When should you plan your holiday to Vietnam?
Both the general climate and the weather will vary depending not only on the time of your arrival in Vietnam but also on where exactly you choose to go. For simplicity's sake, the climate is divided into three different zones - North Vietnam which is humid and subtropical, South Vietnam which is tropical all year round and Central Vietnam, which enjoys something in between.
Because the country is long and narrow, conditions tend to vary considerably, although you will most often find that temperatures lie somewhere between 20 and 35 degrees C, with the climate tending to be cooler in the north than the south.
January through to March is considered the dry season, although warmer clothes might be required if you're travelling to Hanoi or Sapa during January or February. April brings a change, with wetter weather expected in the north. The south, however, continues to be warm and sunny, with the showers only creeping in during May through to July. Things get progressively worse through August, and it isn't until October that things dry up across the whole country. November and December sees bright sunshine and comfortable temperatures everywhere.
When is it best to travel?
The answer to this question, of course, depends on what you want to do. Generally, you'll find the most pleasant time to travel to Vietnam is from mid-October through to March, with warm weather in the south and cooler temperatures in the north. It's comfortable across the country and there is very little rainfall during this time.
Beaches are generally at their best from November to January in the south, while it might be best to travel in January or February if you're keen on staying active as temperatures can soar so high that they prove to be a detriment to any exercise.
If you're more interested in avoiding large crowds of tourists, it's worth travelling during the rainy season, with June through to August proving much quieter. The showers are short-lived and shouldn't be too much of an obstacle to exploration provided you are dressed to deal with them.
Getting active in Vietnam
A complicated weather picture means it can be hard to be as active as you might like to in Vietnam, but that shouldn't deter you from trying whatever is at hand. Hiking is particularly popular here, with fantastic mountains in the north. It's possible to climb these during the dry season, with trekking generally popular from October through to February.
Central and southern Vietnam don't offer anywhere near as much in the way of mountains, but it is worth heading to the beach to try your hand at snorkelling, swimming and diving - the underwater landscapes are genuinely breathtaking.
Public holidays and festivals
By far the most important festival in the Vietnamese calendar is the Tet celebration, which signifies the end of the year in the lunar calendar and takes place in January or February. Cities are generally packed with tourists and locals alike, and the air will be alive with an electric atmosphere. You can be sure of witnessing many sacred Vietnamese rituals if you travel at this time of year, with many parades and individual festivities taking place in the streets and inside the various places of worship.
Vietnam Holidays Browse all
Discover the history of Vietnam in the country’s capital before heading across to the unspoiled beauty of Phu Quoc Island
- Romantic rooftop bar over Hanoi
- Complimentary beach Yoga and Tai Chi on Phu Quoc
- Idyllic romantic retreat
Wander through the hectic streets of Ho Chi Minh City before basking in the sunshine on the beachfront in Danang
- Stylish and modern accommodation in both destinations
- Dine on dishes from across Vietnam in Saigon
- Complimentary shuttle to Danang and Hoi An from Non Nuoc Beach
An in-depth exploration of Vietnam taking in Saigon, the Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi with time left over to relax on the beach
- Overnight cruise on a traditional Junk boat on Halong Bay with meals included
- Time to relax on the picturesque beaches of central Vietnam
- Local guides in each destination and entrance fees for all included sightseeing
Get under the skin of Vietnam with an adventurous tour taking in the classic sights as well as getting off the beaten track
- Overnight train to Sapa - hike through the hills and meet remote communities
- Overnight cruise down the Mekong River on a converted rice barge with all modern amenities
- Spend the night in Halong Bay and see the sun rise over the remarkable karst landscape (includes meals)
Experience all the natural beauty and cultural variety of Vietnam on a deluxe tour
- Five-star hotels throughout
- Overnight Halong Bay cruise on a traditionally designed junk boat with meals included
- Time to relax on the stunning beaches of central Vietnam
Explore the most iconic sites of Indochina during the unforgettable Highlights of Indochina, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos - Deluxe Tour
You will visit historical sites of Vietnam, discover the heritage of Laos, and explore the beautiful Angkor Complex in Cambodia.
- Tour around Ben Tre River in Vietnam and enjoy a variety of activities, including a visit to any of coconut processing workshops and riding a motocart through rice fields and vegetable plains.
- Watch the sun rise over the blue waters of tranquil Halong Bay, and then cruise through emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
- Participate in Baci Ceremony, an integral part of the Laos culture, and explore the Luang Prabang Night Market with its handmade textiles and local street food
Exotic and compelling, Vietnam is one of the most remarkable travel destinations in the world. The Essential Vietnam...
Wander from exciting cities to astonishing scenic beauty via peaceful beaches on a tour through the most remarkable of...
Wander from exciting cities to astonishing scenic beauty via peaceful beaches and the best preserved old towns in...
See all the most iconic sights of Indochina on this trip of a lifetime through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Explore the...
Discover some of the most amazing and iconic sights in the world on this simply stunning trip through Vietnam, Cambodia...
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Best Western Hotels and Resorts has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a new resort in Vietnam. The hotel group will operate the Best Western Premier Quang Binh in the coastal region of Dong Hoi. The property is scheduled to open in 2020, and will have 501 elegant guest rooms and suites with sea views. Facilities will include a restaurant, outdoor infinity pools, a lavish spa, children’s play area, and a modern fitness centre.
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will be adding a new hotel to its portfolio in Vietnam. The group will manage the Mandarin Oriental, Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City. Scheduled to open in 2020, the hotel will be part of the Union Square Saigon building, and it will have 277 guest rooms and suites, plus a fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool, and six restaurant and bars.
Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has signed a new property to its portfolio in Vietnam. The Swiss hotel group has taken over the Movenpick Hotel Ho Chi Minh City. The luxury property will have 815 guest rooms and suites, and 527 serviced apartments. The luxury resort is scheduled to open in 2020 and will be part of the new mixed-use Kenton Node Hotel Complex.