I get this question often – when is the best time to visit Vietnam? And it all boils down to you. What are your interests, what do you want to see, do, eat, et cetera. Every season in Vietnam is beautiful, but you will be limited to certain things when for example the rain period starts or winter comes to the north. It’s also important to note that the weather differs largely by which region you want to visit. If you are planning on going north, the weather can be completely different in the south. Here is an overview of weather by month and region, which will hopefully make it easier for you to choose which period suits you better to visit Vietnam:
Far North in the Mountainous part of Vietnam, such as Sapa, Bac Ha and Ha Giang
You can divide the climate here in two seasons: the wet season, which lasts from April to September, and dry seasons which is from October to late March. During the winter months, which is December and January, it can get very cold up north, especially at night. There has even been reports of snow some years (although this is rare). If you don’t mind the cold, it is a great time to visit the northern parts since you can avoid peak season this way. But the best months to travel here is during the dry season, especially if you are planning on trekking and hiking.
Northern parts of Vietnam such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hai Phong, Ninh Binh and Mai Chau
One of the most popular travel routes is Hanoi and Halong Bay. These two should not be missed on your journey to Vietnam. The winter months usually lasts from November to April and the coldest months starts around January – March. Summer is usually very hot and humid here and this is also when rainy season starts. The wettest months of the year is July to September. If you are planning on traveling to Halong Bay during these months, it can be better to postpone it since some cruises can be cancelled due to weather conditions.
Central Vietnam such as Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Nha Trang and Da Lat
The weather here is usually quite warm all year around. The winter months lasts from October – November and it can rain a lot during these months and even have typhoons. The dry weather lasts from mid-January to late August, which is the best months to go here. However, Nha Trang is a bit more south of Central Vietnam and they have a longer dry season which lasts all the way to September with little rain and higher temperatures. This is a reason why so many people love Nha Trang – you have the beautiful beaches and you have the perfect weather. This makes a delightful combo.
South of Vietnam including Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Mui Ne, The Mekong Delta and Ho Tram
You have the wet and dry seasons here in the south as well. The wet season lasts from May until early November. But it is the months of June, July & August that receives the most rainfall of the year. And in Asia, when it rains – it pours! The dry season begins in November and ends in April/early May. The hottest months are usually around end of February to May.
There isn’t really a bad time to visit Vietnam. Even when it’s the rainy season, you will get nice and hot days. Of course, in the north the weather differs a bit during winter but as long as you pack warmer clothes, you will be fine. The south usually offers warm climate all year long, so if you are looking to relax on the beach during the winter months, head down south for guaranteed warm days. Either way, whichever season you decide to come here, you will have a good time. Remember – there is no bad weather, just bad clothes!