Best time to visit Vietnam: When to go and what to expect
“When is the best time to visit Vietnam” is one of the most common questions that all trip planners often think about. Finding a time that suits your precious vacation, comes with pleasant weather and is not crowded with other travelers can seem like a utopia in this age of booming tourism. While you may not be able to afford to plan exactly as advised or find a solution to all your expectations, you can always “work with” the next best option.
Here comes a very convenient truth: anytime can be a good time to visit Vietnam.
The unseasonal monsoon stretching from north to south, varied topography and landscapes, and different low elevations gives the country everything: you can wear layers of warmth in one destination just to bask in the sun. scorching sun on the next leg of your similar trip. It sounds beautiful, but the varied weather patterns across the country also pose a dilemma: you can’t find a month with perfect weather throughout. Simply put, every month and every season in Vietnam should meet some of your expectations, but not all.
If you want good weather
… Take your trip in March to May or October to early December
Vietnam’s weather from March to May is quite stable and uniform across the country, with average – high temperature, very little rain. It barely reaches above 30°C and only increases significantly at the end of May. Humidity in the North (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa) and Central (Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An) is higher than in the South (Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Mekong Delta) but the generally more pleasant than the rest of the year.
The period from October to early December is colder than before, with temperatures dropping below 20 °C in Northern Vietnam. However, the low humidity fully makes up for the fewer hours of sunshine: you’ll get a cool breeze throughout the day, with some cities like Hanoi arguably the most beautiful at this time of year. There may be more rain as you head south of the ward, but the temptation is also higher and the rain comes and goes quickly. If you spend most of your time in the central region of Vietnam, then March to May might be a better time as there is less chance of downpours.
The mild weather during these two periods is ideal especially if you want to spend some time outdoors, whether lounging on the beach south or cycling back north. There is less risk for heatstroke, landslides, floods or storms especially from March to May, and therefore the risk of trip cancellation is lower.
If you want to experience the festival
… Plan your trip for December – March
The period from late December to March is a continuous series of cultural events, both in a millennial tradition inspired by the West.
At the end of December, major tourist destinations will be lit up with Christmas trees and New Year countdown stages, giving you a glimpse of the modern cultural values of Vietnamese people. Churches and cathedrals often celebrate authentic holiday spirits with nativity scenes, prayers, and carols. However, the larger downtown areas are enveloped in a festive atmosphere of Christmas decorations and music. Young people often start from Christmas to New Year to go out with friends, dress well and celebrate the holiday rather than reunite with family (for the Tet holiday).
Vietnamese have 2-3 days off for the New Year holiday, and many urbanites spend this short break on nearby beaches or popular tourist attractions like Ha Long Bay to the north and Da Nang. Lat in the South. The city may be temporarily empty before crowds return to prepare for the Tet holiday, which usually runs from late January to mid-February (actual dates vary based on the lunar calendar).
The most important event in Vietnam, the Lunar New Year or the Lunar New Year, is very motivating. This is a time to reflect on the past and look to the future, pray for the best, sit down with the extended family and cherish the moments of reunion.
The period before Tet is well worth your travel time: you will witness the magnetic chaos only once this year. Supermarkets are overflowing with red and yellow confectionery, the streets are busier with traffic as locals shop for Tet, and decorative trees sit on the sidewalks waiting to be picked. The city and country areas will come to life completely, which is definitely an attraction when visiting Vietnam at this time of year.
On the days leading up to Tet, the streets will be unusually quiet. Stores closed, traffic will drop to almost zero. You will encounter Vietnamese people, young and old, young and old, girls and boys, dressed in colorful clothes to visit family and relatives or crowded at temples and pagodas hoping for a lucky year to come. As a reminder, this only happens once a year – and the regret/inconvenience will be the last thing on your mind even though the shops and services are mostly closed.
The period after Tet – from mid-February to late March – is also dominated by cultural festivals. From North to South, spring has been a special time for Vietnamese people since ancient times: a time to meditate, relax, travel or participate in one of the many festivals such as the Lim Festival (Bac Ninh). , Perfume Pagoda (Hanoi), Yen Tu festival (Quang Ninh). In short, if you want to experience Vietnamese culture at its best, visit the country sometime before March.
If you want to give your family the best vacation
… Consider March-May or November
Taking their family around town in the blazing summer heat (June-August) or under heavy rain (September-early October) or heavy traffic (December-February) does not benefit anyone.
That leaves us with two options: March-May or November, when the weather is calmest and traffic most acceptable. Spring starts in full swing from March and your kids will be delighted to see the tropical flowers in full bloom.
The cool temperatures and low amount of domestic tourism also mean you can experience any part of the country you want: seas, mountains, emerald bays, rainforests, plateaus, canals and even even cities. And in case you are fascinated by the wonderful natural scenery, you can always take your children to visit safari zones or amusement parks such as VinWonders (Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Nam Hoi An) or Sun World Park. (Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Cat Ba).
If you are mainly interested in escaping from the beach
… Go in January or April-May
If you visit Vietnam in January: choose southern beaches like Nha Trang, Vung Tau and Phu Quoc. If you visit Vietnam in April-May: choose northern and central beaches like Cat Ba, Thuan An, An Bang, My Khe or Ly Son islands.
The reason for you to plan to visit the beach during these two periods is not only the mild weather, little rain, clear skies and light winds, but also because the beach is mostly empty and perfect for vacations. your vacation. Vietnam’s long coastline is not to be missed, and you can do it well by scheduling the right time to visit.
Besides immersing yourself in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, you can also consider one of the many water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, paragliding or an island tour. Vietnam is a beach paradise, and at least won’t let you down.
If you want to avoid the crowd
… Closed in late December – mid January, weekends from June to August off your table
Everyone wants to include at least some, if not all, of the must-dos, must-sees, must-eats on their list – and that inevitably leads to overcrowding.
If you prefer quiet over the hustle and can really afford to shift your travel time for it, we recommend staying away from two time periods: late December to mid-January and all summer weekends.
It is a fact that Christmas is also the busiest tourist season in the country: hotels booked, spas booked, restaurants booked, attractions not booked but packed. People seem to take annual leave at this same time and flock to popular destinations. Many people feel better about being joined by a crowd, but if this isn’t you, avoid at all costs. This can also save you a significant amount of money as peak season surcharges are common during this time of year.
Then comes the locals’ precious summer break: the weekends from June to August. Vietnamese hardly travel alone – most find joy in a crowded destination with their extended family. It is not unusual for a tour group of 20-30 people to belong to the same family. Parents often wait for their children to finish school before jostling on the beach. This is without a doubt the peak season for domestic tourism, and you may find yourself lost in the vast ocean of domestic tourists, squealing over alcohol, or children. Screaming children ran around the hotel lobby.
Best case scenario if you only have these months to spare: visit on weekdays.
If you want great deals
… May and September are your friends
In terms of weather, May and September start off quite pleasant. The heat wave either hasn’t arrived yet, or it’s been two months, and so are the local holiday makers. Most tour operators offer discounts during these two months to attract more visits and balance annual sales, which means you can save up to 30% compared to peak tourist season.
What’s more, you can find yourself at a deserted beach, a deserted mountain trail, an exclusive swimming pool just for you. The golden sun lasts from 7am to 7pm but is not as intense as the middle months. Weather and money wise, there’s no better time to visit Vietnam than May and September.
You can find more information on temperature, humidity, rainy days and precipitation with our monthly weather guide.