Vietnam is affected by the Northeast monsoon, which leads to an average temperature lower than in other Asian countries of the same latitude. Compared to these countries, Vietnam is cooler in the winter and not so hot in summer, which means the temperatures are pleasant for Western travelers.
1. The North of Vietnam
The North has a tropical monsoon climate with four clear seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The ideal season to visit the North is in spring, from February to April when it's not too hot. Summer is hot and rainy, begins in April and ends in September. The average temperature is 30 to 40 °C. July is not a recommendable time to visit the North because of the heavy rain.
Autumn lasts only two months: September and October. The sky is clear, the air is fresh and most people in the north like this season. November to February is the winter season. The weather in this season is often gray, foggy and rainy. The average temperature ranges from 10 to 20 °C.
The ideal time to visit the cities in the north:
Hanoi: fall, from early September to late November. The weather is dry and not too hot. Nevertheless, particularly in Hanoi there is something interesting to discover in every season.
Halong Bay: from April to October. The weather during these months is very pleasant, which is why there are many visitors in this period. You can also go there in winter from December to February but the weather can be a bit cool and misty.
Sapa: from March to May and September to November is the best time to visit, it is the season of rice harvest in the terraces in the northern mountains.
2. The Center of Vietnam
The Center is divided into two meteorological regions: the North-Center and the coastal region – South-Center.
In winter it can get really cold in the North-Center. It is clearly influenced by the monsoon thus the weather during this period is very dry. On the contrary in summer it is very hot with hot winds coming from Laos. The temperature can increase to more than 40 °C.
The coastal region in the South-Center has a warm temperature all year round.
The best time to visit the central regions is February to May because the temperature is cooler than in the rest of the year. The period to be avoided is from November to late January. In September/October, sometimes there occur typhoons and in November some areas can be partially flooded.
The ideal time to visit the cities in the Center:
Danang: February to April, the temperature is fresher and cooler than in other times of the year, also the prices of tourist services are cheaper than in the period from June to August.
Nha Trang: thanks to its location, this city is the most pleasant city in Vietnam in relation to the climate.
The Highlands: as they are in the highest location relative to sea level, the temperature is much cooler than at the coast all year round.
3. The South of Vietnam
In comparison to the North, the South has only 2 seasons: the dry season (December to March) and the rainy season (April to November).
The best period to visit is from December to April, it is the dry and sunny period. The months March to May are the hottest months with an average temperature of 35 to 40°C. The least favorable period is from July to September because of the heavy rain. We recommend you to prepare and bring an umbrella or a raincoat when traveling in the South during this period.
The ideal period to visit cities in the South:
Mekong Delta: from September to November is flood season, because most of the West is flooded, tourists can use sampans to circulate through places of interest in this region. You can also visit this region during the summer when fruits are ripe, you can then pick and enjoy the tropical fruits of Vietnam.
Island of Phu Quoc: from October to March, as there is less rain and fewer tourists. Avoid going to Phu Quoc from May till September because it rains heavily and sometimes there occur typhoons.