The Best Time to Go to Vietnam
Vietnam by seasons
Vietnam’s complicated weather patterns split the country into three regions, north, south and central; and two seasons; wet and dry. With each region having its own distinct climate, there’s never a bad time to visit, although visitor numbers are highest during the dry period from November to April.
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October – April
The dry season is when Vietnam receives the most visitors and the least rain, especially in the south, making it a great time to visit the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City. The sun is shining in the north, bringing ideal conditions to hike the mountains around Sapa. By November, both the north and south are warm and dry, while a few showers remain in the central areas. These have dispersed by December though, making the festive period another good time to hit Vietnam’s beaches. By January, the mornings and evenings may be a little chilly, and snow is not unheard of in the northern mountains. By March and April, widespread blue skies make this the perfect time to visit if you’re touring the whole country.
Tet: The most important festival in Vietnam, held in early February, Tet marks the arrival of spring and involves extravagant feasts, colourful displays and gifts as the locals travel en masse to celebrate with their families.
Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival: on the sixth day of the first lunar month the Bai Dinh Temple in Ninh Binh hosts a week-long event that includes costumed processions, music and traditional games such as tug of war.
May – September
As the name suggests, the wet season is when Vietnam receives the most rain. We’re not talking endless downpours though, but short afternoon showers that soon pass, mostly confined to the north and south of the country. Travel at this time is best in the hot and dry central regions around Hue and the beaches near Hoi An. Hanoi and Halong Bay should remain dry until June, making this a good time to visit, although temperatures can reach up to 40°C in May. The rains finally arrive in the central regions in September.
Feast of the Wandering Souls and Hungry Ghosts: in mid to late August, offerings of food are made and animals are set free to pardon the condemned souls which have been released from hell.
Vietnam National Day: on 2nd September, the whole country celebrates its independence from France, declared in 1945, with parades, fireworks and patriotic flag waving.