The best time to visit Vietnam
The best time to visit Vietnam depends on which part of the country you visit. Long and narrow, Vietnam’s seasons contrast from north to south, and mountains to coast.
The humid south of Vietnam is warm year-round and the May-November monsoon season brings brief, heavy showers that rarely disrupt travel – though regions around the Mekong River may flood. The cold monsoon along the central coast occurs from October-April and is much less pleasant. October-December are warm, sunny months in the north, while from March it can get almost unbearably hot. May, June and September are the best times to visit Vietnam to avoid the crowds.
A month by month guide on when to go to Vietnam
January in Vietnam
February in Vietnam
March in Vietnam
April in Vietnam
April is great for a Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City adventure
May in Vietnam
June in Vietnam
Autumn in the north, the light enhances all the scenery, reflects the colours... it’s dry with clear skies, everything looks more beautiful.
– Mrs Vo Thi Bich Ha from our partner Haivenu
July in Vietnam
August in Vietnam
September in Vietnam
October in Vietnam
November in Vietnam
November is great for a small group cycling holiday in Vietnam
December in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City Weather Chart
Our Vietnam Holidays
If you'd like to chat about Vietnam or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Best time to visit Vietnam for festivals & events
Tet Nguyen Dan (late January or early February)Vietnam’s biggest celebration is the Lunar New Year, which falls in late January or early February to coincide with Chinese New Year. This is a very exciting time to visit Vietnam. People clean their homes, cook special dishes and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. The festivities last up to a month, including firecrackers, fireworks and masked dances. You’ll also see flowers everywhere.
Perfume Pagoda Festival (mid-February – mid-March)The Perfume Pagoda, a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines, is located in the Huong Son Mountains, close to Hanoi. Pilgrimages to the pagoda take place in either mid-February or mid-March, on the 15th day of the first lunar month, with devotees flocking to light incense and pray for prosperity and romance in the year ahead. It’s not a good time for wildlife, though, with restaurants in the area serving up animals such as civet and porcupine.
Reunification Day (30 April)Reunification Day, or Liberation Day, is a public holiday across Vietnam marking the capture of Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) on 30 April 1975 and the end of the Vietnam War. Many Vietnamese people travel to spend a few days (Labour Day falls on 1 May) with family, while there are crowds at the mausoleum of the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, and parades through the city that was renamed in his honour.
Buddha’s birthday (April or May)Vesak, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, is marked around the world, although in Vietnam it is no longer a public holiday. Monks lead the call to prayer amid clouds of incense in temples the length of the country, while candles set into garlands of pink lotus flowers float along waterways, spreading the love of Buddha.
Wandering Souls’ Day (August)Wandering Souls Day is one of the largest and most significant spiritual festivals in Vietnam, with families gathering to pray and make offerings for the souls of the departed in the hope that those sent to hell for their sins will be released into heaven. But this is also a time of general amnesty, and prayers are also given for those without relatives, that they not be doomed to wander the spirit world indefinitely. Celebrations are usually held in the open air or in large rooms so the dead can gather with the living and ‘meet in thought’.
Hoi An Lantern Festival (usually 14th day of each lunar month)If you’re craving a break from Vietnam’s incessantly noisy motos, head to Hoi An for the full moon festival, when motorised traffic is banned and the district turns itself into a stage for the traditional arts, including Chinese opera, chess and lanterns. Full moon is sacred in Buddhism, so every month Hoi An’s temples fill up with worshippers, and there is plenty of tasty food on offer from street stalls.
Our travellers also ask...
What are the hottest months in Vietnam?Most of Vietnam is pleasantly hot all year round, though in the mountainous reaches of the north it gets chilly between December and February, with snow even possible. Southern Vietnam, with a tropical climate, is consistently warm, but from February to June it can be sweltering.
In the north, where the seasons are more pronounced, it tends to be significantly cooler. May through to August are the hottest months, humid and wet. This also tends to be the hottest period in central Vietnam, with the beaches of Da Nang and Hoi An popular until mid-September when the weather becomes much wetter and stormier.
What is the rainiest month in Vietnam?June to October tend to be the rainiest months of the year in both northern and southern Vietnam. Central Vietnam – in the highlands or on the coast – is the best place to be during this period. Typhoon season hits the east coast from September and typically lasts to around January.
While trekking in the north is ruled out during the wettest months, in the south around Ho Chi Minh City the afternoon showers tend to be short and sharp, with plenty of dry patches, so travel is not too badly affected.
When is the best time to travel to north Vietnam?Northern Vietnam is more seasonal than the south, and experiences its most pleasant weather between March and April, and September and November. Visiting Vietnam around this time, you’ll find it typically warm, dry and sunny. From December to February it gets colder the further north you go, while May through to August is steamily hot and rainy. The best months to see Halong Bay are March and November, when you should enjoy clear, sunny skies.
When should you not go to Vietnam?As it’s such a long country, Vietnam’s climate varies greatly depending on whether you’re in the north, south or centre, so you can visit at any time of year. June to September tend to be the rainiest months in northern Vietnam, ruling out trekking and cycling in the countryside, while the central highlands and coast are battered by storms and heavy rainfall from late September to January.
From March to May many people find southern Vietnam oppressively hot, while during the monsoon season that starts around May it’s common for parts of the Mekong Delta to flood, making cruising inadvisable.
More about Vietnam
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