Due to the differences in latitude and topography, Vietnam is divided into 3 main regions corresponding with 3 separate weather systems. In a country more than 1,600 kms (1,000 miles) long, the weather in Vietnam varies considerably as you go from north to south, from a temperate to a tropical climate. This variety makes Vietnam a year-round destination.
While March to May offers the best weather countrywide, there’s no bad time to visit Vietnam, as there are always many parts of the country with holiday skies. Figuring out the best time to visit Vietnam depends on which parts of the country you want to visit. Below is a guide for the best time to visit different regions of Vietnam.
Best time to visit North Vietnam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Ha Giang)
The climate is various and witnesses the most considerable changes in northern Vietnam with four distinct seasons: summer (May – August), autumn (September – November), winter (December – January), and spring (February – April).
The best time to visit Northern Vietnam ranges from September to next April. Despite the cold in December and January, you can enjoy the most beautiful Vietnam in the dry season and vibrant festival season. The summer months (May to August) are typically very hot and humid.
Hanoi capital has the calmest weather conditions then best visited all year round. Summer temperatures can peak at 39°C and winter temperatures can dip to 9°C with extreme cold from the northeast monsoon. Generally, Hanoi is hardly expecting severe floods, earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters. September to November is the best time to visit Hanoi and fully experience the most beautiful season of the year.
Ha Long Bay landscape is awe-inspiring to take a cruise tour throughout the year, except the typhoon season from July to August.
Ha Giang and Sapa are located in far northeast mountainous regions where the winter cold can be frozen and snowed in late December and January. The most suitable time to travel to the Vietnamese northern mountain is the dry months, from September to April. Not to mention, Sapa in September and Ha Giang in November are most beautiful with golden rice terraces and buckwheat flower blossoms.
Best time to visit Central Vietnam (Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang)
An interesting fact is that the weather in Central Vietnam is kind of a transitional area climate-wise from the North to the South. The most typical climate feature of Central Vietnam is that the rainy season and dry season don’t happen at the same time as the rest climate.
Spring and summer (January to June) is the best time to visit Central Vietnam, when the weather is dry.
In Hoi An, Hue, and Da Nang, the hottest time and dry climate occur from mid-Jan to August. During this time, the average temperature is around 30°C. If you intend to visit Hue, Dang Nang, Hoi An, remember to avoid the typhoon season (August to December).
Further south of Central Vietnam, coastal provinces from Nha Trang to Mui Ne feature a longer dry season, which is typically from January to September. As being less affected by the rain, the rainy season runs only from October to early December.
Best time to visit Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc Island)
The South of Vietnam is typical of a humid tropical climate which experiences warm, pleasant temperatures year-round (25°C to 35°C), making travel good at any time. If you are fed up with the cold weather, Southern Vietnam is a perfect place to take a break from it. There are two main seasons here: the rainy and the dry season.
The best time to visit Southern Vietnam is in the dry season (December to May). The rainy season runs from June through November, but rain usually comes in short bursts and rarely impacts travel.
Exploring Ho Chi Minh City, the most bustling city of Vietnam, and traveling back to the wartime in Cu Cu Tunnels, one of the most attractive underground wonders in the globe, is extremely ideal in the dry season.
The Mekong Delta becomes more attractive and lively when the dry season comes. It’s the best time to enjoy vibrant floating markets. On the other hand, Mekong Delta in the monsoon season is surprisingly gorgeous for photography as dramatic thunderheads float across and rice paddies are covered in vibrant emerald green.
Phu Quoc Island, experiencing Southern Vietnam’s climate, is a top pick for your “sun, sea and sand” vacation in winter and spring.