Best time to visit Vietnam is one of the big questions for visitors who are planning to travel Vietnam for leisure or business. With overview and experience as local, Vietnam Great Tours experts want to give highlight and overview for time to visit Vietnam each month. These information might be not enough with you but it could help you to plan or consider the best time for you to travel or visit our country. Please note that Vietnam weather is very different between areas, North and north-central of Vietnam has 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winder; during South and south-central has only dry and wet seasons.
VIETNAM IN JANUARY
January is one of the coldest month in the year, contrary to weather, this time is busiest days in the year and every roads, streets become bustling to prepare for TET (Traditional Vietnamese New Year). Rainfall is around 14 mm and only 2 days in month, the lowest temperature at night could be under 10oC. You will feel cold even under sun shine with humidity around 70%. But you can be lucky to meet some days with temperature from 14 – 21oC, perfect conditions to visit Vietnam in the north. It’s also a chance to enjoy hot and delicious foods in Hanoi.
What to expect or best time to travel Vietnam in January
What can be better than starting your year with an adventure to Vietnam? January is a month for celebration, starting with the Western New Year on January 1st. Although it is not as festive as the Lunar New Year- the traditional biggest holiday in Vietnam- it is worth seeing how Solar New Year is celebrated. Most public services ad offices are closed on New Year Day but restaurants and hotels remain running and even more so on these occasions.
If you are lucky enough to be the earliest birds to arrive at one of the international airports, you will be greeted by tourism authorities with wreaths and bouquets of flowers as the first visitors of the year. Closer to the end of January, you will be able to see busier and happier Vietnamese people than any other time of the year.
As it gets closer to Tet holiday, people are rushing to finish up their work, get their bonus and shop! It is just like Christmas preparation but instead of decorating pine trees, Vietnamese select the finest kumquat and peach blossoms. In both cities and countryside areas, there are flowers sitting next to dried fruit- mut- and cakes and candies waiting to be traded. If you are into more shopping, January is when most local products are on display and on sale at shopping malls and display center.
- New Year Day: January 1
- Vietnamese New Year (Lunar New Year) in 2020: 25 January
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN FEBRUARY
February is one of the most unpredictable months. Similar to how Europeans and North Americans crave for a white Christmas, many Northern Vietnamese would wish for a light rain on the first day of the Lunar year which can set the atmosphere and bring about luck. Those living in Ho Chi Minh City would see much sun and warm weather for most of the days in February. In Central Vietnam, the dry season started with pleasantly warm temperature. The North, on the other hand, may remain anywhere from cool to cold for another while. If you love the beach, head south!
* Tet holidays (Lunar New Year): February 5, 2019
What to expect for travel Vietnam in February?
February is the month of celebration and relaxation for Vietnamese, especially from the Tet holiday on. Most Lunar New Year falls between late January and mid-February, making the month mostly a time for celebration. Do not miss an opportunity if you are invited to join one of the family’s meals during this holiday. Vietnamese are strong believers- they try to pay off all debts before the New Year day and on the first day of the year, all they do is to feel happy and make other feel happy so that the same sentiment can last for the rest of the year.
2 weeks exactly after the New Year is Tet Nguyen Tieu- an important event to celebrate the first full moon of the year. In Hoi An, every full moon night will be lit up by floating lanterns on Thu Bon River or those hung by the stores in the Ancient town. At the centre squares, there will be live music and revived traditional games. In places like Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City, you can also get a sense of Tet Nguyen Tieu as most families will burn incense and clothes-shaped paper for their ancestors.
In addition to these cultural events, the 3rd of February is the anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party. Though celebrated nation-wide, it is most vividly witnessed in Hanoi and on TV. There are parades and music shows that praise the success and important of the Party in the liberation and governance of modern Vietnam. All houses that face the street are required to hang national flags. Overall, a great opportunity for taking photos!
* February 11 (2017): Tet Nguyen Tieu
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN MARCH
In March, the weather in Northern Vietnam has passed the severe and unpredictable phase. It is usually warm and dry and the same could be talked about Central and South Vietnam, although the temperature can be higher the more Southern you go. March is said to be one of the best month to be in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
What to expect or the best time to travel to Vietnam in March
If you happen to be in the North of Vietnam for March, do not miss Perfume Pagoda festival. Buddhists from all over Vietnam make their pilgrimage here from early February to mid- March to pray for luck, health and happiness of themselves and their families. The trek is tedious and usually crammed with pilgrimage. However, it is the only time of the year to capture such a moment in Perfume Pagoda- people with trays of chicken, sticky rice and fruits on top of their heads while walking up the rocky stairs.
March the 8th is also an important day for many Vietnamese, and in case you forget, it is considered the International Woman’s Day. There are flower and gift services all over the cities and cultural events to celebrate the importance of women in socio-economic and historical area of Vietnam. The younger is to show respect for their mothers and grandmothers; students to teachers and men to women; nowhere can the Women Day be so alive like in Vietnam.
* March 8: International Women’s Day
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN APRIL
April sees significantly more rain than previous months, especially towards the end of the month in the Northern and Southern regions. The coastal area remains ideal for swimming and other water-based activities. The temperature has yet to rise in the North and remains constant in the Central and the South between 25 and 33 Celcius degree.
What to expect or the best time to travel Vietnam in April
April is the last spring month before it starts getting hot and humid all over the country. Except for the last few days when everyone is preparing to take off for the long holiday, the rest of the month remains calm and most tourist attractions are by and large not as crowded as later months.
April 30th is the grand celebration of reunification – the day that South Vietnam and North Vietnam were replaced by one single country called Vietnam. Similar to other political related celebration, there are speeches and events that are intended to remind the younger generation of a victorious past.
* April Fool
(which is not quite observed in Vietnam): April 1
* Reunification Day: April 30
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN MAY
May is interconnection between summer and spring, weather usually is not stable. Temperature is hot as summer and vary from 25 to 31oC, rainfall approximately set at 184 mm within 14 days in the month. Heavy rainfall may happen at any time in the day but it does not extend for a long time. We do not have many events in this month except International Labor day on May 1st and birthday of Ho Chi Minh President.
What to expect or best time to travel Vietnam in May
International Labor Day is a public holiday in Vietnam and often merged with April 30th to become a long holiday. This is a time when domestic tourists vacate the cities either to the beach or mountain retreat or even abroad. This may be a great time for those visiting Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City as they return to their most normal and calm state. A walking or biking tour will be at its best during this first 2 days of the month.
Another important and widely celebrated day is May 19th, Uncle Ho’s birthday. It is better memorized than his death anniversary which is in September.There are candle vigils taking place throughout the country and especially in his birthplace in Kim Lien Village of Nghe An. It is a day when everyone from young kindergarten children to middle-aged housewives commemorates and shows respect to the Great Father of Vietnam.
Closer to the end of the month, school years are to end and Vietnamese families start taking off for their holiday. Domestic season often starts in late May and lasts until late August.
* International Labour Day: May 1
* Dien Bien Phu Battlefield Celebration: May 7
* Ho Chi Minh’s Birthday: May 19
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN JUNE AND JULY
From June to July, it is simply hot. In Hanoi, the heat is made worse by the volume of traffic and sometime the dust. In Hue and Hoi An, the heat is aggravated by the intense amount of sun light. In Ho Chi Minh City, the heat is coupled with frequent rain. But do they not make a unique travel experience that not everyone can go through? If you cannot stand the heat, there are always places for you to escape to such as Tam Dao, Sapa and Dalat, where the highland yearns a cool and pleasant climate.
What to expect or the best time to travel Vietnam in June and July
June and July is the high season for domestic travel so most major attractions are packed with people. It is also the monsoonal season which makes it not as comfortable for a good swim due to the constant wave-ful ocean. There are no significant holidays happening in June and July but because of the large volume of domestic tourists, it is wise to book your ticket well in advance to meet your travel agenda.
Hue festival often takes place between late June and mid-July. It is one of the highlighted cultural events that are well attended by both local and tourists alike. There are grand music shows and city-wide celebration of Hue culture: many are held in the courtyard of the Old Citadel. The festival organizers often maintain a website with detail information on festival schedule and ticket details so stay tuned.
* International Children Day: June 1
* Vietnam Journalists’ Day: June 2
* Vietnam Veteran Day: July 27
* Vietnam Family Day: June 28
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN AUGUST
August is a big relief for those who always have the saying “Nong qua” defaulted on their lips (which means “It’s so/too hot”) of July. There are more shadowy day with occasional downpours, thunders and lightning. It is a peak month for rainfall in the North but the rain seems to back off in the Centre and South Vietnam. The temperature varies between 27 and 32 in Hanoi and slightly lower in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. Highland areas remain cool but with rain- the temperature can drop to below 20 at night.
What to expect or the best time you travel to Vietnam in August
In many countries, August is the finish-off month for the summer and it is no difference in Vietnam. Many families take off to domestic destinations to round off their holiday though to a lesser extent compared with June and July. International airfares remain high so if you are on a budget, book the trip for early September instead of late August.
* August 19: Vietnam Revolution Day
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN SEPTEMBER
The first half of September may see another rise in temperature throughout the country. Rainfall ceases in Hanoi and the North but increases in Centre and South. With the rain, however, the climate in places such as Hue, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City are much more pleasant than it was during the summer months. Check the weather before you head to the coast: it is a month for storms and sometimes typhoons.
What to expect or the best time to visit Vietnam in September
Like February, September is another month for both political and cultural events. September the 2nd is the national independence day, with national flags hung on all streets, parades happening in major boulevards and speeches seen all over TV channels. Many veterans treat this occasion with honor and a time to reflect on the triumph over French colony and subsequent wars. Younger generations take it as a holiday opportunity to visit families and friends or travel around. For foreign tourists, it is a great opportunity to see how the day is celebrated in Vietnam.
September is also a great month if you travel in a family with kids. The second half of the month is when Full-moon celebration is often celebrated. Traditionally, it is a time for farmer to celebrate a fruitful harvesting season with their families. Nowadays as more and more migrate to the city, they took with them this tradition but more for the children. They would line up, gather some music tools such as drums and whistle and parade around their neighbor. The final destination would be a yard on the ground or on top of some one’s house where they can eat grapefruits, green rice (com), moon cakes while enjoying the beauty of the moon.
If you have the opportunity, visit Sapa during this harvesting season. The terraced rice field is more lively than any other time of the year and many farmers come out to harvest, wearing non la if they are Kinh and colourful clothes if they are Hmong or Dzao.
* September 2: Vietnam Independence Day
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN OCTOBER
In terms of weather, October is said to be the best months to travel in Vietnam. In the North, the weather has cooled off for the most part and leaves are changing colors to yellow. The temperature is mild and the air is dry. In the Central provinces such as Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An, the rain becomes the norm but it does not dilute the beauty of this region. In fact, Hue drizzle has become a source of inspiration for many generations of poets and artists. In the South, the temperature remains steady, ranging from 24 to 31 Celcius degree with significantly less rain compared with previous summer months.
What to expect or best time to visit Vietnam in October
October 10th is a major celebration in Hanoi. On that same date in 1010, Kinh Ly Cong Uan chose Hanoi as the capital and the city has marked that point to count its birth date, boasting its rich culture and history that have been developed for over a thousand year.
In 2017, the Mid-autumn Festival falls on October 5th. If you are in Hanoi, head to Hang Ma Street to see how colorful toys and lanterns are displayed for sale. In Ho Chi Minh City, Cho Lon area would be the equivalence.
Besides that, October is a rather calm month. Vietnamese do not celebrate Halloween though the young still try to catch up, not by asking around “Treats or cheats” but by shopping for masks and costumes for party. Like September, it is safe to check the weather forecast in advance. Many storms are imminent to flood into the coastal area, which may hold off your trips for days or even weeks.
* Hanoi’s Liberation Day: October 10
* Vietnam Women’s Day: October 20
* Halloween: October 31
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN NOVEMBER
Northern cities and provinces get cooler while the Centre and the South remains warm; the temperature can still rise up to 31 Celcius degree. The rain ceases in Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An though it has yet to come to a complete stop. This is also a good month to visit Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong delta, for the weather is warm and dry.
What to expect or best time to visit Vietnam in November
Like October, November is in the range of “Best time to travel” recommended by many guidebooks and forums. It is, definitely. Because of the wind coming from China, the weather in Hanoi, Halong Bay and other Northern destinations slowly turn cooler and dryer. Most trees have got rid of their own leaves, leaving places like Hanoi in a beautiful state that can only be felt in person. Many tour agencies realize the increase in international tourist volume during these months and may offer extra service. Shop around for the best deals!
* International Tea Festival in Thai Nguyen: November 11-15
* Vietnam Teacher’s Day: November 20
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIETNAM IN DECEMBER
In December, it is often cold in Hanoi and especially in North-western region such as Sa Pa. Snow occasionally comes and leaves but it might get colder than one expect. Prepare warm clothes or you might be trapped in an undesirable flu. Also bring a lot of lip balms and hand-cream, for the dry weather may make you suffer intensely. As you move southward, it is not as dry and cold. There are pleasant breezes and the sun is on until late afternoon.
What to expect or best time to visit Vietnam in December
Flights to Vietnam and other exotic destinations may rocket closer to the Christmas time so plan your travel way ahead. If you are away from home during Christmas, take into consideration that mashed potatoes and roasted turkeys are not easy to find in Vietnam. On the other hand, you will have a festive holiday being abroad, trying Bun cha and Nem ran.
* Christmas: 25 December
* New Year’s Eve: 31 December