Best Time to travel to Vietnam – Vietnam Weather

Weather in Vietnam is often easy to predict but not so easy to explain. The country is split into three distinct areas, the North, the Central region and the south. The country is over 1000 miles (1600 kilometres) in length, so unsurprisingly the weather in Vietnam varies region to region. Add to that 2,025 miles (3,260 kilometres) of coastline, the elevation of the central Highlands and all the vagaries of a tropical country, and it gets complicated at times.

To try and understand how the weather in Vietnam all sits together we’ll take each area separately and then summarise it at the end.

Month January February March April May June July August September October November December
Tourist Numbers 805,072 833,598 820,480 789,484 757,244 700,446 593,566 664,985 626,324 626,324 732,740 700,446
Halong Bay

Northern Vietnam

The Northern the country is home to the nation’s capital city and three of the most stunningly beautiful areas in the world. Halong Bay, Sapa and Ninh Binh will enthral and delight you. The natural beauty here is simply magnificent and all three areas can be visited with a week. The capital, Hanoi, is a cultural wonderland and home to some of the best art galleries and quirky art cafes in the country. There is so much to see and do here.

Destinations include: Cuc Phuong, Ha Giang, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh and Sapa.

Hoi An

Central Vietnam

Central Vietnam is where you’ll find some of the best beaches in the country. They are stunningly beautiful with pale sands and crystal clear water. Hue, of course, is famous for its Ancient Monuments, steeped in history. This city also has its own distinctive cuisine. The seafood along the coast is magnificent, as fresh as it gets and extremely varied. The Central Highlands here offer travellers the chance to get plenty of cooler fresh air, whilst taking in the wonderful scenery.

Destinations include: Dalat & the Central Highlands, Danang, Hoi An, Hue, Nha Trang and Quy Nhon.

Phu Quoc Island

Southern Vietnam

The Southern the country, arguably offers the greatest variation in destinations. From the busy metropolis of Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh, with its temples and glass towers, to the tranquil Mekong Delta. Here people live a life little changed by the passage of time. The incredible sand dunes of Mui Ne are a favourite, whilst Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island provides beaches, a National Park and high class resorts that are growing extremely rapidly.

Destinations include: Con Dao, Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet and Phu Quoc.

Northern Vietnam

There is plenty of sunshine and blue skies to be had and temperatures in the north will stay reasonably cool with an average temperature of 18ºC. January is one of the lowest months for rainfall in this area, though mists can be quite prevalent, particularly in the early mornings and at coastal locations. Temperatures can fall very low levels, particularly in the far north and at night.

Southern Vietnam

January brings some of the best annual weather to the southern regions of Vietnam. This is fresh air, blue skies and warm weather all the way. Rainfall is just about non existent. Average temperatures are 26ºC. This is a good month to visit Ho Chi Minh City as the humidity is down and the stifling heat has yet to arrive. The beaches on Phu Quoc and those of Mui Ne enjoy classic sunbathing weather.
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Central Vietnam

This is the beginning of the end for the wet season and in the second half of the month the rainfall really slows down. Average temperatures are 23ºC at this time and finally the beaches begin to become a destination once more. Dalat and surrounding areas remain cool and even cold at night.

Holidays & Festivals in January

Tet

This is of course a moveable feast following as it does the lunar calendar. In 2017, this Vietnamese new year holiday falls on January 28th though celebrations run between January 27th and February 1st.

Northern Vietnam

Quite similar to January in that this month sees plenty of sun and blue skies with rainfall hardly ever being an issue, coastal areas again see early morning mists and the north gets very chilly. Average temperatures in February are 17ºC.

Southern Vietnam

Still part of the really pleasant time of the year for the Southern Region. Average temperatures stay at 27ºC which is really comfortable. The skies remain blue, there is hardly any rain and the Phan Thiet, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc enjoy busy times on their beaches.

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Central Vietnam

The summer is now underway in Central Vietnam and this is a good time to visit the glorious beaches of Danang and Hoi An. Average temperatures at this time are 25ºC. To the Northern the region Hue enjoys quite warm weather, but southerly areas around Dalat stay cooler. Walking in the Central Highlands is good at this time.

Holidays & Festivals in February

Valentines Day

The Vietnamese do love their romance, expect to see flowers being carried everywhere by embarrassed looking men and happy, smiling ladies.

Northern Vietnam

Temperatures normally just start to rise during the month of March seeing at the average rise to 19ºC. The higher ground sees a slightly ore exaggerated rise in temperature making this month one of the best for trekking in Sapa and Ha Giang. There is still little or no rainfall at this time of the year.

Southern Vietnam

The weather starts to heat up slowly but surely at this time of the year.This is one of the great times to hit those beaches in Phan Thiet, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc, average temperatures are about 29ºC and the streets of Ho Chi Minh City have not yet reached their stifling peak.

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Central Vietnam

This is now peak season for the beaches along the coast and long sunshine filled days are constant. This is the high season for Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang. Average temperatures hit 28ºC and rainfall is none existent. The whole area including the higher ground around Dalat enjoys very good conditions.

Holidays & Festivals in March

Hai Ba Trung Day

Celebrated on the 6th day of the 2nd lunar month to honour the revolt by the Trung Sisters against Chinese invaders.

Holiday of the Dead (Thanh Minh)

people visit family graves to pay homage to their ancestors. They make offerings of flowers and food and burn incense.

Northern Vietnam

By the time April arrives, the dry weather for the Northern the country is starting to wane. Temperatures really start to rise seeing averages of 24ºc. There are generally a few rainy days as the month progresses as this is the official start of the hot and wet season. Trekking conditions  in Sapa and Ha Giang, remain excellent at this time of year.

Southern Vietnam

As the average temperatures soar to 31ºC, the beach areas of Phan Thiet, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc remain the best options for tourists. The rain clouds will start to gather at this time and there is a slight chance of rain as the month wears on.

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Central Vietnam

The peak season continues with glorious blue skies, hot long sunny days throughout the month of April. The beaches are superb and business is booming. Average temperatures of 28ºC make the ocean seem even more enticing.

Holidays & Festivals in April

Reunification Day

On the 30th April 1975, tanks of the northern forces smashed through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon, signalling the end of the war. This is now a national holiday.

Hung Kings Commemoration Day

The Hung Kings were the founders of Vietnam and the Hung Kings Commemoration Day is a joyous occasion, is centred around traditional Vietnamese culture. In 2017 it falls on April 16th.

Northern Vietnam

With average temperatures of 29ºC and more chance of rain, May is still an ok time to visit. There are more dry days than wet and it is still a good time to explore Sapa. However Ha Giang being further east gets more rain at this time.

Southern Vietnam

May sees the start of the wet season proper in parts of the region. That is not to say that there will still be plenty of sunny days. The rain when it comes has a cooling effect on temperatures and the average for this month is 28ºC. Normally you can plan around the rain storms which more often than not come in the late afternoons.
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Central Vietnam

For the beaches of Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang its business as usual as Central Vietnam’s long hot summer continues to provide fabulous weather and average temperatures of 30ºC. In the Central Highlands the wet season begins to make an appearance, but at this time it is only sporadic showers.

Holidays & Festivals in May

Labour Day

1st of May is a national holiday to celebrate Labour Day. The holiday runs together with the Reunification Day celebrations to give workers a long weekend holiday.

Northern Vietnam

Summer time is here now and average temperatures of 30ºC are accompanied by rain and even the start of tropical storms. Rain spreads throughout the whole region at this time and trekking in the trickier parts of Sapa and Giang is ill-advised. Also Halong Bay can have some cruise cancellations.

Southern Vietnam

The wet season starts to get into its stride in June, the rains still generally come in the afternoons but they begin to get more frequent and more intense. Average temperatures remain at 28ºC and the streets of Ho Chi Minh City start to feel a lot cooler. There are still enough dry days to enjoying exploring.
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Central Vietnam

As with May it is simply adorable hot beach weather and the seaside restaurants are kept busy in Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang as tourist hit the beaches. Average temperatures remain at 30ºC. In the Central Highlands the sporadic showers, begin to increase, but do not as yet impeded tourism and travel.

Holidays & Festivals in June

Vietnamese Family Day

This takes place on June 28th every year with Cultural and art programmes held nationwide. Activities are co-ordinated by various agencies including the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to the Hanoi People’s Committee and the Vietnam Elderly Association.

Tet Doan Ngo, the summer solstice

Northern Vietnam

Heavy rains affect both Hanoi and Halong Bay in July and it really is not a great time to visit. Average temperatures remain at 30ºC making this a very hot and sticky time. Trekking is not advised in the mountainous regions to the north.

Southern Vietnam

This is normally fully into the wet season now, though in recent years July has felt more like June. Rain showers continue to intensify and temperatures are similar with an average of 29ºC.It is still a good time to be in the south.

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Central Vietnam

The weather in Vietnam really is adorable at the time and this long hot spell continues throughout July. The average temperatures rises to 31ºC and the odd shower is not unwelcome. The beaches of Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang are in full swing and Hue also experiences terrific weather in July.  In the Central Highlands however trekking is inadvisable due to high rainfall.

Holidays & Festivals in July

Northern Vietnam

Not a time to think about trekking holidays in Sapa as the rain and tropicals storms pass through the whole area. Again Hanoi and Halong Bay suffer from very heavy rains and the average temperatures stay at 30ºC.

Southern Vietnam

August is very much the same as July. The rain stays the same and average temperatures remain at 29ºC. The air quality outside of Ho Chi Minh City is normally exceptional at this time as the frequent showers continue to freshen things up.

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Central Vietnam

For the beach areas of Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang the high temperatures, average 30ºC, and sunshine still prevail. However the rain showers begin to get more frequent. Nha Trang is the best in this month though overcast skies will start to dominate later in the month. Hue, gets more rainfall and the Central Highlands really experience a lot of rainfall making trekking a bad idea.

Holidays & Festivals in August

Day of All Wandering Souls (Trung Nguyen)

Ancestral worship is strong in Vietnam, where people believe that the souls of departed ancestors reside in the homes of their children. Houses have an alter in one room and on this day, food is offered and fake paper money is burned to honour their memory. There are also celebrations in the many Buddhist temples throughout the country.

Northern Vietnam

As northern Vietnam approaches the end of its summer there is still a lot of hot weather around with average temperatures staying at 28ºC, though it starts to cool towards the end of the month. The rainfall also starts to diminish. Trekking in Sapa becomes available again as the conditions improve.

Southern Vietnam

Well into the wet season now and things remain the same as the previous months. The weather in Vietnam in general is very stable and the wet season is something that everyone works around. With average temperatures of 28ºC getting caught in the odd downpour is not such a big deal.
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Central Vietnam

This is quite an unsettled month throughout the region. The whole coastal areas of Hue, Hoi An, Danang and even Nha Trang see the rainfall increase. Average temperatures begin to reduce to 28ºC. Dalat and the Central Highlands experience heavy rain at this time of the year, making it not the best time to visit.

Holidays & Festivals in September

Independence Day

commemoration and celebration as Vietnam commemorates the Declaration of Independence from France on September 2, 1945. It is also the country’s National Day The Holiday is officially on the 2nd of September but if it falls on the weekend, the holiday is moved to the Monday. This in 2017 it will be on Monday 4th.

Northern Vietnam

The rainy season comes to an end as cooler drier weather creeps into north Vietnam. Average temperatures are now down to 26ºC and the whole area feels fresh. In the mountains of Sapa and Ha Giang, October provides some of the best conditions of the year for trekking holidays.

Southern Vietnam

October is normally the month that signals the beginning of the end for the wet season, though in recent years some of the heaviest downpours have been at this time. Average temperatures start to fall gently to 27ºC and finally the beach areas of  Phan Thiet, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc start to get ready for their beat times.
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Central Vietnam

We are really getting into the wet season for Central Vietnam in the month of October. Heavy rains are also accompanied by storms, and there is more of a temperature difference across the region with average temperatures of between 24ºC and 27ºC. Danang is extremely wet at this time, receiving half its annual rainfall in the months of October and November. Meanwhile in Dalat and the Central Highlands the rainfall starts to diminish, particularly towards the end of the month.

Holidays & Festivals in October

Vietnamese Women’s Day

Women have made a huge contribution to modern day Vietnam. Their strength and strength of character is immeasurable. They are honour every year on October 20th which is Vietnamese Women’s Day. Flowers and gifts are given.

Halloween

The Vietnamese love any excuse to dress up and Halloween has grown in signifyance over the years. All the girls working in the city centre bars and restaurants dress up to their scary best. Many establishments including offices are decorated. School children go trick or treating.

Northern Vietnam

The drier cooler weather continues and all signs of the hot wet summer are left behind. Average temperatures are now 24ºC and Sapa and Ha Giang continue to provide exceptional trekking conditions. What little rain there still might be is fairly insignificant.

Southern Vietnam

November is the month that locals and expats have been waiting for, the rain clouds clear, the humidity drops significantly, the skies turn blue and people head for the beaches of Phan Thiet, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. Average temperatures sit at 27ºC.

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Central Vietnam

The weather in Vietnam’s central region at this time of the year is at its worst now. Heavy storms lash the coastline. Hue starts to cool off faster than the more southerly areas around Hoi An and Danang, with monthly averages being around 23ºC to 25ºC. Meanwhile Danang is getting the other 25% of its annual rainfall. Meanwhile the microclimate of Dalat and the Central Highlands see the skies clearing and little to no rain falling.

Holidays & Festivals in November

Northern Vietnam

Average temperatures start to really drop now are are 19ºC for the month of December. In the mountainous areas it is dry but those deceptively cold nights start to arrive. Conditions are still though perfect in Sapa and Ha Giang.

Southern Vietnam

Probably the best month of the year, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City. Temperature are at an average of 26ºC and the air quality is excellent. The beaches of Phan Thiet, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc are bathed in glorious sunshine and it really is a delight to be here.

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Central Vietnam

The storms still continue throughout December but at least the rainfall starts to subside. Hue in the north gets more rain than the rest of the region. Temperatures start to drop to their lowest of the year with the average being 24ºC. Dalat and the Central Highlands get the best of things, with clear skies, but chilly evenings. The area getting the most rain is around Nha Trang, though even here, it is starting to subside.

Holidays & Festivals in December

Christmas

This has gained in prominence enormously in recent years. The city centre shops really get dressed up and people pour in with the children to see the show. The Christmas lights in Ho Chi Minh City are exceptional.

New Years Eve

The Vietnamese love their fireworks and any excuse is enough to see millions riding into Saigon and Hanoi to watch the firework displays for the Western New Year. Although not their party, they nevertheless join in.

Month January February March April May June July August September October November December
Tourist Numbers 805,072 833,598 820,480 789,484 757,244 700,446 593,566 664,985 626,324 626,324 732,740 700,446
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