The South

The tropical south
The difference in precipitation between the two seasons (dry from November to May and rainy from June to October) is more obvious than elsewhere in Vietnam. However, the rain in the wet season is often limited to heavy showers at the end of the afternoon, and the weather is warm throughout the year. Annual rainfall in the south is approximately 65 inches and temperatures remain relatively constant –between 30°C and 35°C during the day and from 20°C to 25°C at night – throughout the year.

Temperatures are remarkably consistent across the entire area. However, rainfall declines towards the south – Vung Tau’s weather is significantly drier than further inland.

Ho Chi Minh City's weather Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Mean high temperature (˚C) 32 33 34 33 33 32 32 32 31 31 31 31
Mean high temperature (˚F) 89 91 93 92 92 90 89 89 88 88 88 87
Mean low temperature (˚C) 21 22 23 25 24 24 24 24 24 23 23 22
Mean low temperature (˚F) 70 71 74 77 76 75 75 75 75 74 73 71
Rainfall in inches 0.4 0.2 0.4 2.0 8.6 11.7 11.0 10.7 12.2 10.5 4.4 1.4
Average percentage humidity 65 65 61 62 71 78 80 78 79 79 75 70

There is no obvious time to visit the southern part of Vietnam apart from the two months when the bulk of the rain falls, and even then there is still plenty of sunshine between the downpours. If you want to avoid excessive heat, the early part of the rainy season would be a better choice. The air is cooler and it is not as dusty as in the dry season.

If you want to visit the Mekong Delta, you might want to avoid the annual flooding caused by the massive volume of water from heavy rainfall in the mountains of Cambodia, Thailand and Laos that occurs during August and September. On the other hand, the floods are an opportunity to witness the ways in which the local people have modified their dwellings and farming patterns to cope with the three months when much of the delta can be as much as three metres under water.

Extreme weather
Flooding on the Mekong Delta is a phenomenon that affects local people. There’s obviously a heightened risk of drowning during the floods, with children particularly at risk. However, visitors travel along raised roads and by boat, so there is no danger for them.

The topography and prevailing winds of Vietnam’s central and southern areas means that the latter avoids most of the tropical storms that cause problems along the central coastline.

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