Vietnam Weather Summary
There is not really a right or wrong time to visit Vietnam as during most months of the year you will experience both sunshine and rain in varying quantities. Welcome to a country with 2000 + miles of coastline and three different weather systems.
What is the best time of year to visit Vietnam?
A. The weather in Vietnam can be split by region. In Hanoi & the north, May to October is hot and humid with high rainfall; November to April is cooler and dry. In the far north, December & January can be particularly cold. Central Vietnam experiences hot, dry weather between January & August when temperatures can hit the mid-30°C’s; whilst high levels of rainfall can occur in September, October & November. Southern Vietnam is generally dry and hot from November to April, and warm and wet between May & October, with the highest rainfall in June, July & August.
Mountainous Far North
Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Ha, Mu Cang Chai
The climate in Sapa and Vietnam’s north-west region including Mu Cang Chai is divided into two seasons: the dry season runs from October to late March with the wet season lasting from April to September. It can get very cold and frosty in December and January, especially at night.
The best months to travel in the north-east (Ha Giang) is during the dry season, from October to April, although December and January can get very cold. We recommend avoiding travelling in Ha Giang during the rainy season (May to September).
Trekking and adventure:
The best trekking conditions in Sapa and around Mu Cang Chai can be experienced between September & November, and from March to May. Daytime temperatures range from 15-28°C, and night-time temperatures from 10-18°C. Trekking and cycling are possible year round, however the winter time can be rather chilly, and the summer rather wet.
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Cuc Phuong, Mai Chau & Ninh Binh
Hanoi and North Vietnam has a distinct winter and summer season. The cool but mostly dry winter lasts from November to April when temperatures average 17-22°C with the coldest months being January – March.
Summer lasts from May to October when it is hot and humid and the region experiences its highest rainfall. July to September are often the wettest months of the year. During these months severe weather can prevent junks sailing in Halong Bay although such weather is rare.
Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Dalat, Quy Nhon & Nha Trang
Hoi An, Hue & Danang in the centre of Vietnam have hot and dry weather from mid-January to late August, with temperatures often reaching the mid-30’s °C. During the winter months the rainfall increases with October and November achieving peak levels, occasionally in the form of typhoons.
Hue is often cooler than Hoi An, especially early in the year. In addition, with each sitting on opposite sides of a small mountain range the weather can often differ between the two greatly on any given day.
Quy Nhon is a six hour drive south of Hoi An and shares a similar weather pattern although the dry season is slightly longer due to its proximity to the southern system.
At the far south of Central Vietnam, Nha Trang benefits from a longer dry season (typically January to September), with high temperatures and little rain . The rainy season runs from October to early December with almost half the annual rainfall falling in October and November.
Dalat, in the central highlands, is wet from June to October making outdoor pursuits problematic. From November to May it is far drier although cold in December & January.
Ho Chi Minh City, The Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc & Con Dao, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne, Ho Tram & Long Hai
With temperatures remaining constant year round, the climate of the south is split into two simple seasons, wet and dry. The dry season begins in November and ends in April/early May with late February to May being slightly hotter and more humid. The wet season lasts from May until early November with the months from June, July & August receiving the highest rainfall of the year. Throughout much of the wet season rainfall is generally heavy but short lasting, often occurring in a mid-afternoon heavy downpour.
The average temperatures in the south range between 25 – 35°C year round.
In the far south, the islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao can be enjoyed year-round, with high chances of sunny days, although if visiting outside dry season, afternoon downpours should be expected.
Vietnam returns to its best with dry conditions expected throughout much of the country. Both the north and south enjoy sunshine whilst the central region steps out of its wet season, meaning the beaches of Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang are back on the menu (joining the in season Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne). There is a variation in the temperature from one end of the country to the other with the south being close to its hottest and the north experiencing cooler weather.
February is amongst the best months to travel in Vietnam; conditions are at their very best with dry, bright weather expected along the entire length of the country. There are a number of great beach options, with southern and central parts all enjoying premium conditions for sun worshipers. At the northern end of the country skies are clear with just a little rain expected whilst in the mountains and highlands good trekking and adventure-activity conditions return.
Amongst the best months to travel in Vietnam; conditions are at their very best with dry, bright weather expected the along the entire length of the country. The beaches of the south and central regions are enjoying hot weather with blue skies and plenty of sunshine whilst in the north it’s bright but much cooler. In both the mountains and highlands you can expect excellent trekking and adventure-activity conditions.
April takes us towards the end of Vietnam’s very peak season from a weather perspective however this can come with the numerous advantages associated with lower visitor-numbers. Whilst the north is now heading towards its hot, wet summer you can still expect plenty of dry days. The beaches in the centre of the country are still at their very best and whilst rainfall starts to become more likely in the now very hot south; clear dry days are more prevalent.
May remains amongst the better months to travel in Vietnam despite it being a slightly mixed bag in terms of weather. The central region is close to its peak whilst the south slowly begins to slip towards its wet season, especially towards the end of the month bring with it a welcome relief from the steamy heat of the past few months. The north is also starting to see more rain although temperatures are rising as it heads into its hot, sticky summer. In truth all the beaches remain good options although we tend to favour the beaches of Hoi An, Danang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.
June is still a good month to travel in Vietnam despite it being a slightly mixed bag in terms of weather. The centre of Vietnam has now hit peak temperatures and remains dry and bright. The south is now in the midst of the wet season with daily downpours to be expected, usually in the afternoon, whilst the north is well into summer mode with high temperatures and rain being the norm. Visitor numbers relatively low and the central beaches still promise a great deal of sunshine. Trekking is off the cards for most, with more rain spreading through the northern mountains & central highlands.
July is a very similar story to June; a mixed bag in terms of weather. The centre of Vietnam remains hot and predominantly dry with the odd light shower expected. The south is now in the midst of its wet season with daily downpours to be expected whilst the north is well into summer mode with high temperatures and rain the norm. Visitor numbers remain lower than earlier in the year and the central beaches still promise a great deal of sunshine. Trekking is off the cards for most regions however, with more rain in the northern mountains and central highlands.
The overall outlook is very mixed in terms of weather. The centre of Vietnam remains hot and predominantly dry with infrequent rain expected, but increasing towards the end of the month. The south is firmly in the midst of the wet season with daily downpours to be expected whilst the north is well into summer mode with high temperatures and frequent rain the norm. Visitor numbers relatively remain low and the central beaches still promise a great deal of sunshine. Trekking is off the cards in most regions because of rain in the northern mountains and central highlands.
Wet weather is on the increase in central regions where, towards the end of the month in particular, rain is expected to become more frequent. Conditions in the north are moving in the opposite direction with less rainfall expected, especially as we head towards October. In the mountains of Sapa things are also improving with trekking very much an option once again. Things remain largely unchanged in the south although rainfall does start to decrease as we move into October.
Things continue to improve in the north with clearer skies, less rainfall and a break to the high humidity of recent months. In the centre it’s the opposite story with high rainfall and the chance of stormy weather. Whilst the rain tumbles in the centre, the south starts to see a change for the good with less rainfall and a promise of the returning summer. Good conditions for adventure activities also return in the mountains of the north and in the Central Highlands.
The dry, cooler weather has firmly returned to north Vietnam making November one of the best months to visit. The central regions are receiving the lion’s share of the rain with stormy weather a possibility at times. In the far south it’s a different story with blue skies and sunshine ensuring that the beaches of Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne are back to their best, a situation that will remain for the coming six months. Good conditions for adventure activities continue in the mountains of the north and also return to the Central Highlands.
It continues to be good news for much Vietnam with optimum conditions in both the north and south, as well as an improving situation in central regions as the rains start to decrease.
The pick of the beaches remain Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne, and towards the end of the month Nha Trang becomes a good option again. In the mountains and highlands good conditions continue although temperatures are low, especially at night.