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
Feel at one with the surroundings at the beautiful Mango Bay Resort
- Mango Bay has been supporting wildlife at risk (WAR) since 2006, and has even discovered many new species on Phu Quoc Island
- Revitalise your mind, body and spirit with Yoga and Tai Chi on the beach
- Snorkel and scuba dive around the nearby islands with Flipper Diving Club and discover the truly stunning and beautiful world underwater
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
The less touristy Da Nang is bursting with attractions and rich in a culture that every traveller will fall in love. Discover it for yourself at this luxury 5* resort
- Thrill seekers will love the dedicated Water Sport House on the beach including banana boats, jet skis and surfing
- Premier golf courses a matter of minutes away from the resort
- Choose from 4 restaurants and 2 bars on site, all specialising in different cuisines but all just as excellent
A fantastic value trip, exploring Vietnam's most iconic cities and natural wonders with added downtime to relax on the beach
- English-speaking guides and entrance fees included
- Extend your holiday with a break in Cambodia or on the beaches of Phu Quoc
- Day cruise on Halong Bay with lunch included
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
Experience the best of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through Indochina
- Expert local guides in each country
- Breakfast included daily and three dinners
- Spend the night on Halong Bay on a traditional Junk boat with meals included
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