If you’re travelling to the northeast or central coast of Vietnam during January, bring a brolly as this the time of year for monsoons.
Surfers might not be so bothered by the fresher winds of February and the majority of the swells off the beaches of Hoi An more than make up for the break in the sunshine.
Jan and Feb are also when Vietnam’s New Year’s celebrations (Tet) take place. It's a lot of fun (see below), but if you’re travelling at this time make sure you’re prepared for facilities to be closed and travel plans to be disrupted.
March, April and May are the best times to visit Vietnam’s central highlands as conditions are a lot milder as opposed to the much more stifling heat suffered in the south of the country, where it can reach 40°C
Tropical cyclones usually occur in the eastern coastal regions from around May to November, so travel to this region is not advised during this time. Cyclones can be unpredictable though, so keep a close eye on weather reports. This is also when the Mekong Delta is most likely to experience flooding.
Northern Vietnam starts to experience hotter temperatures at the beginning of June and well into July and August which is why it’s better to give Hanoi a miss around this time and opt in favour of coastal areas, such as Halong Bay.
September is either the start of the Vietnamese dry season if you’re in the north or the corresponding wet season if you’re closer to Ho Chi Minh, with sea conditions around Nha Trang not considered the best for snorkellers or swimmers as October turns to November.
December is one of the best times to go to Vietnam if you’re wishing to head up north with warm (not hot) sunny days combining with fewer crowds, especially outside of traditional Christmas holidays.