For a relatively small country Vietnam has somewhat complicated weather patterns. With over 2000 miles of coastline and three varying weather systems, you can expect to experience a big variation in the weather. While there is not really a right or wrong time to travel to Vietnam, as most months of the year tend to experience both sunshine and rain, there are a few optimal months (February – May) where the whole of Vietnam experiences settled weather. The months of August – November are least favorable months especially if you are looking for some beach time. Because of its overall length Vietnam is split into three different weather patterns with Sapa experiencing it’s own unique climate.
North Vietnam – Hanoi, Halong Bay, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, Cuc Phuong.
North Vietnam has two seasons, a summer and a winter. The cool dry winter season lasts from November to April and temperatures range between 17C – 22C. Summer lasts from May to October with hot humid days and nights that experience high rainfall, although these can often just be heavy thunderstorms that last for an hour or so. July to September are the wettest months of the year and severe storms can prevent travel.
Central Vietnam – Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue, Quy Hhon, Nha Trang
The centre of Vietnam around Da Nang and Hoi An has a long hot dry summer that extends from February to the end of August. Temperatures sit around the high 30’s but can sometime climb over 40C. The winter months can be relatively warm up until December especially the more south you go. Hue experiences cooler temperatures but Nha Trang can stay pretty dry and warm between January and September. October and November are the wettest months of the year.
South Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City. The Mekong Delta, Dalat and Phu Quoc
The South experiences warm to high temperatures all year round. It has two seasons, wet and dry. The dry season is from November to May and the wet season from May to November. A lot of the rain comes in the form of short heavy downpours and can be easily avoided. Because of the warm climate, the South is great to visit all year round with the beaches of Phu Quoc staying dry from November to July. Dalat can be very cold between December and January and wet between June and October.
Sapa has its own two-season microclimate. A dry season between October and March and wet a season from April to September. It is not advisable to travel there between May and September and can be very cold in December and January. Pack warmly as it can be cold at night and take warm clothes for trekking as the weather can be changeable.
Be sure to check out Wunderground for current weather conditions in Vietnam.