This post was last updated on February 3rd, 2020 at 03:03 pm
The best time to visit Vietnam is difficult to specify as the country is 1,600 kilometers long. The country also has three different climate zones; North, Central and South Vietnam. There is not one particular season when it is best to travel through Vietnam.
It depends on which region you visit and when. In general, autumn (September to December) and spring (March to April) are the most favorable seasons if you want to cover the entire country.
The Best Months to Visit Vietnam
Vietnam has a tropical climate which makes it pleasantly warm throughout the year. Yet there are periods in which extra rain falls or when it is extremely dry. In general, you can divide Vietnam’s best travel times into three seasons. The high season, the shoulder season and the low season.
In our opinion, the best time to visit Vietnam is from December to March.
The Seasons of Vietnam
There are three seasons in Vietnam. There’s the dry season, which runs roughly from November to April, and the rainy season that roughly coincides with the summer months of the northern hemisphere. Between those two seasons, you can also travel because of the good weather and low(er) prices.
Beach in Mui Ne, great for relaxing and swimming!
July and August
The months of July and August are the high season. Not so much because of the good weather, but mainly because of the prices. They go up 50% on the coast and it is advisable to book in advance. In all of Vietnam, except the north, it is hot, but there can be heavy showers.
Our kayaking experience in Ha Long Bay, one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam
December to March
This is the mid-season, and these months are perhaps the best months to travel in Vietnam. The temperature is pleasant and there is a lot less rain than in the summer months. In the north, it can get quite cold. In the south, you will generally find a clear blue sky and lots of sunshine.
April to June and September to December.
If you travel throughout the country and do not want to see only the south or north, the low season is not a bad option. Although it can storm considerably in the north and central part of Vietnam in November, the prices are extra low!
Vietnam Weather by Month
Unfortunately, Vietnam’s weather conditions can never be fully predicted. Sometimes in the rainy season, there will be dry periods and in the cool, dry season there can be rain in succession. It can vary per month. To hopefully give you a good idea about the best Vietnam travel periods, we have created an overview of the average weather in Vietnam by month. Read it carefully to find out which months will best suit your trip.
Vietnam Weather in January
January is a great month to start your journey through Vietnam. You can enjoy the sun in both the north and the south, while the central part leaves the rainy season behind. That means that the beaches of Hoi An, Da Nang and Nha Trang are beautiful and sunny. There is a difference in temperature from one side of the country to the other with the highest temperatures in the south and cooler weather in the north.
Vietnam Weather in February
February is one of the best months to visit Vietnam. The conditions are good with dry, clear weather. Beach lovers are in the right place as you can enjoy the sun at the southern and central beaches. In the north there are clear blue skies with a bit of rain. This is also the month for great trekking and outdoor activities in the mountains and highlands.
Vietnam Weather in March
Just like February, March is one of the better months to visit Vietnam. Conditions are good with dry, clear weather throughout the country and a lot of sun at the southern and central beaches. The north of the country has clear blue skies with light rain showers every now and then. March is also a great month for trekking and outdoor activities in the mountains.
Vietnam Weather in April
April is the last of the best months to visit Vietnam. While the north is on its way back to a warm, wet summer, you can still expect many dry days. Central Vietnam is still at its best. More precipitation is starting to fall in the very hot south. You notice from the crowds and prices that the high season is coming to an end.
Vietnam Weather in May
Although the high season is “officially” coming to an end, May is still one of the better months to visit Vietnam. The weather is quite difficult to predict in this month. Central Vietnam is good while in the south the rainy season is slowly starting, especially towards the end of the month. It also starts raining more in northern Vietnam, although the temperature is rising. All beaches remain great options, especially around Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.
Vietnam Weather in June
June is still a good month to visit Vietnam, although it is clearly getting less optimal. In the central part it is hot and it stays dry and clear. The south is now in the middle of the rainy season with daily downpours, usually in the afternoon. There is a lot of sun in the north with high temperatures and rain. The beaches in central Vietnam still have a lot of sun. Trekking is not a good idea because of the rain in the north.
Vietnam Weather in July
July is mostly the same as June. In the central part of Vietnam it is hot and it remainds clear and dry. The south suffers from a lot of rain. Are you going north? It will be summer with high temperatures and rain, making the humidity high. Central Vietnam enjoys a lot of sun.
Vietnam Weather in August
The central part of Vietnam stays warm and mostly dry with occasional showers, but there will be more rain towards the end of the month. In the south the rainy season continues with daily rain showers. North Vietnam is still suffering from high temperatues and frequent rain.
Vietnam Weather in September
The central part of Vietnam is now also receiving more rain, certainly towards the end of the month. The conditions in the north go in the opposite direction with less rainfall. Conditions are getting better in the mountains around Sapa. The south remains largely unchanged although rainfall begins to decline at the end of the month.
Vietnam Weather in October
The weather continues to improve in the north with clear skies, less rain and a lower humidity. In the central part of Vietnam there’s more rain and a higher chance of stormy weather. South Vietnam is starting to change with less rainfall and more sunshine. Adventurous activities such as trekking in the mountains in the north and the central highlands can be done again.
Vietnam Weather in November
The dry, cool weather returns to North Vietnam, making November one of the best months to travel around this area. The central regions are faced with more rain and stormy weather. In the far south it’s a different story with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. The beaches of Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne are at their best.
Vietnam Weather in December
Temperatures are good throughout Vietnam and the rain starts to decrease. The beaches of Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne remain great and by the end of the month Nha Trang is getting better. Conditions are good in the mountains and highlands, although temperatures can be quite low, especially at night.
Best Time to Visit North Vietnam
The north of Vietnam houses cities such as Sapa, Mai Chau, Cao Bang and Mu Cang Chai that are certainly worth a visit. In our opinion, North Vietnam is the most beautiful region in the country. Characteristic are the gorgeous green rice fields and impressive valleys and waterfalls. A must-see!
In northern Vietnam, the weather is generally good from October to December. In these months you can avoid the rainy summer months. The months thereafter; December to February are considerably cooler and higher areas sometimes see frost or even snow in the winter!
Temperatures start to rise again in March, with temperatures between May and August reaching up to 40° Celsius (104°F). Summer is the rainy season when heavy showers make the lower areas hot and humid. Flooding can occur.
TIP – If you go to Vietnam during the summer holidays and don’t want to encounter rain showers, it is advisable not to start in the north of Vietnam.
Sunset on the beach
Best Time to Visit Central Vietnam
With cities such as Hue, Mui Ne, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Nha Trang, the central part of Vietnam is definitely worth visiting. The rain clouds slowly continue their way down from northern Vietnam as time goes on. That means that the highest chance of rain in central Vietnam is from September to December.
Although you expect the most sunshine to be in the south, in the central part of Vietnam you have the best chance of seeing the sun during the year. However, keep in mind that you may have a chance of cyclones from August to November. The best time to visit central Vietnam is from February to July.
Around Nha Trang, the wet season starts in November and continues until December. Further north, around Hué and Da Nang, the rain continues a little longer; from September to February. This region is best visited in the spring (February to May).
Typhoon Season in Vietnam
When you are planning your trip in Vietnam you should also keep typhoons in mind. Temperatures reach their peak from June to August. The coast of central Vietnam is the area that can be affected by typhoons. Although it is difficult to predict, the typhoon season is generally from August to November.
Best Time to Visit South Vietnam
In South Vietnam, the dry season runs from December to April and the rainy season from May to November. Since most of the rain falls in the afternoon, this does not have to be a big problem. Floods during the rainy season can cause problems in the Mekong Delta. Daytime temperatures in this region rarely fall below 20°C (68°F), and occasionally it even reaches 40°C (104°F) during the hottest months. These are March, April, and May.
The climate of the central highlands usually follows the same pattern, although the temperatures are cooler, especially at night. Again, the rain from May to October can make traveling more complicated due to deteriorated roads.
TIP – The best time to visit South Vietnam is during the months of December to April.
Rainy Season in Vietnam
Just like in any other country, Vietnam has periods of rain, also called the monsoon periods. There is more rainfall in this period than in the rest of the year. Yet, a real rainy season cannot be identified by the complex climate of the country. You can assume that it rains the most during the summer months.
The most rain falls around noon and usually lasts only an hour. Fortunately, in Vietnam, it is always 20 to 35°C (68 to 95°F), so a good rain shower is usually a welcome surprise. We recommend that you always take a poncho with you when you visit Vietnam.
There is also a difference whether you stay in the cities or go into the mountains. Rain in the cities generally causes fewer nuisances. Buy a poncho or umbrella, do a sun dance and hope it dries quickly.
Are you in the mountains? Then this can cause other problems such as mudslides and blocking of roads. The best time to visit Vietnam is, therefore, mainly dependent on the rainy season.