When to visit Vietnam
When to visit Vietnam
Best time to visit Vietnam
Vietnam has a peculiarly complex climate. A thin, elongated strip of country, exposed to coast from tip-to-toe, it border China at its northernmost point and looks across to the Gulf of Thailand at its southernmost. It’s three distinct regions – north, central, and south – each have their own individual climates, with their own best and worst times to visit. Getting your head around these overlapping climate cycles can be tricky but rest assured our specialists are well versed and have put together a brief overview below.
A big advantage of Vietnam’s complex climate is that at any one time there is a region of the country which is ‘in season’, so as such it is year-round destination. If you only have a limited window to travel to Vietnam then we can definitely make the most of your time whenever it is you’re planning to visit.
If you’re totally flexible on dates and wish to see the whole country and at the very best time to do it, then we’d suggest planning for late spring to early summer: late February through to end of May. At this time rainfall is low and temperatures are typically warm without being unbearably hot nationwide. If you’ve a specific region or time of year in mind though, please read on for our detailed guide on when and where to travel.
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Vietnam is a year-round destination, with something to offer whatever time of year you choose to visit. We’ve put together an overview of climate season-by-season and region-by-region below.
Best period for travelling tip-to-toe
March to May
Easily the best time of year to travel Vietnam as a whole, with limited rain and temperate climate countrywide. By late February any cool weather in the north of Vietnam – Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Pu Luong – will have burned off, leading to pleasant spring like conditions. Central and southern Vietnam remain warm throughout, but remember an important rule of thumb: it will get warmer as you travel further south in country and later in season. If you’re planning to spend a large bulk of time around Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, particularly on a luxury river cruise, we suggest looking well towards February and early March. All of Vietnam’s beaches are in good condition in these months, particularly Con Dao which can be windswept in other times of year.
Take in the Highlights of Vietnam on our example itinerary
Summer holidays in central regions
June to August
The summer months arrive and with them come the monsoon rains which are typical in this part of the world. A climatic quirk however sees the central region of Vietnam experience its rainy season arrive much later in the year. So while summer months see a thorough drenching for northern and southern Vietnam, the central areas are typically ideal. The heritage sites of Hue, dynamic port city Danang, the old town of Hoi An, and the many excellent beaches which line this section of coast are warm, clear, and dry – handily coinciding with summer holiday and honeymoon season, giving Vietnam a unique advantage for these kind of trips.
Ideal for adventures outdoors
September to November
As we move into September the rains – and occasionally typhoons – arrive in central Vietnam, making this region decidedly unfavourable right up until early December. The north and south are right back in season however, experiencing ideal touring conditions once more. Furthermore, having just experienced a thorough soaking, Vietnam’s rural areas are lush, fresh, and carpeted in emerald green. Now is a fantastic time to out and about in the waterways of the south or the mountains of the north. Trekking areas Sapa, Pu Luong, and Mai Chau are particularly resplendent at this time of year.
Perfect cruising conditions
December to February
It may come as a surprise that Vietnam does experience a winter, but the northern regions are far enough north – bordering China remember – to become noticeably cool in December and January…with mountainous Sapa and Ha Giang even seeing occasional snowfall! Central Vietnam is warm and clear, although Hoi An’s beaches may be a little cool for a Christmas beach getaway; beaches further south however – Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Phu Quoc – are pleasantly tropical. Water levels in the Mekong Delta are still high right through to February and early March, so this is an ideal period for river cruising through to Cambodia.
Explore both the Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia on our example itinerary
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