When Is The Best Time To Visit Vietnam?
Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and culturally-rich countries in South East Asia. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world flock to Vietnam hoping to take in all that Vietnam has to offer. But of course, planning out your itinerary can be quite overwhelming and intimidating, especially if you’re not sure what the best time to visit Vietnam is. Don’t worry, I got you covered. The climate in Vietnam can be a bit confusing since Vietnam spans over a thousand miles from North to South.
Therefore, the best time to visit Vietnam really just depends on WHERE and WHICH region of Vietnam you plan on seeing. However, don’t let the weather ruin your fun either. If you happen to visit during the rainy, hey! Have fun in the rain then! You get the privilege of seeing Vietnam in a different way than most tourists who visit during the dry season.
All in all, I don’t think there is an absolute (objectively-speaking) best time to visit Vietnam. Each month you can experience sunshine and rainfall in varying quantities. But just to give you an idea of what to expect, I’ll be providing the best months to explore Vietnam according to North, Central, and South Vietnam (Assuming that you want to stay DRY!)
Vietnam Climate Facts
Located in South East Asia, Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate with high humidity. But due to its varying terrain and spread-out regions, the temperature and overall weather varies throughout the country. With a coastline of more than 2000 miles and three different weather systems in North, Central, and South Vietnam. It’s important to think of the entire country as separate destinations when planning your itinerary.
(Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Cat Ba Island, Ninh Binh)
The far north of Vietnam is rather mountainous, and can even experience snow and below zero temperatures from time to time. In Northern Vietnam, the dry season runs from November to April, and the weather tends to be cool and dry. On the other hand, May to October tends to be hot, humid, and rainy! So make sure to bring your umbrellas and raincoats if you are planning to visit during this time. Lastly, be aware that January and December can get really frosty in the Northern region of Vietnam.
The Verdict: If you’re visiting Northern Vietnam, the best time to visit will be the dry season (November to April) but just remember to bring a heavy coat for December and January.
(Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue, Dalat, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon)
Central Vietnam tends to be quite hot and dry from mid-January to late-August, sometimes even with the temperature reaching 30 Celcius and above. Meanwhile the Monsoon-level rains tend to reach its high during October and November. I would avoid traveling in this region during October and November since the Monsoon rain can sometimes come in the form of Typhoons. Which can for sure ruin your fun in Vietnam.
The Verdict: The best time to visit Vietnam if you are visiting the Central region is mid-January to late-August which are drier months of the year.
(Ho Chi Minh City, The Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc, Mui Ne)
Southern Vietnam has a relatively constant warm temperature (25-35 Celcius) compared to other parts of Vietnam. Therefore, the season in Southern Vietnam is simply. With the rainy season ranging from the months of May to early November. And the dry season beginning in November and ending in late April/ Early May. During the rainy season, the months of June, July, and August can experience the highest amount of rainfall. Meanwhile during the dry season, months of February to May can be a bit more hot and humid.
The Verdict: The best time to visit Southern Vietnam is from around December to May due to the dry season. But just be aware that it can get a bit humid from February to May.
Must-Attend Vietnamese Festivals Each Season
Tet Nguyen Dan (Winter)
Think of Tet like a beautiful mixture of New Years celebration, Christmas, and Thanksgiving! Also known as the Vietnam Lunar New Year, this festival usually takes place around late January or early February. Make sure to book your flights and accommodation in advance because this is the busiest time of the year in Vietnam. However, big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City tend to be less crowded since most people travel home to celebrate with family.
Hue Festival (Spring)
This unique 6-day Vietnamese festival takes place in the UNESCO-listed Hue City every two years in April. Hue Festivals is basically a beautiful showcase and exhibit of a wide array of art forms. For example, puppetry, traditional music performances, film screenings, acrobatics, boat racing, poetry, and so on. Prepare to have tons of fun while enjoying spectacular art.
Buddha’s Birthday (Summer)
In April or May, Buddhists around the world gather to celebrate the birthday of Buddha. For Vietnam, a country with more than 50% of the population practicing Buddhism, this festival is an important commemoration of Buddha’s life. In temples and pagodas, this holiday is celebrated by worshipers from all around Vietnam. Especially in Hoi An. Since it is considered to be the best city to celebrate this festival, visitors tend to overwhelm the city, excited to partake in parades and prayer sessions.
Mid Autumn Festival (Fall)
The Mid Autumn Festival, also known as the Full-Moon Festival is another popular celebration in Vietnam. Every year, the festival falls on a different date, but it tends to be around September or October (The 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar Calendar). Though this festival originated from China. In Vietnam, the Mid Autumn Festival is celebrated in a similar fashion. By eating moon cake, fruits, and snacks with your family. And also, lighting lanterns!
Hoi An Lantern Festival (Full Moon Every Month)
If you’ve never witness lanterns in a spectacular quantity before. Then you should definitely not miss this Hoi An Lantern Festival. It takes place every month during the full moon (Check the specific dates here) As soon as the sun sets, the beautiful city of Hoi An transforms into a stunningly jaw-dropping display of paper lanterns of different shapes, color, and sizes. Due to this festival, the city of Hoi An has become an increasingly popular attraction for curious tourists around the world.
I hope this Vietnam weather guide was helpful to you! For more travel destination guides and inspiration, make sure to check out: