The best time to visit Saigon is when the air is cool and skies are blue. However it is not always that easy to figure this out. The weather has undoubtedly been changing in recent years. Saigon is Vietnam’s largest city and is situated in the south of the country. It is a fascinating place with a mixture of architectural styles and superb cultural benefits. Like any place some times of the year offer different things to different people. Saigon is a truly wonderful city. Here are some of the things that make Saigon what it is throughout the year.
Situated in the south of the country Saigon enjoys completely different weather than the northern cities like Hanoi. Between the months of May and November the rainy season dominates proceedings culminating in very heavy rain in October, The showers normally last just an hour or two, so you can still plan around them. But sometimes they can be day long deluges. When the dry season comes Saigon is a very lovely place to be. From November through to May it is day long sunshine everyday and normally hardly ever rains. 2016/17 has been an exception. The El Nino Effect brought an unusually short dry season.
Check out the InSeAsia Weather Map here.
Enjoying the sights of Saigon is always better in the dry, though the heat can make walking around very hard. If you are caught in the rain though, there will always be plenty with which to occupy yourself. The city adapts well to the wet weather and there are plenty of things to see and do.
For Peace and Quiet, Tet is the Best Time to Visit Saigon
Tet, or Vietnamese New Year is an amazing time to be in the city. Millions of the indigenous population pour out of the city and head into the country to visit their families. The roads become almost traffic free at times, a rarity for this city. Everywhere is quiet and decidedly easy to get round. The downside though is that many of the Vietnamese businesses close down for the whole period, about a week. The main streets in the town are decorated with bright lights and friezes and especially at night, the city is at its most beautiful.
Christmas and New Year is also a great time. The weather is at its best and the air is less humid. The whole city seems to join in the celebrations as streets are decorated and stores and offices go to amazing lengths to dress up and illuminate the entire city centre. Many of the bars in the centre of town are decorated and staff dress up. A Saigon River boat Christmas dinner is an extremely good way of celebrating in style. The Vietnamese love to come into the city in their thousands to stroll round with their families. It really is a wonderful sight and for many, is the best time to visit Saigon.
The Wet Season Here Can be Very Wet Indeed
There is no doubt that Saigon is enjoyable at any time of the year. The weather can be an inconvenience, but no more than that. Fortunately when it does rain it is often confined to short downpours. However these can be very severe and the city is prone to flooding. The city is a very pretty one, with tree lined boulevards and fantastic French colonial architecture. At night the skyscrapers turn on the lights and many locals will spend an evening standing on the bridges simply admiring their home town.
Saigon: Home of Amazing Architecture, Culture and Cuisine
Culturally, Saigon is an extremely interesting place to visit. French Colonial Architecture rubs shoulders comfortably with modern glass towers and ancient Oriental Temples. The tiny side streets are packed with tiny houses and shop houses, and getting off the beaten track is a must here. Take a motorbike tour and see the real Saigon. This city will offer more than almost any other that I have visited. Even in the wet season, there will be long periods of most days that are dry.
When the rains do come, time your sightseeing. The rains are generally preceded with the wind picking up. This gives you ample time to get into one of the fabulous attractions here. The Reunification Palace, The War Remnants Museum, The Museum of Vietnamese History, Ben Thanh Market and many other high profile places are all worthy of a couple of hours of your time.
Planning the best time to visit Saigon, is never easy. However, no matter when you come you will have a great time. So what are you waiting for? Get that flight booked.