From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh is some 1600km which gives some indication of the size of the country. As a result the weather in Vietnam varies according to distinct climate zones. Due to regional climate differences there are no good or bad seasons to visit Vietnam. When one climate zone is wet and cold another is dry and warm.
For the purpose of this summary of Vietnam weather we’ll consider the country as three separate areas:
North Vietnam Weather
The North of Vietnam experiences cool, damp winters between November and April with temperatures in Hanoi falling to around 15°C. The summer months from May to October are hot and dry.
A pleasant time to visit is spring (March-April) or autumn (October-December). There are extremes in the Highlands as snow sometimes falls in the winter whilst the summer can see temperatures up around 40ºC. There is the possibility of typhoons between July and November.
When to Go?
The best time to visit the north of Vietnam is from September to December when it isn’t so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues until March. The humidity can prove oppressive from May to the start of September and there’s a danger of flooding.
South Vietnam Weather
The South of Vietnam has a tropical climate with hot, humid conditions which makes sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City very tiring for much of the year. The wet season is from May to November with June to August registering the highest rainfall figures. December to April tends to be very dry. Temperatures average around 25-30°C all year round with the hottest and most humid period from the end of February to May.
When to Go?
December to April is the best time to visit the south of Vietnam. There are short downpours during the wet season from May to November but they tend to only last a short time so you can still enjoy a visit during these months (just go for lunch when you see the black clouds developing). The Mekong Delta can experience severe flooding during this period making travel very difficult.
Central Vietnam Weather
The Central Part of Vietnam experiences something in between the weather patterns of the north and south with the rainy season in summer. The central coast area is usually quite dry from May to October and wet from December to February. Highland areas can experience freezing conditions in winter. There is the possibility of typhoons between July and November.
When to Go?
December to March is a good time to visit the Central Highlands when conditions are usually dry and cool. We visited the region in late November when the weather was beautiful with fine, warm days and pleasant evenings. We had a few light showers as we headed north towards Hoi An. Along the central coast there is a rainy season from December to February. June to October tends to be very dry and hot.
If you’re planning a trip to cover all of Vietnam the best time to visit is from September to December or from March to April.