Vietnam is an incredibly long country. When a map of Vietnam is laid over one of the West Coast of the United States, it stretches from San Diego to Seattle. It has a vast ecological diversity from region to region. Therefore, you can find something to do in any region depending on when you decide to travel. Thus, WeExpats has decided to put together a simple guide to help you glean the weather information you need at a glance for when is the best time to visit Vietnam.
Travel Around the Weather in Vietnam:
Due to Vietnam’s extreme length, there are times of the year when you can find white snow on the ground in the mountainous regions to the north, while there are tropical 32C/89F beach days to the south. This can make getting to experience all of Vietnam difficult, yet you are guaranteed to find perfect weather at some point in Vietnam all year round.
– Spring –
Springtime is generally cooler compared to other months. This can be a wonderful time to visit Vietnam because the rains have largely subsided and the countryside is lush with greenery after the rainy season.
In the north of Vietnam, if you visit after the brutally cold winter, then you can have a wonderful experience. The climate begins to heat up after the frosty cold of the winter, and this can also be a great time to visit mountainous regions when snows thaw and life emerges for another year.
In the south of Vietnam, the tropical monsoons that hit areas like Nha Trang have largely subsided by January. Therefore, springtime is a great time to visit the south of Vietnam, yet it gets exponentially hotter until the rains begin to fall, so beware that early spring is the best time to visit the south of Vietnam.
Be aware that this is the busiest season to travel through Vietnam. With the week-long Tet Festival—and then with the Lantern Festival only a week later—it can be difficult to avoid high prices (though this is relative for Vietnamese prices are very inexpensive) and hospitality is generally booked. Vietnamese people often travel during the month of February, and then foreigners can often be found traveling from March until the end of summer. (Though it is generally raining in many parts of Vietnam during the summer, one must factor in Spring Break and Summer vacation backpackers which can use hospitality and increase travel prices).
– Summer –
Summer is generally hot. In the south of Vietnam, it traditionally rains from May to November. Around Ho Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta, the humidity from the rainy season adds to this sweltering heat. However, as the Mekong Delta floods, this is a time for prosperity in the south, when fish run plenty and an abundance of foods are available. The most delicious foods are served in the south and center of Vietnam during the summer. For example, it is the season for mangosteen, which in Vietnam is known as the “Queen of Fruits”. This is a perfect time for culture enthusiasts to travel through the south of Vietnam when festivals of gratitude toward the rich bounty are common.
In the north of Vietnam, hot, dry winds that travel from Laos cross over the Northwest of Vietnam all the way to central Vietnam. For many locals, this is seen as some of the worst weather in central Vietnam, but it might be a welcome respite if you are accustomed to hot, dry climates.
– Fall –
During the fall, the heat subsides. At this time, the rainy season traditionally ends, making it an ideal time to visit the south of Vietnam around the end of fall as it transitions to winter. However, during the center of Vietnam, the monsoon rains hit making it a difficult time to travel by scooter because of muddy conditions.
In the north, it can be difficult to time the perfect visit because the heavy rains subside later in the season due to climate change, and this leaves a shorter window before the colder winter months arrive in mountainous regions like Sapa. In these northern areas, it rains more often at night. Nonetheless, if you should happen to catch this perfect-though-dwindling-window, the landscapes are breathtaking.
– Winter –
The winter can be a great time to visit the south of Vietnam after the rain ends in the fall—however it is worth noting that as weather patterns change due to climate change, the rains are landing less frequently and later in the year.
Furthermore, monsoon season in the center of Vietnam generally means that December and January are the rainiest of months in Vietnam. In higher-elevation areas like Dalat, it can get rather cold. However, this is a great time to visit Vietnam if you want to mingle with the locals and experience the lowest prices. It is the “slow season” and therefore is a great time to find cheap travel and hospitality.
In the north of Vietnam, winters are brutally cold with frosty conditions. If you are planning to ride a scooter, you should try to avoid the coldest or the rainiest months in Vietnam. This can be a perilous time to travel through Vietnam, but if you’re accustomed to colder climates—or you are from far colder climates than Vietnam could ever offer—then this may be a great time to visit for you.
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