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Vietnam is the perfect destination to have a wonderful holiday whether you want a relaxing beach vacation, a bustling city stay, or a little bit of both. However, with rainy seasons and many different climates, Vietnam's weather can make or break a traveler's vacation.
One important fact about weather in Vietnam is that it differs greatly from north to south. There are three distinct regions in the country that have three different climates and each region has a different high and low season. Therefore, it is very important to understand the weather of the region that you plan to travel in.
The biggest force that affects weather in Vietnam is the coming and going of the monsoons. There are two different monsoons that hit Vietnam, causing the weather patterns in some areas of the country to be completely different to those in other areas. Overall, the heaviest rains in the country happen between May and October whereas the country is mostly dry from November to February.
However, as mentioned before, the weather in Vietnam greatly varies depending on the location. In order to ensure that you have the best possible trip, here is all the information you need to know about weather in Vietnam.
Because Vietnam is a such a long country, it contains many different regions with very different climates. Here is a brief introduction to the top three tourist cities in Vietnam and their weather patterns.
Hanoi is located in Northern Vietnam and typically has a hot summer with lots of rain and a cold but dry winter. Like the majority of Vietnam, Hanoi has two main seasons which include the dry season and the rainy season. However, because Hanoi is in Northern Vietnam, it also experiences the four main seasons including spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Spring in Hanoi is usually from February to April and is characterized by general wetness and humidity. The average temperatures at this time are normally from about 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (or 59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Spring is the best time for visitors to witness the blooming of flowers and to feel the tropical nature grow around them.
Like the majority of Vietnam, summer in Hanoi is very hot, with an average temperature of 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit), and these temperatures are continuing to rise due to global warming. Global warming has also affected the weather patterns during Hanoi's summers, causing some to be dry while others are extremely wet. Hanoi's summers are normally characterized by heavy rains and evening thunderstorms and last from May to August with July being the hottest month.
The fall season in Hanoi is normally quite short, lasting from mid-September to late November. However, this season is characterized by beautiful and charming weather. The average temperatures at this time are around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) and the weather is normally sunny and dry with a light cooling breeze.
Winter typically lasts from December until possibly late February and can get quite cold. The average temperature is around 17 C (63 F) but can drop below 10 C (50F) at times. For many people from countries that are located in more northern climates, these temperatures may not seem too cold, however, winter in Hanoi is also humid and wet which intensifies the bitter cold feeling and often requires travelers to wear winter clothes.
Hoi An's seasons are less complicated than Hanoi's. Hoi An typically sees warm weather all year round and only has two seasons, rainy and dry.
The yearly average temperatures in Hoi An are around 29C (85F), however, during the hottest months, from June to August, the highest temperature during the day can reach around 38C (100F). The months of November to January are normally the coldest in this city, with temperatures between 19C (66F) and 24C (75F).
Although the temperatures in Hoi An seem to be perfect for vacations, the one thing that can make visiting Hoi An difficult is the rainy season. The rainy season in this area is often quite long and intense with constant heavy showers and typhoons that can cause floods. The rainy season typically lasts from September to January and is the worst time to visit Hoi An.
During the dry season, the weather takes a sharp turn and is often very mild with moderate temperatures. This season lasts from February to May and is characterized by low humidity and plenty of sunshine. This is the perfect time to go to Hoi An and visit the nearby beaches.
Ho Chi Minh City is located in Southern Vietnam and rarely suffers natural disasters that affect travel like the Central and Northern areas of the country. Like Hoi An, HCMC has two main seasons, the rainy and the dry. The best time to visit is during the dry season, however, the weather is said to be good all year round.
The dry season in HCMC typically starts in December and lasts until April. This is the time when the city sees its hottest temperatures with highs around 39C (101F) and the lows in early December around 16C (61F). The dry season is the most popular time to visit HCMC because of the lower levels of humidity.
The rainy season in HCMC typically lasts from April to May and is not as intense as it can be in other areas of Vietnam. During the rainy season, the city often experiences humid and rainy weather. Short rains often appear during the day, they quickly disappear and the sunny weather returns.
Because Vietnam is a long and thin country with over 2000 miles of coast, the weather varies greatly from north to south. Typically, Vietnam is divided into three distinct climate zones. These three zones are normally called the north, the center, and the south. The weather of these regions is strongly affected by the south-west monsoons that occur from May to October and the northeast monsoon from November to April.
Due to the large variation in weather in Vietnam, it can be difficult to plan your travels. Here is an explanation of the weather in the three different regions, as well as the average monthly rainfall and temperatures in Vietnam.
Below are two graphs that show the historical average monthly rainfall and temperature information. The data is from the years 1991 to 2015 and was produced by the Climatic Research Unit of University of East Anglia.
The charts help to give travelers a basic idea of the best times to travel in Vietnam. However, it is important to remember that rainfall and temperatures differ in each of the three different regions which will be explained below.
The northern part of Vietnam includes Hanoi, Sapa, and Halong Bay and is known for being a mountainous region that has four different seasons. Here it can be cool in the winter but also quite warm in the summer.
Overall, the dry season in the north lasts from October to April. This season includes the region's fall, winter, and spring seasons. Fall is a very short season that typically takes place from October to December. Fall is the best time to visit the north due to the sunny, dry, and pleasant weather. Winter and Spring are still good times to travel in Northern Vietnam although winter tends to be colder and damper than fall and during the spring the rains start to get heavier and more frequent.
The summer and the rainy season are one and the same and last from May to August. This is the hottest time of year and the rainiest time of year. The constant downpours and humid weather make the north unbearably hot and sticky which makes traveling much less comfortable during this time.
Central Vietnam includes many popular cities such as Hue, Da Nang, and Hoi An. This area of Vietnam is a paradise during the dry season but very frustrating during the rainy season.
In Central Vietnam, the seasons are opposite to that of Northern Vietnam because each region is affected by different monsoons. The rainy season in the center starts in September and can last until February. During this time it is not uncommon for the area to have dangerous typhoons and flooding.
The dry season typically lasts from February to August. The earlier part of the dry season is more pleasant with cooler temperatures. June to August is the time when Central Vietnam sees its hottest temperatures, usually close to 38C (100F).
Southern Vietnam is different from the other two regions, especially because the average temperatures remain constant all year round. Daytime temperatures rarely drop below 20C (68F) and sometimes hit 40C (104F) at their highest. There is a dry season and a rainy season in the south, but they don't have as much negative impact as in other regions.
The dry season typically lasts from December to late April and the rainy season starts from May and continues through November. Although it does rain often during the rainy months, most rain comes in brief afternoon downpours that quickly clear up. Flooding does sometimes happen in the Mekong Delta at this time, but most other areas of the south are safe.
Flooding and monsoons are difficult to predict, so in order to stay safe and not have any delays, it is a good idea to travel in the dry season.
The two monsoons that affect Vietnam greatly, control the weather and the best times to travel. Although sometimes the rain during monsoons can be light and not affect travel, often times monsoon rains are hard downpours that flood major areas and cause delays.
The strength and exact timing of the monsoons can be difficult to predict, so it is best to try and avoid the time frame when they are likely to occur or to schedule in extra days that can be used in case of delays.
Typhoons are tropical storms that usually affect the Central and Northern portions of Vietnam. They often start in May and go to June in the North and then move south in the three months of September, October, and November.
Typhoons cause a lot of damage to the country, as well as making traveling difficult, as they can cause serious flooding that shuts down cities and causes massive delays.
Overall, the best time to visit Vietnam is during the first half of February because that is the only time when the weather is not rainy or hot throughout the entire country. December and January are a good time to visit Southern and Central Vietnam, but not a good time to travel in the north.
It is best to avoid the rainy season in order to have the best experience in Vietnam. Although the weather patterns can be confusing and difficult to keep track of, it is important to understand the seasons of an area before planning a trip.
One way to take the stress off you is to let us do the planning for you! We have a lot of experience with tourism and traveling in Vietnam and understand the best places to go to as well as the best times. We can help you plan the perfect trip that won't get spoiled by the weather. Drop us a line here!