The best travel time for Vietnam
Wonderful beaches, idyllic natural landscapes and a rich culture – you will find all of this in Vietnam. To ensure that you also have great weather during your holiday there, read here when it is best to travel there!
Vietnam is one of the most up-and-coming trend destinations worldwide and rightly so, as the country inspires with paradisiacal beaches and fascinating coastal areas as well as with deep green rice terraces and impressive mountains. And that’s not to mention the rich culture and history that you can experience here. We have summarized the most important weather information for you so that your holiday in the dreamlike country in Asia is not only stunningly beautiful in terms of sights, but also in terms of the weather.
From north to south: three climate zones
stretches along the coast of the China Sea in the east and Laos and Cambodia in the west to the Gulf of Thailand in the south-west. So it is hardly surprising that the country not only has diverse landscapes, but also several climate zones – three to be exact, which we would like to go into in detail below.
North Vietnam: Hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters
The first region is North Vietnam. The weather here can be clearly divided into two seasons, summer and winter, with summer being hot and humid and lasting from May to October, while winter is slightly cooler and dry and lasting from November to April.
The summers in North Vietnam are extremely hot by European standards and are accompanied by an uncomfortably high level of humidity; Temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius are the order of the day, especially from May to September. The rainfall is also highest in these months and it rains on average eleven to twelve days a month.
A side effect of these hot, humid summers are typhoons, strong hurricanes that can hit the country especially in September and October, making the region unattractive as a holiday destination during these months.
Winter in North Vietnam, on the other hand, looks very different: temperatures drop to a much more comfortable 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and the rainy season ends by March. Between November and February it rains an average of just five to six days; in December there are even an average of three rainy days. In addition, the humidity drops a bit – if you don’t have a problem with the not so hot temperatures, the climate is now ideal for a visit.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that the mountainous regions of northern Vietnam, which are wonderful for nature walks, are generally a few degrees cooler on average throughout the year than, for example, the city of Hanoi, also located in northern Vietnam. So if instead of sightseeing in the lowlands and on the coast, for example in the wonderful Ha Long Bay, you are mainly interested in tours at higher altitudes, the transitional period in German autumn, especially October and November, is a particularly good travel time – then the temperatures are still pleasantly high, even in the mountains, but the rain has already decreased significantly.
South Vietnam: Consistently hot weather with rainy summer months
In contrast to North Vietnam, temperatures in South Vietnam are above 30 degrees Celsius all year round and the region is particularly influenced by the monsoon, which is why one speaks less of summer and winter than of dry and rainy season.
The rainy season begins with the southwest monsoon, which mainly lasts from May to October, sometimes even into November. During these months, it rains on average on about half of the days, and at the peak of the rainy season in August and September it rains on up to two-thirds of the days. Since the heavy rain is also accompanied by a particularly high level of humidity, a holiday during the German summer months is not recommended – especially not if you don’t deal with the hot, humid weather that well.
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By December at the latest, however, the wind will finally turn and with the onset of the north-east monsoon, the precipitation will decrease again and the dry season will begin. Rain can then be expected for the entire German winter, until April, on an average of just a handful of days per month, and the humidity is no longer quite as stressful. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the South Vietnamese beaches and coastal regions, it is best to plan your vacation for the German winter time.
Travel destinations in southern Vietnam that are particularly worth seeing are Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, or Halong Bay, which is dotted with impressive small limestone islands that protrude from the sea like gravity defying.
Central Vietnam: The semi-humid middle
Central Vietnam is home to some of the country’s most beautiful man-made attractions, such as the world-famous Cloud Pass (Hai Van Pass) or the magnificent Golden Bridge at Ba Na Hills Resort near the city of Da Nang, so if you are interested in this, a visit to this region is particularly worthwhile offers. However, you have to be careful with the weather: In central Vietnam, the north meets the south climate and causes some special weather phenomena that are not always positive.
Similar to North Vietnam, the climate here is cooler during the German winter months, with temperatures around the pleasant 25-degree mark, making a trip to the region ideal. It should be noted, however, that it rains quite often in Central Vietnam during the German winter months – far more than in South Vietnam and also a little more than in North Vietnam. The humidity can be quite high even in winter and then cause fog. The months with the lowest precipitation and thus also the lowest humidity and the lowest probability of fog are March and April – you should pay particular attention to this when planning trips to the cloud pass for the sake of the view.
In the German summer, especially between May and September, it can be well over 30 degrees Celsius in central Vietnam – a holiday is then less advisable if you don’t really love the heat and can’t tolerate it.
However, October and November are absolutely not recommended for a trip to central Vietnam. The rainy season is short but violent at the start during these months and causes typhoons, which are often accompanied by severe landslides and floods – not weather you want for your vacation.
Round trips through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
If you have planned a round trip through Vietnam, with trips to the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia, you are probably wondering when the best time to travel would be or whether the weather in the neighboring countries is significantly different from that in Vietnam.
First of all, about the weather: Both in Cambodia and in Laos, the weather is similar to that in northern and central Vietnam, with the difference that it rains a little less here during the German winter months, i.e. the drought.
Since the German winter months are generally more pleasant throughout Vietnam than during the German summer months, a round trip through all three countries is particularly advisable from December to March.
Alternative destination: Thailand
Not too far away from Vietnam, at least as beautiful, but in terms of weather it is clearly different is wonderful Thailand.
While it is sometimes much too hot, rainy and therefore muggy in Vietnam in the German autumn, or in central Vietnam there are even travel warnings due to typhoons, landslides and floods, you can spend wonderful holidays in Thailand, especially in northern Thailand, at exactly that time of the year.
During the winter months, however, a trip to southern Thailand is a worthwhile alternative for all those who cannot cope quite well with the moderately humid weather in Vietnam, even during the dry season. In Thailand, between November and March, it rains even less in comparison and is therefore not as humid, but it is super summery warm with temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius and more.