South Vietnam Explorer
An adventure holiday exploring south Vietnamese culture around Saigon, the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc.
Deciding on the best time to visit Vietnam can be complicated. The country is over 1,000km in length and opposing monsoon seasons in the north and south means that the weather can vary significantly from one region to another.
Ultimately this means that you can travel to Vietnam at any time of year as even it is raining in one part of the country, it will be sunny somewhere else.
The best time to visit Vietnam is generally considered to be from February to April and August to October as the temperatures are moderate and there’s minimal rainfall in most parts of the country.
March and April experiences the lowest rainfall throughout Vietnam and temperatures are pleasant, although it is still cool in the far north.
With careful planning we can ensure that you can experience the best weather at some point on your trip - whether that is in the north (Sapa, Hanoi and Halong Bay), central (Hué, Hoi An and Danang) or the tropical south (Saigon, the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc Island).
January is a great time to visit Vietnam with most parts of the country experiencing dry and sunny conditions.
In both northern and southern Vietnam you can expect clear skies, plenty of sunshine and pleasant daytime temperatures. The north is typically much cooler than the south - average daytime temperatures in Hanoi are 17°C, whilst in Saigon temperatures are likely to be around 27°C.
Temperatures on the central coastline around Danang and Hoi An range from 19-24°C. It is still the monsoon season in this region and you should expect heavy rain in the afternoons (torrential downpours are common in Danang and Hoi An from September to January).
By January the dry season has started in Nha Trang, at the far south of central Vietnam (Nha Trang’s dry season is typically from January to September) and you can expect very little rain and plenty of sunshine, making it a great option if you’re looking to start the year with a beach holiday.
You can expect good weather throughout Vietnam in February.
With blue skies, very little rain and moderate temperatures (18-20°C) it’s a great month to visit Hanoi in northern Vietnam. Halong Bay can feel quite cold in February, particularly in the mornings and evenings, and there is often a mist which reduces visibility – although this can add to the magical atmosphere.
February is a good month for trekking in the remote regions of northern Vietnam, although as with Halong Bay it can feel chilly in the evenings and early mornings so you’ll need to pack a jumper or jacket.
The central coastline around Hoi An and Danang is now experiencing it’s dry season, which lasts from February until July, and you can expect plenty of sunshine and average daytime temperatures of 20-22°C. Further south the beaches of Nha Trang experience sunny weather and warm temperatures in February.
Hué (located 650km south of Hanoi and 1,100km north of Saigon) is also warm and dry during February.
In Dalat and the Central Highlands the climate will be cooler due to altitude and the conditions are good for trekking.
March is one of the best months of the year to visit Vietnam with dry, sunny weather experienced throughout the country.
March is a fantastic month to visit the central coast beaches, such as Lang Co (located between Danang and Hué), Thuan An (14km from Hué), Cua Dai, (5km from Hoi An) and Tran Phu and Hon Chong (in Nha Trang), plus you can explore the Con Dao Islands off the southern coast and Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand. You can expect blue skies, plenty of sunshine and average daytime temperatures of 29°C.
In the north temperatures are slightly cooler making it an excellent time to discover Hanoi and Halong Bay. It’s also an ideal time of year for trekking in the remote regions of northwest Vietnam.
April is another fantastic month to visit Vietnam. Most of the country experiences dry, sunny days, although you should expect the occasional downpour towards the end of the month as the hot and wet summer season approaches.
With pleasant temperatures and relatively dry weather, particularly during the first half of the month, April is a good time of year to trek in the mountainous regions of Sapa in northwest Vietnam.
We recommend that you visit Hoi An and Hué in central Vietnam in April rather than during the summer months (May to September) when the weather becomes wet, hot and humid.
It becomes increasingly hot in southern Vietnam in April with average daytime temperatures of 30°C, and humidity levels rise as the summer season draws nearer.
Early May is usually dry, however the hot and wet season starts later in the month and you should expect rain in the north and south.
Hanoi’s summer starts around mid-May and lasts until September. During these months you can expect conditions to be hot and humid, with average temperatures of 30°C. Tropical afternoon downpours are common, however the heavy showers help to break up the humidity and you can expect blue skies and sunshine in between the rain. The summer in Halong Bay also starts in May and lasts until November - during this time the weather is hot (although not as hot as Hanoi)and humid, and there’s likely to be short, heavy downpours almost every afternoon.
It is still a good time to explore the mountainous regions of northern Vietnam, although you can expect rain later in the month which means that trekking conditions become more challenging.
Hué, Danang and Hoi An in central Vietnam remain dry in May, although the temperatures and humidity levels are rising. Dalat, in the mountains of central Vietnam, experiences heavy rain from May to November.
From May to November, Saigon experiences average daytime temperatures of 29°C and tropical downpours in the afternoon.
By June it is the summer in Vietnam and both north (Hanoi and Halong Bay) and south (Saigon, the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc Island) experience hot, humid and wet weather. You should expect heavy downpours in the afternoons, however the short showers won’t necessarily affect your trip - in fact they help to break up the humidity which makes for more comfortable conditions. The lower areas of the Mekong Delta are best avoided from June to September as they can be hit by monsoons and flooding.
The northern mountains and central highlands are very wet at this time of year, therefore it is not an ideal time for trekking. Hué and Hoi An remain dry, although temperatures are at their hottest of the year, reaching as high as 38°C.
Hoi An, Danang, Lang Co and Nha Trang are the best beach options for June.
The weather in July is similar to June. The south and north are now in the midst of the wet, summer season with heavy afternoon downpours to be expected.
Temperatures in Hanoi are typically around 29-31°C and humidity can be very high, but the refreshing afternoon downpours help to make life a little more bearable. We suggest that you head out on sightseeing trips either first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon as then you can avoid the intense heat and humidity in the middle of the day, and the afternoon downpours.
The wet weather means that trekking is not ideal in and around Sapa in the northern mountains, or in Dalat in the central highlands.
Hué is still experiencing its dry season, although occasional light showers are common. Temperatures can reach as high as, therefore we recommend that you visit the sites early in the morning or the late afternoon when it is cooler.
Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang remain the best beach options in July. Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand is best avoided as it experiences heavy rain and rough seas at this time of year (the best time to visit Phu Quoc is from November to April)
The hot and wet summer season continues in northern and southern Vietnam with high temperatures (average 29°C in Hanoi and 30°C in Saigon) and tropical afternoon downpours to be expected. This is the wettest month of the year in Hanoi so if you’re visiting Vietnam’s capital in August we recommend that you pack a rain jacket and/or umbrella.
Hué, Danang and Hoi An remain hot and sunny, however as the wet season is approaching in central Vietnam you can expect the occasional light shower at the start of the month and more frequent downpours towards the end of August.
Hanoi’s hot, humid and wet summer draws to an end by late September - the temperatures drop to a slightly more comfortable 26-28°C and there is typically less rainfall, however if you’re visiting Vietnam’s capital earlier in the month you can still expect high temperatures and heavy downpours. Halong Bay is warm and humid throughout September and rain showers are likely in the afternoons. Trekking conditions in northern Vietnam are excellent from September to November and you can expect dry weather, clear skies and moderate daytime temperatures.
Hué has a wet season from September to December and it is not the ideal time to visit. It is also the rainy season in Hoi An, although September doesn’t experience as much rain as October and November which are the wettest months of the year. September is not the best month to visit the beaches on the central coastline around Danang and Hoi An. Further south, Nha Trang is affected by the monsoon season from September to January and is best avoided during these months.
By September Dalat and the Central Highlands become very wet therefore it is not the best time for trekking and adventure activities in this region.
Hoi Chi Minh City continues to experience tropical downpours in the afternoon, although rainfall decreases towards the end of the month. Whilst rain is to be expected you can expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine in between the showers.
Phu Quoc and Mui Ne are still experiencing their wet season in September and it is not the best time to visit – you’re better to wait until next month.
Northern Vietnam tends to be warm, dry and sunny from October to December, and you can expect much lower levels of humidity than previous months. October and November are excellent months to visit Hanoi as the temperatures are moderate (average 21°C), and there’s very little rain and plenty of sunshine. It is also a great time of year to experience a Halong Bay cruise.
October and November are the wettest months of the year in Hoi An and there’s a high chance of floods and typhoons so it is best to avoid this ancient town during these months. Hoi An’s monsoon season brings strong winds, heavy rains and rough seas and most dive centres close during this period.
Hué, located approximately 120km north of Hoi An, also experiences very heavy rains in October and November and it is best avoided at this time of year.
The island of Phu Quoc in the Gulf of Thailand and Mui Ne Beach on the south central coast of Vietnam are good options for October.
Moderate temperatures, very little rainfall and plenty of sunshine make November a popular month to visit northern Vietnam. It is an excellent month for a Halong Bay cruise, and it’s a great time for trekking in the mountainous regions of Sapa in northwest Vietnam.
This is the monsoon season in central Vietnam and storms are likely, particularly towards the end of the month, therefore this isn’t the best time to visit the beaches of Danang and Nha Trang. Hué is also best avoided in November when the monsoon is at its peak.There is a risk of typhoon in Hoi An from late October to mid-December and the old town is prone to flooding (Hoi An sits on low ground surrounded by waterways and mountain ranges, and there’s a tidal influence as the Thu Bon River meets the sea).
The wet season is drawing to an end in Dalat in the Central Highlands and you can expect much less rain than in previous months.
Saigon and the Mekong Delta are good options at this time of year and you can expect clear skies, little chance of rain and temperatures around 27°C. The islands Phu Quoc and Con Dao offer perfect beach weather in November and on the island of Con Dao, Green Turtle hatchlings continue to emerge from their nesting grounds under the sand and make their first steps to the sea.
December is a great month to explore Hanoi as temperatures are not too hot (average 21°C) and there’s much less rain and plenty of sunshine. It is also a lovely time of year for a Halong Bay cruise, although it can get a little chilly so you should take a jumper or jacket.
In the mountains of northwest Vietnam the conditions are excellent for trekking and you can expect dry, clear days and moderate daytime temperatures, however it can be very cold in the evenings and you will definitely need to pack warm clothes.
Torrential downpours continue in Hoi An in central Vietnam during December (heavy rain is common from September to January and you’re much better to visit Hoi An between February to July when there’s typically plenty of sunshine, lower humidity and the least rainfall of the year).
December to April is the ideal time to visit Saigon – you can expect blue skies, sunshine and little or no rain. December is also an excellent month to discover the Con Dao Islands off the southern coast and Mui Ne Beach, 220km from Saigon.