Vietnam weather by regions - Things must to know

In Vietnam the climate is tropical in the north, and subtropical in the centre and south, and is influenced by the monsoons: the south-west monsoon affects the country from May to October, and the northeast monsoon from October to April. The former brings heavy rains in exposed areas, therefore the north and the south, while along the central part, protected by the mountains, it brings relatively little rain and leaves often space to the sun. The north-east monsoon is generally drier, but it brings heavy rains in the early months (October-December) along the coast exposed to the east, and light but frequent rains in the north. 

In inland areas, there are hills and mountains, which make the climate milder in the summer months, but even cold in winter in the north. 

The rainfall amount is normally between 1,500 and 2,500 millimetres (60 and 98 inches) per year, while there's a relatively small arid zone in the Phan Thiet area (north-east of Ho Chi Minh City), where it's slightly above 1,000 mm (40 in). 

The typhoon season is from May to January and Vietnam sometimes gets hammered by these tropical storms. The rainy season in Vietnam coincides more or less with the rainy seasons in Thailand, Cambodia and Burma (from June to October). But is different from the rainy season on the west coast of Malaysia (from September to November) and from the one in Singapore, Borneo, Indonesia and the east coast of Malaysia (November to January). The rainy season in southern China is generally most intense in June and July.

The North:


Vietnam weather in North

The North of Vietnam is featured by 4 seasons:

Warm Spring

Hot Summer

Cool Autumn

Cold Winter

Mid-February – May

June – September

October – November

End of November - February

In the north of Vietnam, in winter the weather is unusually cool for the latitude: we are just south of the Tropic of Cancer, yet the average temperature in January is below 20 °C (68 °F): in Hanoi the average is 17.5 °C (63.5 °F), in Vinh it's 19 °C (64 °F), while it drops to around 14 °C (57 °F) in the northernmost areas of Tonkin, where at night the temperature can approach freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) between December and February (and sometimes in early March). 

In spring, in northern Vietnam the temperature gradually rises, and the sun comes out every so often in April, but then from May to October it's the rainy season, and the weather becomes hot and humid, with downpours in the afternoon or evening. In Hanoi, the wettest months are July and August, with about 300 mm (12 in) of rain per month. The maximum temperature is around 33 °C (91 °F), but the humidity makes the heat annoying, and sometimes it can even reach 37/38 °C (99/100 °F), with peaks of 39/40 °C (102/104 °F) in May and June. 

In October and November, when the monsoon withdraws, there is another period which is quite pleasant, before the return of the cool and dull weather in December. 

In mountainous areas (as Sapa, Ha Giang, Moc Chau, Cao Bang,…), the winter is quite cold: at 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) of altitude, the average temperature in January is around 8 °C (46.5 °F). The highest peak is Fansipan (or Phan Xi Pang), 3,143 metres (10,311 feet) high, which is covered with snow in winter. 

The Centre:


Vietnam weather in the Centre

Along the coast of central Vietnam, the winter is warmer: the average temperature in January ranges from 20 °C (68 °F) in Hue, to 24 °C (75 °F) in Nha Trang. 

Besides, in the central part the summer monsoon has little effects, so that less than 100 mm (4 in) of rain per month fall until August, and the amount of sunshine remains acceptable. Here the rainy season is late, and runs from September to December, but also in January in the northern part (from Ha Tinh to Da Nang), with a maximum in October and November, when the rains can be torrential. These intense rains at the end of the year are due to the retreating monsoon, which particularly affects the part of the coast exposed to the north-east: in Hue, 500 mm (20 in) of rain fall in September, 900 mm (35 in) in October, 680 mm (26.5 in) in November, 350 mm (14 in) in December, and still 145 mm (5.5 in) in January. 

In Da Nang, the situation is slightly better, but the rains are still abundant from September to December.

In the central part of Vietnam, the sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, although it drops to 23 °C (73 °F) in February at Hue, and to 24 °C (75 °F) from January to March at Da Nang, while it never drops below 26 °C (79 °F) at Nha Trang

To the south of this area, in the Binh Thuan province, the rains become even less abundant: in Phan Thiet just 1,150 mm (45 in) of rain per year fall, which are not very few, but they are concentrated in a few months, while for a long period it rains little, so the landscape becomes semi-arid, and in the Mui Ne area even sand dunes are found. 

The best time to visit this area of Vietnam for best weather, runs from February to March in the northern part, and from January to March in the southern part. April is still a dry month, but it begins to be hot, even though sea breezes blow along the coast. From May to August, the air is hot and humid, but if it weren't for the risk of typhoons, the climate would be quite acceptable, because it's much less rainy than in the rest of Vietnam. 


Inland Areas:


Vietnam weather in the inland areas

In the interior of central Vietnam, the presence of mountains makes the climate milder, in fact there are many cities located between 400 and 1,000 metres (1,300 and 3,300 feet) above sea level, which have nice and sunny winters, while summers are a bit less sultry than in the plains. 

Here the monsoon rains occur in the canonical period, from May to November, with a maximum between August and October. Winter is dry, therefore you can visit this area from December to March, or even April at higher altitudes, where the heat is less intense.

The South:


Vietnam weather in the South

In the southern part of the country, and in the southern islands (Con Dao, Phu Quoc), the climate is hot all year round, while the rainy period returns to be, as in the north, the summer. Between November and mid-February, the maximum temperatures are around 30/32 °C (86/90 °F), then in mid-February the temperatures starts to rise, so that between March and May they reach the highest level of the year: 33/35 °C (91/95 °F) on average, but with peaks of 40 °C (104 °F), before the arrival of the monsoon. During the period of the summer monsoon, the heat is quite muggy. 

In Ho Chi Minh the rains are abundant from May to mid-November, with a maximum in September, and they amount to about 1,900 mm (76 in) per year.

In southern Vietnam, the sea is warm all year round. 

In southern Vietnam, the best time is from December to mid-February; March and April are still dry months, but they are uncomfortably hot; however, sea breezes blow along the coasts and in the islands. 


What to pack:

Now you can see that Vietnam weather is different by regions. If you plan a long day trip throughout north to south of Vietnam, surely you'd better fully check the weather and the geography of each regions in Vietnam.


Vietnam weather by regions

In winter: in the north (Hanoi, Sapa, Halong), spring/autumn clothes, a jacket and a sweater, raincoat for the drizzle, hat and gloves for colder nights. In mountain peaks, warm clothes, down jacket, gloves, hat, hiking shoes.

In the centre (Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang), light clothes for the day, sweatshirt and scarf for the breeze, jacket and sweater for cooler evenings, raincoat or umbrella until January inclusive. 

For the inland south-central areas, light clothes for the day, a jacket and a sweater for the evening. 

For the south (Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta River), light clothing, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening, possibly a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. 

In summer: across the country, at low altitude, tropics-friendly, lightweight clothing of natural fibres, light raincoat or umbrella, a light sweatshirt for the evening; for hill altitude towns, you can add a sweatshirt and a light jacket; for the highest peaks, warm clothes, fleece, jacket, raincoat, hiking boots. 


For more information, please contact Vietnam BNS Travel