Vietnam’s weather

The weather in Vietnam
Although the weather in Vietnam is extremely variable, it’s possible to distinguish two main seasons: a dry season from November to May, and rainy season from June to October. However, this generalisation disguises considerable variations in other aspects of the weather throughout the country.

For example, in the south of Vietnam the difference in temperature between the two seasons is a hardly noticeable 3°C with little variation. In the north, however, the difference averages 12°C but can vary from under 10°C in winter to a summer extreme around 40°C.

The summer months: from April to October.
Apart from the Central Highlands and mountain areas, temperatures are uniformly hot across the country during the summer months, and humidity is high.

The winds of the south-western monsoon blow across the country bringing warm, humid weather to most of the country, and intermittent heavy rain from July to the end of August.

The main exception to this general pattern is the southern Central area. From April to October, the south-western monsoon deposits its rain on the Truong Son Mountains. As a result, the sheltered central coastal lowlands from about Nha Trang to Nghe An enjoy warm, dry weather throughout the summer.

During the rest of the year, the Central Highlands remain dry – severe droughts often occur in the spring.

The winter months: from November to March.
Although the temperature cools somewhat, the South is hot and dry during the winter.

Along the Central Coast, autumn brings intermittent, strong on-shore winter monsoon winds from the northeast. These can generate powerful waves and an undertow making swimming off some beaches risky at times. From October to December, the winds bring heavy rain, and often severe flooding, to the central coastal area. The weather steadily improves from January onwards.

The north and the Red River Delta are sheltered by the landmass of China. As a result, they miss the heavy rain - October, November and December are usually dry and comfortable. However, during January, the ‘small rains’ appear - cold, clammy, miserable weather that can last from December to April, but mainly occurs during late January and February.

In the northern mountain areas, temperatures are generally cooler in both summer and winter. Occasionally, the area around Mt. Fansipan experiences winter snowfalls.

Your holiday weather
The following table is a rough guide to the best and worst months for visiting various places in Vietnam, but whether it applies to your particular visit depends upon what you intend to do. For example, if you want to go diving at Nha Trang, October, November and most of December are useless because the rain turns the sea into a murky soup at that time. However, if you want to visit the Cham monuments, it’s only a matter of dodging the showers.

Hue is wet for much of the year but it’s no more than an inconvenience, even during the rainy season.

Sa Pa mountain scenery, ethnic groups, trekking                        
Ha Noi culture, craft villages, city tours
Ha Long Bay scenery, culture, heritage, kayaking
Hue area heritage, culture, war relics, beaches                        
Hoi An / My Son heritage, culture, beach, Cham relics                        
Danang area beaches

Nha Trang beaches, diving, Cham relics, mud baths                        
Centre Highlands scenery, ethnic groups, trekking                        
Da lat mountain scenery, culture, golf                        
Phan Thiet / Mui Ne beaches, golf                        
Ho Chi Minh City culture, city tours                        
Mekong Delta scenery, environment, culture, cruises                        
Phu Quoc beaches, scenery, environment, diving

  Good time to visit
  OK, but with some limitations
  Good time to be elsewhere
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