainy season (May to September).
From September to November and from March to May the conditions are really good for enjoying the outdoors. Temperatures range from 14º to 28ºC and rain is not frequent. Besides, the rice fields will be at their best and you will fall in love with them.
As in Sapa and most destinations in northern Vietnam, you have to try to avoid summer and winter. In summer it is normal for temperatures to exceed 30°C and the heat is very oppressive. Besides July to September is the monsoon season and the rains are generally short but intense. Although it is not the best time to travel to Vietnam, summer is considered high season because of the school holidays, prices go up and you have to book things in advance.
If you are planning to visit Hanoi during the winter (like us) you will surely be quite cold. Temperatures are over 10ºC but the wet cold is very treacherous and the wind chill is lower.
So the best time to visit Hanoi is during the spring months, October and November. Basically because the temperatures are pleasant and the monsoon season has not yet started. You can also take the opportunity to visit Sapa, Halong Bay or Ninh Binh, where it is also an ideal time.
1.3. Halong Bay
Halong Bay is the crown jewel of Vietnam. And you’ll want to visit it in good weather! But that costs more than you might think. Usually the bay is covered with fog and that reduces visibility quite a bit. However, there are better times than any other to visit this dreamy bay.
July to September are usually the wettest months of the year in northern Vietnam. So we don’t recommend visiting Halong Bay during these months because the extreme weather can cause cruises to be cancelled.
Without a doubt, the best time to visit Halong Bay is from March to May. During these months the skies over Halong Bay are generally clear and the temperatures are pleasant.
If you visit it during the winter, you will probably not enjoy it as much. Most cruise ships have beautiful balconies with sunbeds and the weather will be too cold to lie down and enjoy the scenery.
2. What is the best time to travel to Vietnam and get to know the center of the country
In the center of Vietnam we find several interesting destinations such as Hué, Da Nang, Hoi An or Nha Trang. And the weather changes considerably with respect to North Vietnam. In some cases, we find a more extreme climate. For example, the center of the country is the area most affected by typhoons. So during the months of October and November it rains more than anywhere else in the country. Within the destinations of this region, there are also quite a few climatic variations, so it is better to analyze them in detail.
Hue, Hoi An and Da Nang
The cities of Hué, Hoi An and Da Nang enjoy a warm and dry climate from mid-February to the end of July. There is some rainfall, but it is usually short and in the afternoon. So this is the best time to travel to Vietnam and get to know this part of the country.
However, as we have said, you have to bear in mind that this part of Vietnam is the area most affected by typhoons. They cause heavy rainfall which results in great flooding and damage. And they usually also bring hurricane force winds. Especially between the end of August and November is when they are most common. Therefore, we do not recommend visiting central Vietnam during these dates.
In the southern part of central Vietnam we find one of the most popular beach destinations in Vietnam: Nha Trang. So here you will need good weather yes or yes to enjoy a holiday in the sun.
Luckily, this area has a longer dry season than its northern neighbours. So normally the high season to visit this area is from January to September. The temperatures are higher and the rains less frequent, ideal conditions to enjoy the beach.
The rainy season starts in October and lasts until the beginning of December. However, the worst months are October and November. For your reference, half of the annual rainfall falls during these two months alone. So we do not recommend you to visit the beaches of Nha Trang in October and November.
Finally in the central zone of Vietnam we emphasize Da Lat. It places in the central plateau and has a climate quite different from that of the cities that we have seen up to now. The worst epoch to visit this city is from June to October, since they are in the habit of being the months with more rainfalls.
In this case Da Lat follows more the pattern of the north of Vietnam. Rainy summers, pleasant springs and colder and drier winters. So without a doubt, the best months to visit Da Lat are from March to May.
3. When to visit South Vietnam
In southern Vietnam we find some of the country’s most popular tourist destinations such as Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or the Mekong Delta. In general, temperatures are high throughout the year and rarely fall below 20ºC.
In the south of Vietnam there are also two very marked seasons. The dry season, from December to the beginning of May, and the rainy season from May to November.
3.1. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
The country’s financial capital has a much warmer and more pleasant climate than Hanoi, and although both are chaotic, the traffic is a little more pleasant too!
In Saigon, temperatures remain constant throughout the year. And as it is closer to the equator, the averages range from 25º to 35ºC all year round, so you can forget about wearing your coat in this part of Vietnam!
The best time to travel to Vietnam and discover Saigon is from December to May, during the dry season. In the months of January, February and March the rain is almost minimal. Regarding temperatures, they are quite stable (and high) all year round. So there is no ideal month to be cooler.
During the rainy season, it rarely rains all day long. They are usually short but intense during the afternoon, so it is quite complicated that they can ruin your vacation. Although the first three months of the year are ideal, Saigon is a destination you can visit all year round.