The weather in Vietnam varies considerable from region to region. Although the whole country lies in the tropics and subtropics, local condition varies from chilly winters in the far northern mountainous region to year-round, subequatorial warmth in the South.
Vietnam’s weather is dictated by two monsoons. The winter monsoon comes from the northeast between October and March, bringing cold winter to all areas north of Nha Trang, and dry and warm temperatures to the south. From April or May to October, the southwestern monsoon bring warm, humid weather to the whole country except for those areas sheltered by mountains.
The mountainous areas of the North are featured by wet and hot summer and dry and cold winter. Summer lasts from May to October with temperatures from 30 – 35 degrees Celsius, burst of heavy rain. In winter (from December to March), the temperature varies from 10 – 15 oC which is affected by monsoon. Although the temperatures drop significantly in winter, it is much more pleasant to visit the Northern Vietnam during this time.
Halong Bay: In summer, occasional storms may hit the bay so that cruises are frequently cut short or canceled at the last minutes. So keep updated with latest information when there is a storm warning.
Sapa is a year-around destination. However there is only one harvest season a year in Sapa. If you want to see the yellow rice terraced fields, come around October. In winter, the temperatures can fall under zero and snow may happen.
For most of the year Nha Trang is bathed in beautiful sunshine but between November and December the area has heavy rain. Dalat, at an altitude of 1,500m is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November through to March. Da Nang (Hoi An) and Hue both experience typhoon activity. From mid-October to mid-December, the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.
The south is hot year around with two distinct seasons: wet and dry but both have high humidity. The wet season lasts from May to October and you can expect downpours often occur every afternoon. These are usually short and easy to predict. The dry season from November to April is generally sunny and humid. December to February is the most pleasant time to visit with cool everything down to around 20 degree Celsius.
When to go
Apr–Jun or Sep–Nov
Perhaps the best time to tour the whole country. Typhoons can lash the central and northern coastline until November.
During the Tet festival, the whole country is on the move and prices rise. North of Nha Trang can get cool weather. Expect cold conditions in the far north. In the south, clear skies and sunshine are the norm.
Prices increase by up to 50% by the coast; book hotels well in advance. All Vietnam, except the far north, is hot and humid, with the summer monsoon bringing downpours.