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When should you plan your holiday to Vietnam?

Vietnam's climate

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.

Meterological information

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Average °C 191718212528303030292622
Minimum °C 151415182224262626252218
Maximum °C 232021232832343333323026
Sunshine (hours) 111111121313131313121211
Rain (cm) 22262547931551822212341379659

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