When to go to Vietnam
Vietnam’s weather system can appear a little complex at first; it’s a huge country with over 2000 miles of coastline, so naturally it enjoys different seasons in different places. It’s important to remember that there’s not really a bad time to visit Vietnam as there’s always potential for sunshine somewhere. From steamy jungles, to snowy mountains and from sun drenched beaches to the Mekong delta, here’s a guide to help break down where to go and when.
Essentially there are three different micro-climates, making Vietnam a year round destination, as there’s always somewhere to go with great weather. The variety of weather patterns are dominated by the south or south-westerly monsoon from May to September and the northeast monsoon from October to April. Essentially best time to visit the entire country is February and March. If you want to go during the school summer vacations then visit the central area and perhaps the south, as if there are showers they are short and sharp and temperatures are still warm.
The Far North (Sapa and Ha Giang)
Best: The dry season generally lasts between October and March. Please note it can get very cold between December and January, particularly at night, as the area sits at a higher altitude than Hanoi. Expect temperatures to sit below 15 degrees during the day at this time, so take warm clothes.
Worst: The wet season generally lasts between April and September. During this time the temperatures rise to an average of 24 degrees.
Northern Vietnam (Hanoi and Halong Bay)
Best: Winter stretches from November to March; it’s fairly dry during this period making this a good time to visit. The coldest months during winter are January to March, falling to about 20 degrees or a little lower in Hanoi. Do note that from December persistent mists can set in for days at a time.
Worst: May to October is hot and humid, and this is when there’s the highest rainfall.
Central Vietnam (Hue, Hoi An, Danang, Nha Trang)
Best: Here rainfall patterns are basically the reverse of everywhere else under the influence of the northeast monsoon. Put simply the driest season is from mid-January to late August, making it a great destination during the summer vacations. Please note that Hue is often cooler than Hoi An.
Worst: The wet seasons begins in October and continues through December, however in Hue and Danang, the rain can last a little longer, mainly between September and January. Please note that the Central Highlands is cooler than everywhere else and on average receives more rainfall.
Southern Vietnam (Saigon, The Mekong Delta and southern coast)
Best: In the south the dry season generally lasts from late November to April. Phu Quoc experiences a longer dry period, which often extends into July.
Worst: The rains generally fall from late May to November. The wettest period is arguably late June to August. Most rain falls in brief afternoon downpours rather than prolonged periods. Phu Quoc has a slightly shorter wet period, which normally only lasts between July and October.
The south is the hottest region of Vietnam with constantly warm weather throughout the year; peak day time temperatures rarely drop between 30 degrees. Most rain falls in brief afternoon downpours rather than prolonged periods so you can happily visit in rainy season. Do note that Phu Quoc island is slightly different with two seasons; wet seasons lasts between July to October and dry season is November to July.