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Travelling to Vietnam – When is the best time to go?

Best Time to Visit Vietnam

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, you’re probably wondering when is the best time to go there for a vacation. You’ve probably heard of the infamous tropical heat, the horrors of the sticky monsoon, and the typhoons which haunt headlines.

However, for all its many forms, Vietnam’s weather usually doesn’t get in the way of holiday-making!

At the outset, you should know that there are broadly three regions in the country, divided by their climate.

North Vietnam is mostly cool between November and March, warm and wet between April and October.

Central Vietnam has lesser temperature variation than the North and the coastal areas can get rough weather due to typhoons. Winters aren’t dry as the North and can get some rains in November and December.

However, broadly, North and Central Vietnam see the greatest climatic fluctuations, while South Vietnam sees a standard weather climate all year round.

So when is the best time of the year to visit Vietnam?

In my recent experience, November to April is the most favorable time to visit Vietnam as the weather is mostly dry and pleasant across the country.

During this period you could also witness the festivities of the biggest Vietnamese festival – the Tết, or The Lunar New Year, that usually falls in late January or early February.

See also: Things to Learn about Vietnamese Culture

average temperatures in vietnam
(Average temperature in Vietnam by city – Graph from Wikipedia )

Can you Visit Vietnam in the Monsoon Season?

Yes! Although, you should consider leaving out the months which see the heaviest downpour. The monsoon season varies for the three different regions. In North Vietnam, the monsoon season comes in July and August. So, these two months are the wettest.

Visiting landmarks in North Vietnam like Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Sapa will prove difficult in these months. Central Vietnam sees the impact of the northeast monsoon from September to December. So, reconsider going to tourist hotspots like Hue and Hoi An in these months.

Southern Vietnam bears the brunt of the southwest monsoon from April to September, of which June and July are the wettest months. Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and the Mekong Delta see heavy showers in this period.

Can you Visit Vietnam in the Typhoon Season?

Unlike the tamer monsoons, you should be aware of visiting Vietnam during the typhoon season. Northern Vietnam sees typhoons in June, July, and August. South Vietnam is also affected by typhoons, but occasionally and between May and October.

Typhoons mainly affect Central Vietnam the most, occurring often between July and October. Hoi An, which is in this Central region, is known to flood frequently.

See also: Where is the Best Vietnam Massage

When is Vietnam the Busiest?

Since peak season is between February and May, these months tend to be the busiest, especially because they harbor Vietnam’s best weather. Another busy time for international travelers is from November to January-February.

The rest of the year is not as busy. However, these are also the months that see the worst of Vietnam’s climate. So, while you might get a few good deals and tourist spots for yourselves in the rainy months, you might also find it hard to beat the heat and the rain.

Visiting Vietnam in the Winter

Visiting Vietnam in December

What month does it start to get cold in Vietnam? Definitely December. Central Vietnam starts to dry up and Southern Vietnam, though still prone to the odd bout of rain, begins to dry up as well.

Visiting Vietnam in January

If you’re asking what the coldest months in Vietnam are, it will have to be December and January. January is the month when it starts to get cold in the northern cities, especially Sapa. South Vietnam is dry while the Central Coast of Vietnam sees rainy weather.

Visiting Vietnam in February

Winter still looms heavy in North Vietnam, assuring a cold climate. Central Vietnam sees bouts of rainfall while South Vietnam is at its driest ever in the year. February is the best month to visit Vietnam, especially if you’re looking to cover the length of the country within a few days.

Visiting Vietnam in the Spring

best time to visit vietnam by month

Visiting Vietnam in March

March is the next best month to travel to Vietnam since the climate is conducive to traveling the whole country. The weather is changing, though. The North is warming up after the winter while the South and Centre maintain cooler temperatures. This is the best time to visit northern Vietnam since the spring weather welcomes comfortable warmth.

Visiting Vietnam in April

North Vietnam begins to get warm and wet, while Central Vietnam continues to see rain. The South now gets ready to welcome the monsoons with humid air and rainfall. This is perhaps the last of the few months when it is the best time to visit in Vietnam.

Visiting Vietnam in May

The South now sees significant rain with the advent of the monsoons. North Vietnam sees rain and gets warmer with the summer months. If you want to park yourself in one place, the Central Coast would be ideal, as the skies are mostly clear and the weather is not too hot but is getting warmer.

Visiting Vietnam in the Summer

Visiting Vietnam in June

The South is now in the full swing of the monsoon and tourist favorites like the Mekong Delta sees floods. The North is now pretty warm and rainy. Meanwhile, Central Vietnam starts to heat up too. June is not the best time to visit Vietnam.

Visiting Vietnam in July

Both North and South Vietnam receive rain from the monsoons this month. The Central Coast is still shielded to some extent but is also seeing rising temperatures. It is best to stay clear of traveling to Vietnam this month, especially if you don’t like the tropics, humidity or rain.

Visiting Vietnam in August

Is one of the few months considered NOT the best time to travel to Vietnam? The monsoon is in full swing in South Vietnam, while the north also sees wet weather. However, Central Vietnam is still drier than the North or the South.

Visiting Vietnam in the Fall

Visiting Vietnam in September

September is often an answer to “when is the best time to visit in Vietnam?” However, if you’re unfamiliar with a tropical climate, you might find that this is not the case. While the rain is slowly retreating from the north, the monsoon showers still continue in the South and pick up with fervent in Central Vietnam.

Visiting Vietnam in October

If you’ve been told that October is one of the best times in the year to travel to Vietnam, you might want to reconsider.

Check the best Places to Visit in October

While it is relatively cooler in the North, it is still raining in the South – while the rainy season is ending in the South it is still quite hot. Central Vietnam remains in the thick of the monsoon.

Visiting Vietnam in November

The best time to visit Cambodia and Vietnam begins in November. At this time of year, the South is cool and relatively less wet and the North is dry as the winter begins to set in.

In Central Vietnam, however, the weather is still wet, prone to occasional flooding but is still a better month to travel in as the typhoon season is at its end in November.

A pleasant November morning in Halong Bay on an overnight cruise.

Overall then, I hope you are able to appreciate that the reason why the best time of year to visit Vietnam is between November and April. That is, during this time you’ll be able to escape most of the heat and the heaviest of rainfall throughout the country.

If you’re entirely averse to the rain, the worst months to visit the country would be from June to August, at the height of the monsoon season.

I hope this comprehensive guide helps you plan the best itinerary and make sure you know what are the best places to visit in Vietnam.