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The best time to visit Vietnam

COVID-19 update – Vietnam, August 5, 2020: As one of the first countries to open the domestic tourism market, Vietnam is cautiously planning to welcome international visitors.

The best months to visit Vietnam are in December, January, the first half of February, the second half of March and April. August and November are also good times to go.

December, January, first half of February: the weather is cool and dry, best times to travel to this S-shaped country and enjoy trekking in the northern mountains. At the end of January and the beginning of February (date vary), Vietnamese New Year is the best festival to experience.

From the second half of March to the end of April: Thanks to warm, dry weather and clear sky, a perfect time to visit this quaint country and enjoy beach activities.

The rainy months are at the end of May, June, September and November. In the North, there are some muggy days from the end of February to the first half of March. Winter (December, January) is the coldest season, but only takes place in the North, the northern high mountains may have snow when the temperature drops below 0°C. May, June, July are the 3 hottest months when the average temperature is about 30°C – 35°C and outdoor temperatures on the hottest days can reach over 40°C.

If you want to know the best time to fly to Vietnam, check at Google Flights or Skyscanner.

If you travel both Vietnam and Cambodia, the best months are December, January, the first half of February and April. Cambodia has a climate similar to southern Vietnam, Chol Chnam Thmay in April is Cambodian New Year.

In order to protect your health and skin from the intense sunlight on blazing hot summer days, you should bring along hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and deodorant. In contrast, the temperature on winter days can be even below 0°C (32°F) on high mountains in northern; therefore, it is advisable to prepare some pieces of warm clothing. Waterproof accessories like daypack, sandals, shoes are also essential things for varied weather.

Climate of Vietnam

Best weather to visit Vietnam

From a bird’s eye view, Vietnam is a year-round destination with humid subtropical climate in the North and tropical savanna climate in the South. This climate division is due to the elongated terrain that is split by Bach Ma mountain. In Northern Vietnam, from Hai Van Pass northwards, there are 4 distinct seasons including spring, summer, autumn and winter. Meanwhile, the weather in Southern Vietnam, from Hai Van Pass southwards, is divided into dry and rainy seasons.

The North

Spring in the North lasts for about 2 months, from March to April, with the average temperature is 18°C – 23°C (64°F – 73°F), the average humidity is about 70%. In some muggy days from the end of February to the first half of March, humidity can increase to 90%.

Summer begins in May and ends in August, with the average temperature is about 30°C – 35°C (86°F – 95°F) and humidity is 60% – 70%. In May, high levels of rainfall increases average humidity to 70% – 80%.

Autumn is from September to October, the average temperature is 23°C – 28°C (73°F – 82°F), the humidity ranges from 60% to 70%. In September, the appearance of tropical storms causes the humidity to increase to 70% – 80%.

Winter lasts from November to February, the temperature hovers around 15°C – 21°C (59°F – 69°F) and the humidity is between 60% and 70%.

The South

Southern Vietnam has a tropical savanna climate due to its proximity to the equator. The annual average temperature is about 27°C (80°F). The Southern climate comprises 2 distinct seasons, dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season begins in May and ends in November, the dry one is from December to April. The average humidity of the former ranges from 75% to 80% and that of the latter is between 65% and 70%.

Vietnam weather guide

High temp. (°C) Low temp. (°C) Rainfall (mm)

Hanoi

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
20 21 23 28 32 34 33 33 32 29 26 22
14 16 18 22 24 26 26 26 25 22 19 15
23 17 43 60 134 163 178 185 109 77 41 17

Ho Chi Minh

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
32 33 34 34 34 32 32 32 31 31 31 31
22 23 24 26 26 25 24 25 25 24 23 22
10 10 10 40 140 180 190 170 190 160 120 40

Ha Long Bay

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
20 21 23 27 30 30 31 32 31 28 24 21
14 15 18 21 24 24 25 25 24 21 18 15
3 22 53 57 175 172 201 265 190 54 12 23

Hoi An

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
25 26 28 31 33 35 34 34 32 29 27 25
19 20 22 24 25 26 26 25 24 23 22 20
70 19 24 30 64 55 83 114 307 478 415 215

Ninh Binh

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
20 21 23 28 31 33 33 32 31 29 26 22
14 16 18 22 25 27 27 26 25 22 19 15
20 37 43 69 182 198 257 324 395 150 58 28

Hue

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
24 25 28 32 34 35 35 35 32 29 27 24
17 18 20 23 24 25 25 25 24 22 21 18
162 73 92 51 107 83 84 118 365 606 617 324

Mekong River Delta

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
30 31 32 33 32 31 30 30 30 30 29 29
21 22 23 24 24 23 23 24 24 24 24 22
                       

Da Nang

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
25 26 28 31 33 35 34 34 32 29 27 25
19 20 22 24 25 26 26 25 24 23 22 20
70 19 24 31 64 55 83 114 307 478 415 215

Nha Trang

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
27 27 30 31 32 33 33 33 32 30 29 27
21 22 23 24 25 25 25 25 25 24 23 22
38 15 29 33 60 34 30 36 123 238 329 171

Phu Quoc

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
30 31 31 32 31 30 29 29 29 30 30 30
22 23 24 25 25 25 25 25 24 24 24 23
27 23 64 104 199 298 386 357 408 308 141 58

Mui Ne

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
29 30 31 32 33 32 32 32 31 31 31 30
22 22 24 25 26 25 25 25 25 24 24 22
14 1 2 34 129 106 151 135 165 141 74 32

Sapa

ene feb mar abr may jun jul ago sep oct nov dic
11 13 16 20 23 24 24 24 23 20 17 13
5 7 10 13 15 17 17 16 15 13 9 6
25 59 67 151 276 314 467 441 277 132 11 3

Travel season in Vietnam

From November to April is the high tourist season for international visitors to Vietnam. Particularly, December is the peak month, which causes travel service prices to increase by 10% or more. However, contracting prices among tourism businesses are normally stable.

The low tourist season is from April to October. The cheapest time is April and September, which is the off-peak time of both domestic and international tourism.

Vietnamese people travel mainly on 2 occasions that are summer and Tet holiday. Summer is the peak travel season for the Vietnamese because children have a summer break that lasts for about 2 months. Most of the Vietnamese choose sea travel during their vacation. At the end of the year, they tend to visit religious or mountainous tourist destinations. It is noted that travel service prices for Vietnamese people will increase sharply in the summer but not in the traditional Tet holiday.

Best festivals and events in Vietnam

Vietnam boasts a vibrant culture with 54 ethnic groups and 7966 festivals, most of which take place at the beginning of the year. Here are the best festivals that all international tourists can enjoy.

1. Tet Nguyen Dan

(23 Jan 2020 – 29 Jan 2020)

Best time in January to visit Vietnam

Tet Nguyen Dan is Vietnamese Lunar New Year – the most important traditional festival of the year. There are numerous cultural activities taking place throughout Vietnam. 12pm on the last night of the lunar year (24 Jan 2020) called Dem Giao Thua (New Year’s Eve) is the most important time. At that sacred moment, families make ancestor worship, honoring deceased relatives and give each other the best wishes. On this occasion, the hustling and bustling Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are unusually peaceful.

2. Mid-Autumn Festival

(29 Sep 2020 – 1 Oct 2020)

Best time in Autumn to visit Vietnam

Mid-Autumn Festival is the biggest Vietnamese children’s festival in the year. All children receive gifts, attending the star-shaped lantern parade, watching lion dance and enjoy mooncakes. Traditionally, children in large families or a neighborhood celebrate a party at 12pm on the 15th of the 8th lunar month (October 1, 2020). However, the party nowadays is generally held from 8pm to 9pm so that the kids can go to bed early.

3. Hoi An Lantern Festival

(Lunar New Year and the 14th day of the lunar month)

Best time to visit Hoi An

Besides the ancient architecture and the fairytale atmosphere, the charming Hoi An is also famous for its colorful lanterns. Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival is held monthly in the ancient town, starting from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on the 14th lunar month. On the Lunar New Year, the biggest lantern festival lasts about 1 week. At that time, this magical and sparkling town is an ideal place to get lost in a heaven of the lantern.

4. Hue Festival

(Scheduled to be held from 1st to 6th April 2020 but due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the festival is postponed 2021.)

Best time to visit Hue

Hue was the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945, under the Nguyen Dynasty. From early times, Hue Festival was held biennially with unique performances bearing Vietnamese cultural quintessence; however, it has recently become an international festival; however, it has recently become an international festival. The 11th Hue Festival held in 2020 has been expected to be attended by 20 countries from 5 continents in the world.

5. Independence Day

(2 Sep 2020)

Best time in September to visit Vietnam

On September 2 every year, Vietnamese people celebrate the independence, the special and meaningful occasion which officially marked the Vietnamese freedom after over 1000 years under the colonization. On this day, Vietnamese people gather with their family or take a short journey. Throughout the country, from big streets to every corner are dyed in red by the national flag.

National holidays

List of Vietnamese national holidays in 2020 and 2021.

National holiday 2020 2021
New Year’s Day 01 Jan 2020 01 Jan 2021
Tết (Vietnamese New Year) 12 Feb 2022 1 Feb 2022
Hung Kings Festival Holiday 02 Apr 2020 21 Apr 2021
Liberation Day 30 Apr 2020 30 Apr 2021
International Labour Day 01 May 2020 01 May 2021
Independence Day 02 Sep 2020 02 Sep 2021

On holidays, Vietnamese people tend to travel more. Many famous touristy spots are even overloaded during Liberation Day, International Labour Day and Independence Day. Moreover, the price of air, train and car tickets will be much higher than that in regular days without reservation in 2 – 3 months.

The ideal time to visit the best places in Vietnam

Sapa

Best time to visit Sapa

Sapa is beautiful year-round but there may be floods from June to September. If you wish to “date” with terraced fields, you should go in May – watering season or from the end of September to early October – ripe rice season.

Hanoi

Best time to visit Hanoi

You can visit the pulsing Hanoi at any time of the year. On Tet Holiday and Independence Day, Hanoi stands out with its peaceful atmosphere.

Ha Long Bay

Best time to visit Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay has the most gorgeous beauty in April with a crystal blue sky. The weather is pleasant from November to March, a good time to go. However, you should consider visiting in August and September due to its typhoon season.

Ninh Binh

Best time to visit Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is scenic year-round. From late May to June and from late September to October, Ripe rice fields add fascinating yellow to the picturesque scene.

Hue

Best time to visit Hue

From December to April, the weather is dry and cool. Most annual festivities are held in April. From late May to June is the time for heat waves with the temperature can reach over 40°C (104°F). Rainy season can occur in October and November.

Da Nang

Best time to visit Da Nang

The best time to visit Da Nang is from November to April. March and April are the most exquisite months, it’s warm and dry, perfect for both beach activities and mountain trekking. Fireworks festivals are usually from May to July. There may be storms in November.

Hoi An

Best time to visit Hoi An

Hoi An is appealing all time of the year, but more elegant on Tet Holiday and every night of the 14th lunar month with lantern festivals held in the ancient town. March and April are months to enjoy An Bang beach. It is blazing hot in late May, June and July.

Ho Chi Minh City

Best time to visit Ho Chi Minh city

From December to April is the best time to visit this bustling city. Unlike its usual vibrancy, Ho Chi Minh City is more peaceful on Tet Holiday and Independence Day.

Mekong Delta

Best time to visit Mekong Delta

This floating maze is worthy-visited in any season of the year. Ripe rice seasons are in early April, late August and late November.

Phu Quoc

Best time to visit Phu Quoc

Feel free to enjoy this tropical paradise all year round except rainy season from July to September.

Nha Trang

Best time to visit Nha Trang

This coastal town is alluring from December to April. The rainy season is from October to November.

Mui Ne

Best time to visit Mui Ne

From December to April is the best time to travel to. Mui Ne is one of the localities with the lowest rainfall in Vietnam.

Itineraries

Treasures of Vietnam
14 Days / 13 Nights

Treasures of Vietnam

Adventure
Vietnam
Highlights: Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay, Sapa, Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue, Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City

From: $2201 pp
Vietnam for lovers
New
12 Days / 11 Nights

Vietnam for lovers

Honeymoon
Vietnam
Highlights: Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Halong, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc

From: $2509 pp

More inspiration

A guide to celebrating Tet in Vietnam

Tet, known as the Vietnamese New Year or Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is the biggest and most important celebration in Vietnamese culture representing the unique cultural identity of Vietnam.

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