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Princess Junk, Ha Long Bay

Vietnam

An intoxicating mix of nature, food and history

When to visit Vietnam

Introduction

"After the rain, good weather. In the wink of an eye, the universe throws off its muddy clothes."
Ho Chi Minh

With around 2,000 miles between the northern and southern tips of the country Vietnam has a varied climate, with three distinct climatic zones.

The driest time to visit the country as a whole is between December and March. This is by far the best time to visit the south, which will be warm and dry. The north of the country is cool this time of year and can be decidedly chilly in December and January, and although the region tends not to experience heavy rainfall it can vary from damp and misty to clear and sunny on any given day.

If visting both north and south at this time of year you'll therefore need to pack clothing for both warm and cool climates.

The summer monsoon starts in May and carries wet and humid weather right across the country until October.  This prolonged wet weather can make some travel, especially in the south, quite tricky. If you're travelling extensively from north to south at this time of year, you're likely to see rain, so a raincoat is essential, and when heading into the hills of the north, it is a good idea to bring some warmer clothes.

The monsoon arrives later in the central region around Nha Trang, Danang and Hoi An, and is at its heaviest from September to December, with the months of June, July and sometimes even August often clear and sunny.

Southern Vietnam & The Mekong

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 40
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 400
  • 300
  • 200
  • 100
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

The weather in southern Vietnam is at its best between December and May, while the wet season runs through the summer and autumn, ending in November. However, during the wetter months, downpours tend to be short and sharp, and travel during this time is certainly possible, although heavier-than-normal rains can lead to some flooding in the Mekong Delta. Southern Vietnam tends to be hot throughout the year, with temperatures rarely falling below 20ºC.

Daily max temp (Nov)
30.4℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
109mm

Northern Vietnam

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 40
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 440
  • 330
  • 220
  • 110
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Spring and summer in the north tend to be hot and humid with heavy downpours, while the winter can get quite cold, especially in the mountains. The autumn is arguably the best time to visit, with temperatures averaging around 25ºC and rainfall at its lowest. Along the central coast, the wet season starts in September, when typhoons bring torrential rain and hurricane-force winds. The spring is generally dry and pleasant, followed by a hot summer (June to August), when temperatures are often in the high 30s.

Daily max temp (Nov)
25.6℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
40mm

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