Vietnam Weather: When is the best time to visit

Vietnam weather guide - when to travel to vietnam - this witch travels .co.uk blog header. Photo showes hi van pass

Before I get started with this Vietnam weather guide and when to visit the stunning country, I want to be clear – travel restrictions are still in force around the world. I do not advise you to or think that anyone should travel right now. I do advise that you follow your government’s advice. As I said in my post about things to do in lockdown, it is now the perfect time to plan your post travel ban getaway! And that is exactly what I am providing this information for.

So, let’s go.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to maximise your upcoming trip in as many ways that you can!

Everything from using your time wisely to choosing the best hotels in the locations most suited to your needs. I can be difficult to know where to start, but I’ve got you covered.. you start with when you go.

The weather, as we well know, can change drastically month on month.

And Vietnam weather is no exception.

However, one thing that does change with tropical locations, including Vietnam weather, is the seasons themselves. Say goodbye to Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. And hello to Wet, Rainy and Shoulder.

Vietnam Weather Areas

Vietnam itself is such a long country that it has several seasons at the same time, it just depends where you’re standing! So saying May is best for Vietnam weather, is really not an option here and we need to break it down some more!

For ease, I’m going to split the country in to North, South, and Middle.

North includes places like Hanoi, Sa Pa, and Ha Long Bay.
Central includes Hue and Hoi An.
South includes the Makong Delta, Ho Chi Minh and Phu Quoc.

If there are any more areas that you’re interested in visiting, find these on a map and see which they are closest to, it should be pretty easy to figure out which area it is in, or if it is a mix between the two.

But naturally, this post would take years to write if I were to cover every town in Vietnam.

Information Sources and Disclaimer

The Vietnam weather information provided on this page for you is information that I have compiled myself from various sources on the web. This includes various weather sites such as weatherandclimate.com, NOAA.gov, and vietnamonline.com.

No one can predict what is going to happen with the weather in the future accurately just based on a monthly average. Averages like those below are based on past years data, and the best way to have an educated guess at the conditions you will experience in that given month.

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I (or anyone else for that matter) cannot make any guarantees that you will experience what is writen below for definate. It shoudl be used as a guite only.

For the season itself (dry, rainy and shoulder), I based my decision on the average rainfall in each month. Peak and off-peak are a different matter.

I advise you to please conduct your own research too, before booking anything.

Averages can change based on up to date information, as time passes, I will do my best to keep the charts as accurate as possible, and will endeavour to update them at a minimum of once a year.

Lets get stuck in, shall we?

Vietnam Weather By Month

January

North Dry Season – 20 high, 14 low
CentralShoulder Season – 24 high, 17 low
SouthDry Season – 31 high, 21 low

January is a great time to be active in Vietnam. Why not go on a trek in Sa Pa, a bike ride on Cat Ba, see the wonders of My Son, or row your way through the mekong?

The cooler weather means that you can stay out longer and be more active! Plus, the likelihood of getting caught in the rain is pretty slim across most of the country. Winner!

If your dream holiday is an active one, with cooler temperatures so that you can push and explore and experience more, then January is ideal for you.

February

North Dry Season – 21 high, 16 low
CentralDry Season – 25 high, 18 low
SouthDry Season – 32 high, 22 low

The temperatures begin to pick back up again in February, again, this is a perfect time for active holidays, through out the country. The climate is cooler than usual and all of the country is experiencing dry season at the same time.

It is also plenty warm enough in the south and central to spend some time relaxing topping up your tan. Though if you want to go to the beaches of the central of Vietnam, the sea can be quite choppy still and boats and tours on the water are closed still.

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March

North Dry Season – 23 high, 18 low
CentralDry Season – 28 high, 20 low
SouthDry Season – 33 high, 23 low

No big jumps in temperature yet, and still in dry season throughout the whole country. You’ll find your days are perfectly balanced, waking up fresh and getting up early to spend the morning exploring and the afternoons soaking in the sun.

February and March, although dry, arent peak season. This means that you also get the added perks of shoulder seasons (detailed in this post) without the worry of washed out days. What’s not to love?

I’d say now is an ideal time to do a full country trip! I’ll get some itineraries up soon,for inspiration, don’t you worry!

April

North Shoulder Season -28 high, 22 low
CentralDry Season – 31 high, 23 low
SouthDry Season – 35 high, 25 low

Things are starting to heat up now. There has been a jump in temperatures all over the country, especially in the north. However, it is also a wee bit damp, nothing extreme though so don’t let it put you off.

Centrally, the ferry to Cham Island, diving and other excursions involving the sea have started back up now. If you wanted those experiences, but also cooler temperatures, the beginning of April is the best you’ll get. It only gets hotter from here before it ends again.

Sun worshippers, you’ll want to be around the pool in the south, or how about one of Phu Quoc’s beaches?

May

North – Shoulder Season – 32 high, 24 low
CentralDry Season – 34 high, 24 low
SouthRainy Season – 35 high, 25 low

In the south of Vietnam, the rains begin. Though while it may not sound too attractive to visit at this time, the rains are likely to be a welcome respite from the soaring temperature.

In the centre of the country peak season is getting in to full swing. This could be a great time to visit if you love the hustle and bustle, and busy night life.

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June

North Dry Season – 33 high, 26 low
CentralDry Season – 35 high, 25 low
South Rainy Season – 33 high, 24 low

Summer, peak, dry, what ever you wish to call it, from the north to the middle, it is here. The temperatures may be too hot for some to bare, especially if an active holiday is on the cards.

With that said though, get out early in the morning and the temperatures are cool enough to explore before most people have even had breakfast. Then it just means that you can cool off in the pool after.

July

North Dry Season – 33 high, 26 low
CentralDry Season – 35 high, 25 low
SouthRainy Season -33 high, 24 low

The north and centre are still in their peak. If you want to have any feeling of exclusivity, now is not the time to visit these places. The prices are the highest they get due to supply and demand, not that Vietnam is exactly pricy in the first place.

However, if you want to get out there, meet fellow travellers and party this is exactly the time! Live your best life, just be careful doing it.

August

North Dry Season – 33 high, 26 low
CentralDry Season – 35 high, 25 low
SouthRainy Season – 33 high, 24 low

This is the last month I would say to go to the centre of the country for diving and such experiences.

A perfect time now to do some of the beautiful locatioins in the North if you like the heat too. Spend some time in Ha Long Bay and swin in the emerald waters, or do the Ha Giang loop without worries of too much rain.

September

North Shoulder Season – 32 high, 25 low
CentralRainy Season – 32 high, 24 low
SouthRainy Season – 33 high, 23 low

I feel like we are describing England now.. rain, rainy, damp. I could only dram of England having those temperatures though.

The boats and diving etc, end this month, though as the weather starts to change it is possible that they are called off anyway. As I said in August, that was the last month that I would recommend doing it as you might end up disappointed or suck on Cham island for an extra night.

Don’t let the rain put you off going away this month, prices will be cheaper across the board, showers should cut through the heat and you’ll still get plenty of time to soak in the sun.

October

North Shoulder Season – 29 high, 22 low
CentralRainy Season – 29 high, 22 low
SouthRainy Season – 33 high, 23 low

October brings not only rain but dropping temperatures too. Again, you can get some good bargains out of season.

And you know what, tropical rains can actually be pretty fun. If you’ve never been in a pool in a tropical downpour you’re missing out! (Just make sure you’re inside and safe if there’s lightning please.)

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November

North Dry Season – 26 high, 19 low
CentralRainy Season – 27 high, 21 low
SouthShoulder Season – 32 high, 23 low

The north dries off in November and is once more a beautiful temperature for activity and action. I actually went on a Ha Long cruise in November and it was ideal. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it so much if it was any hotter than it was.

November is a great time too to get those shoulder season perks in the south, its nice and hot to sunbathe, the hotels are not as full as they once were and you can get more out of your money.

December

North Dry Season – 22 high, 15 low
CentralRainy Season – 24 high, 19 low
SouthDry Season – 33 high, 22 low

The most wonderful time of the year, so they say. I have to say that the South is wonderful at this time, but seeing Christmas decorations up when you’re in 33 Celcius heat is a little odd, if like me you’ve never had a Christmas in heat!

The north takes a hit on the temperature, ready for the coldest of its months to follow. And the centre of the country enjoys its last true month of rainy season.

In conclusion

You may have noticed during my Vietnam weather charts, that the North, in all of this, doesn’t actually have a rainy season as such. You didn’t? Ok, I’ll wait while you go check..

The country is so long and narrow that the North of the country follows more of a summer/winter seasonality, much in the way that China does, and the timing of those seasons are the same as those in the UK, US and Europe. Though arguably hotter than most. I know I said it followed tropical systems but I didn’t want to confuse it before we even started.

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The best time to go to Vietnam, I don’t think, is something I can put a pin on and say its definitely ‘X’ month… Why? It is totally subjective to your needs and what you enjoy to do.

For me, it would be one of the dry hotter ones because I like to fry my skin to an inch of its life (not that you can tell after a day on a plane home).

But there is so much to do in Vietnam, so much diversity in locations, in things to do, in the people and the culture, and the landscape. Vietnam weather is diverse too, even at the same time! But seriously, the North is like an entirely different country from the south and there is really something for everyone to enjoy.

My advice for choosing when to visit Vietnam would be this, you need to figure out what weather you can enjoy the wonderful country in best! THEN refer to the Vietnam weather guide. And don’t forget too that you can always crossover months if you wanted the best of both worlds!

Keep in mind though that there isn’t a point that it all changes at the start or end of each month but you can transition your days though locations if you’re doing multiple and make it work for you!

I’d be happy to go back at any time in the year, in any of the months in my Vietnam weather guide, and I think that whenever you choose you will love this fantastic country all the same!

So tell me, what month are you going to choose from my Vietnam weather guide?

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