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Best time visiting Vietnam

Vietnam is geographically located in the tropical zone, with the top North region on temperate zone. Therefore, its climate is not consistent throughout the country. In fact, the weather varies significantly by latitude and longitude.
The North (Hanoi, Halong Bay) is monsoonal with hot and rainy season from April to September and cool dry season from October to March. October and November are the best months to visit since you avoid the domestic tourist flow and also experience a more comfortable temperature and humidity compared with other months.
The central part of Vietnam (Hue, Quang Binh, etc.) receives dry and hot Southwest wind which makes it strenuous for any brisk walk during the day. Closer to the beach, the level of severity reduced and the dry wind is replaced by cool ocean breeze.
Because of the limited land area, central Vietnam is also most susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricane or flooding. The paradox is, it is also where most beautiful beaches lie.
The South (Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, etc.) is typically hot all year round with two main seasons: rainy and dry. It is also the most predictable region in terms of weather.
Summer months from May to August might not be the best time to hit the road since most tourists destinations are packed with tourists and downpours happen quite frequently.
The mountain area in Northwest and South central Vietnam see little fluctuation in weather condition. It is fairly cool all year round and a great place to escape the heat from cities.
The rainy season is also from May to September. At the extreme you can see snow or flurry in December or January in Sapa.
Vietnam weather January
January is among the cold day in Northern Vietnam, including Hanoi and Halong Bay. The temperature can drop to as low as 10 degree, but many said it feels worse than ice and snow. Bring warm clothes and check the weather forecast in advance.
As you head southward, the weather gets warmer and warmer. In Da Nang and Hue, the rainy season is about to end with temperature varying between 16 and 21 Celcius degree. In Ho Chi Minh City, it is in the middle of the dry season and the sun is on until 6 or 7 p.m. every day. Without doubt, January is one of the best months to visit Ho Chi Minh City and the Southern provinces.
Vietnam weather February
February is one of the unpredictable months. Similar to how Europeans and North Americans crave for a white Christmas, many Northern Vietnamese would wish for a light rain on the first day of the Lunar year which can set the atmosphere and bring about luck. Those living in Ho Chi Minh City would see much sun and warm weather for most of the days in February. In Centre Vietnam, the dry season started with pleasantly warm temperature. The North, on the other hand, may remain anywhere from cool to cold for another while. If you love the beach, head south!
Vietnam weather March
In March, the weather in Northern Vietnam has passed the severe and unpredictable phase. It is usually warm and dry and the same could be talked about Central and South Vietnam, although the temperature can be higher the more Southern you go. March is said to be one of the best month to be in Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam weather April
April sees significantly more rain than previous months, especially towards the end of the month in the Northern and Southern regions. The coastal area remains ideal for swimming and other water-based activities. The temperature has yet to rise in the North and remains constant in the Central and the South between 25 and 33 Celcius degree.
Vietnam weather May
The first month of the summer, May does not have too overheated weather. Northern part of Vietnam sees a mild rise in temperature to about 32 Celcius degree while the central and Southern neighbour cities and provinces may have up to 35 Celcius degree. All of Vietnam, however, gets more humid which may tire the most energetic traveller in certain days. Load up on water and light clothes if you head to Vietnam in May.
Vietnam weather June/July
From June to July, it is simply hot. In Hanoi, the heat is made worse by the volume of traffic and sometime the dust. In Hue and Hoi An, the heat is aggravated by the intense amount of sun light. In Ho Chi Minh City, the heat is coupled with frequent rain. But do they not make a unique travel experience that not everyone can go through? If you cannot stand the heat, there are always places for you to escape to such as Tam Dao, SaPa and DaLat, where the highland yearns a cool and pleasant climate.
Vietnam weather August
August is a big cool-off compared with the constant “Nong qua” sayings (which means “It’s so hot”) of July. There are more shadowy day with occasional downpour with thunders and lightning. It is a peak month for rainfall in the North but the rain seems to back off in the Centre and South Vietnam. The temperature varies between 27 and 32 in Hanoi and slightly lower in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. Highland areas remain cool but with rain- the temperature can drop to below 20 at night.
Vietnam weather September
The first half of September may see another rise in temperature throughout the country. Rainfall ceases in Hanoi and the North but increases in Centre and South. With the rain, however, the climate in places such as Hue, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City are much more pleasant than it was during the summer months. Check the weather before you head to the coast: it is a month for storms and sometimes typhoons.
Vietnam weather October
In terms of weather, October is said to be the best month to travel in Vietnam. In the North, the weather has cooled off for the most part and leaves are changing colors to yellow. The temperature is mild and the air is dry. In the Central provinces such as Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An, the rain becomes the norm but it does not dilute the beauty of this region. In fact, Hue drizzle has become a source of inspiration for many generations of poets and artists. In the South, the temperature remains steady, ranging from 24 to 31 Celcius degree with significantly less rain compared with previous summer months.
Vietnam weather November
Northern cities and provinces get cooler while the Centre and the South remains warm; the temperature can still rise up to 31 Celcius degree. The rain ceases in Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An though it has yet to come to a complete stop. This is also a good month to visit Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong delta, for the weather is warm and dry.
Vietnam weather December
It might become cold in Hanoi and especially in North-western region such as SaPa. Snow occasionally comes and leaves but it might get colder than one expect. Prepare warm clothes or you might be trapped in an undesirable flu. Also bring a lot of lip balms and hand-cream, for the dry weather may make you suffer intensely. As you move southward, it is not as dry and cold. There are pleasant breezes and the sun is on until late afternoon
When to Visit Vietnam
North Vietnam
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
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
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.
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