Vietnam: when is the best time to visit this magnificent Southeast Asian country? We’ll give you all the details – all you have to do is pack your rucksack!
Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country that overlooks the China Sea – it is located south of China and to the east of Laos and Cambodia. The narrow and elongated position and conformation give Vietnam a generally warm and humid climate throughout the year. Precisely for this reason, much of the country is characterised by thick and lush vegetation, which bestows the Vietnamese landscapes a unique and spectacular beauty.
Do you fancy discovering Vietnam in all its beauty? Check out our itinerary!
Vietnam’s climate is subtropical in the north and tropical in the centre-south while the entire country is affected by monsoons. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you exactly when to visit to avoid them. We start simply by dividing Vietnam into three distinct areas: the north, centre and south. Now let’s check which period is best to visit each area. Alternatively, if your trip extends throughout the entire length of the country, thereby crossing all three areas, organise it between February and April: they are the best months ever!
North Vietnam: the best time to visit
North Vietnam is that magnificent place that, in addition to the capital Hanoi, is home to the hinterland of rice paddies (Sapa and Ninh Binh, just to mention two ethereal places) and the coast with incredible bays, such as Ha Long Bay. The best time to visit this part of Vietnam is from the beginning of November to the end of April, corresponding to the dry season. The best months are March and April when temperatures are more pleasant than in December and January. In these two months, the thermometer also drops to 12-13° – so no bathing in the sea!
Avoid the wet season months, which begin in May and end with Halloween. During these months the rainfall is abundant and intensifies between July and October, when the dreaded typhoons arrive. In short: if you can only travel to Vietnam in the summer, do not leave your raincoat at home!
The best period to visit Vietnam: the centre
The centre of Vietnam stretches from Dong Hoi and reaches the old capital Saigon, currently known as Ho Chi Minh City. The trendiest destinations are located along the coast – here are some towns of extraordinary beauty, such as the City of Lanterns, Hoi An, or the enchanting Hue. Some consider it the most romantic city in the entire country.
Here the monsoon behaves strangely, i.e. barely present until the end of August. Heavy rains start much later, between September and December-January – why, you ask? This nice phenomenon is called the northeast monsoon, which affects precisely this more exposed part of Vietnam. Essentially: the best months to travel to central Vietnam are February, March and April. For the rest of the year, the rule above applies: set off well-equipped!
South Vietnam: the best time to visit
Southern Vietnam contains the ancient capital, Ho Chi Minh City, and the Mekong Delta, one of the must-see destinations when travelling to this country. Going even further south, the landscapes become postcard-like, with palm-rich beaches and turquoise sea. The islands are fanciful: Dao and Phu Quoc have nothing to envy from the Thai islands – the advantage is that they are definitely less invaded by tourists.
The climate of the south is what we have already witnessed for the north – the reason remains unknown, but that is fine with us. The dry season – and therefore, the best one – runs from the end of November to March-April. However, we must clarify the south: the heat is intense starting in February, with temperatures that even reach 40° between March and May.
As in the north, the wet season begins in May and ends in November. The monsoons are felt especially during July and August when the heat is decidedly muggy and unpleasant. In short, to avoid mistakes and enjoy the sun without suffering from fatigue, come here between mid-December and mid-February and it will be a perfect trip.
Travel to Vietnam: what to put in your backpack
Now that we’ve answered the question “When to go to Vietnam”, let’s talk about far more crucial matters: what to put in your backpack for a trip to this incredible Southeast Asian country? Besides your documents (passport, international driver’s license if needed), credit cards and a photocopy of everything (just to be on the safe side), we come to the real list:
- comfortable shoes (sneakers or hiking boots)
- flip flops/sandals
- modest clothes to enter sacred places
- light clothing, made of cotton or natural fibre
- waterproof jacket
- sweatshirt and long trousers for northern areas (cooler)
- mosquito spray
- first-aid bag including all the medicine you take regularly
- universal adaptor
- microfibre towel
- power bank
Now that you know the best period to visit Vietnam, there are no more excuses. This country awaits you with its incredible landscapes and the welcoming smile of the locals who inhabit these magnificent lands.