Vietnam is technically in the Northern Hemisphere and it is close to the equator; thus, each specific region experiences different climate and weathers. That being said, the country experiences some pretty crazy weather! It could be chilly in Ha Noi but sweltering in Ho Chi Minh City. The unpredictability of Vietnam’s weather might become one of the best stories and most favorite memories of your trip.
When planning to visit Vietnam, you need to take into account the weather, your desired locations and the kind of activities you are interested in doing (and how they could potentially be affected by the weather). Below we have some information on the best times to visit Vietnam, as categorized by geographical locations.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is the biggest city in Vietnam. It’s hustling and bustling and extremely hot during the summer (June through September). Realistically, the city is going to be hot all year round, but do expect cooler and more comfortable days during the winter period (from about early October to early February).
The rainy season affects Ho Chi Minh City severely! It usually falls roughly in the months of May to October. This may sound off putting but most of the time, the rain does not last the entire day. In the afternoon, after a day of drastic heat and humidity, dark clouds will gather and unleash what seems like an impossible amount of water onto the streets and everyone on them.
Watching the process of a down pour from the comfort of a cafe or bar or even being a part of it is a one of a kind experience. Vendors along the road will be quick to pull out plastic ponchos, people on their bikes will pull over and pull out their huge rain coats, throw them on and drive off, the streets will turn into rivers before your eyes! And just as suddenly as it has started, the rain would abruptly stop, leaving the city a little bit cooler for the next few hours.
Bottom line, rainy season won’t hurt your trip, but Ho Chi Minh City is most comfortable to be outside in during the winter.
Mui Ne is such a unique part of Vietnam with so many outdoor activities to try out, like driving 4x4s down white sand dunes. It is situated in the driest region of the country so the city stays dry even during the rainy season (from May to October).
Other things you can do in Mui Ne are swimming and tanning, quad biking sand dunes, kite surfing and general adventuring the unique landscape. And the best part is that you can visit it all year round!
Da Lat is located in the central highlands of Vietnam. The city is full of amazing waterfalls and biking trails, flower parks, lakes and pagodas. All sights that are better seen in the sunshine!
Among the many variations in the broad spectrum of Vietnam’s weather, Da Lat is truly blessed. It is actually referred to as the “City of Eternal Spring” because of the good weather it enjoys year round. Da Lat has a very temperate climate and so visiting at any time of year will all but be guaranteed to have good weather.
Nha Trang is a popular beach town and home to some of the most visited resorts in the country. Popular activities in Nha Trang include relaxing with a beer on a lounger under the sun, feasting at amazing restaurants and taking in the historic Po Nagar temple when you’re all beached out.
Nha Trang is always warm and perfect for swimming, but you will find the best and brightest days with very little chance of rain in early February through to late August. The city tends to have its wettest weather from September until around the end of December.
Hoi An is famous for the enchanting Ancient City, but it also boasts some beautiful beaches. Hiring a bicycle from your homestay or hotel and cycling to the beach, you will pass rice paddies and share the road with water buffalo carrying anything from crops to smiling children on their backs. Hoi An in the months of late January to July experiences very little rain and is usually cooler.
It can get seriously hot in the summer, with the temperature sometimes rising up to nearly 40 degrees Celsius (around 100 degrees Fahrenheit). So if you plan to visit during Summer months, remember to pack cool clothes and a lot of sun block. And stay hydrated, too!
Hue is the historical center of Vietnam. This ancient imperial city is filled to the brim with enchanting shrines, palaces, royal tombs, ancient ruins and the 19th century citadel. Walking around these sacred spaces of yesteryear and soaking up the historical significance will be a definite highlight of your trip to Vietnam.
Hue experiences both dry and very, very wet months. The official rainy season is usually between September and December, with October and November being the months of very heavy downfall. It is however not completely unheard of for Hue to experience brief afternoon showers even during the dry months (January through August).
The summer months in Hue can be very hot and humid. Something to remember when packing!
Ha Long Bay
Taking a dragon boat out into this world heritage sight is a total breath-taking experience! Ha Long Bay in the winter is not too bad. You can still go kayaking but the water is colder so swimming is not ideal. Because of this, it is recommended to go during Spring (March through June) or during Autumn (September to early November).
Summer is also a good time to visit but it can get uncomfortably warm. But nothing a quick dip in the turquoise water won’t fix!
The capital of Vietnam can get down to 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) during winter (roughly the November to early February period). If you do have a trip planned for the holiday season there are more than a few markets and stores filled with North Face (among other brands) jackets to keep you toasty!
The historically rich sites of Ha Noi are most comfortable to visit during the months of autumn and spring. This city is so rich with history and culture you will want to get lost down every alley you pass. The city is generally less humid during this time than in the summer and definitely warmer than its surprisingly cold (for South East Asia anyways) winters.
Trekking in Sapa is a popular and unique way to explore one of the most northern areas of Vietnam. Sapa is further North than Ha Noi and subsequently gets colder (and wetter) during the winter months.
From March through June and September through October, sunny but cool days in Sapa are ideal for walking or trekking. It is also the perfect time to marvel at the emerald hills and spend afternoons cooking and talking with and getting to know the heart-warming friendly locals.
Because of its geography, Vietnam’s weather changes from place to place. If you are planning a full trip along the country, you are bound to encounter everything, from heavy rain to skin-burning heat! Make sure to check out the specific weather of the areas you’re intending to visit to know exactly what to pack, from rain coats to real coats and everything in between!
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