First advice : Don’t try to see as much as possible, take the time to discover. Too often we see tourists who do Vietnam from north to south in not even 12 days. As a result, they don’t have time to appreciate and they come back from their stay more tired than when they arrived.
The best time to go is from October to May, when it rains the least and is not yet too hot, but you can of course travel all year round in Vietnam, even during the heat and monsoon season, as it rarely rains all day.
Vietnam has a hot and humid climate, characterized by monsoons. The country has 3 major regions, the climatic border is located around Da Nang in central Vietnam.
Winter exists only in the north, beyond the famous Cloud Pass (central Vietnam), while in the south it is almost always hot.
The north is the country of ethnic mountain people, rice terraces and karst mountains, where rice and corn are grown.
The center, with a beautiful coastline and beautiful beaches, is also the region of plateaus, ethnic groups and coffee.
The south, “rice basket” of Vietnam with three harvests a year and producer of fruits and vegetables, is the Mekong delta, beautiful beaches and the islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao.
In the North of Vietnam
December – January – February
These months are cold and gray, it is winter in the north, temperatures can vary from 20°C to below zero and sometimes snow is invited on the heights. The fields are at rest but we clear the land as needed and consolidate the rice fields.
Between January and February, it is the Vietnamese vacations in the whole country, the new year, the Tet.
The temperature is between 8°C and 20°C and it rains very little.
Be careful: if it is 8°C in Hanoi, with the residual humidity that sticks to your skin and the freezing wind, it feels like 3°C in Europe. You should bring warm clothes for this period.
March – April
Spring is starting to offer really good temperatures, after the preparation of the rice fields, the transplanting of the rice begins in the plains, the ploughing in the mountains. It is also the period of the spring festivals.
May – June
Summer begins with its first brief but heavy rains accompanied by heat, rice and corn grow, time for weeding and hoeing, June, beginning of July, first harvest for the plains.
July – August
It is hot ( 34°C – 42°C ), rains are sometimes violent and there are possible typhoons but there are always clearings.
September – October – November
It is the harvest period for rice and corn in the mountains and in the plains, a very good time to visit these remote areas with pleasant temperatures. We celebrate the harvest.
Best months: March – April – May and October – November – December
In Central Vietnam
February – March – April – May
Excellent period of good weather, rice is planted in the plains.
June – July – August – September
Hot to very hot in the lands, pleasant on the beaches of the coast and on the high plateaus with also some monsoon rains which start in July.
October – November – December – January
Rains, possible typhoons and floods on the coast, November – December should be avoided
In the highlands the coffee harvest starts in November.
Best months: February – March – April – May – June – July
In the South of Vietnam
It is always hot ( 30°C – 42°C).
November – December – January – February – March – April
This is the dry season, the most favorable period to visit South Vietnam, Saigon, the beautiful Delta, the beaches of the coast and the islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao with temperatures between 30 and 40°C.
May – June
Beginning of the wet season, less pleasant, it rains heavily intermittently
July – August – September – October
The rainiest period of the year with generally beautiful big showers which do not last more than two hours. It is not necessarily unpleasant because the sunny days are interspersed with short sudden showers.
Avoid Phu Quoc in this season
In September, turtles lay their eggs on the island of Con Dao where the climate is more temperate than on the mainland
Best months: November – December – January – February – March – April
For the treks
You can do them almost all year round but December and January are less good. It will depend on the days, some of them will be sunny, however, in this period there can be mist, fog and the view will be less clear and less beautiful.
To see the beautiful rice terraces
The best periods are from the end of April to the beginning of May when farmers bring water to their rice fields to start a new harvest and from July to September when the rice is green and then ripe and yellow, hence the beautiful golden pictures on the sides of the mountains.
Rice terraces in May and September in North Vietnam
Clothing to bring, to be adapted according to the weather in the north, center or south:
Basic equipment :
- Sleepwear or tracksuit
- Tee shirts or cotton shirts
- Sports pants, hiking pants or jeans
- Shorts, Bermuda shorts
- Dresses, skirts or light pants for soties and parties
- Sweatshirts, sweaters or fleeces for the north in the cool season
- Windbreaker (make sure it is waterproof)
- Coat or jacket for the cooler seasons in the north
- Rain poncho (especially for destinations in the rainy season)
- Comfortable shoes (hiking boots are ideal, but sneakers can work)
- Sandals or light shoes
- Quick-drying microfiber towel for swimming and overnight stays
And if you forget something, you will find everything easily on arrival.