Weather in Vietnam – The Best Time To Visit
Vietnam has varying climates and different seasons in the North and South. There is no perfect season to travel to Vietnam. You shouldn’t plan your motorcycle adventure around the weather in Vietnam. Instead, you should plan your motorcycle adventure and then pack for the conditions to make informed decisions about what to bring and wear. In this article, we will summarise the different conditions from North to South.
Image: Wikipedia. Vietnam is broken into numerous regions, and each one is a little different than the other. Don’t expeect the weather to be the same in one to the next
When is the best time to visit Vietnam?
As a simplified whole, Vietnam is divided into three regions. The North, Central Coast/Highlands, and the South.
- The North: Hanoi and anything North of there. Colder than most people think. From November to February can see extreme lows. On occasion, snow will fall.
- Central Vietnam: Hoi An to Hanoi. Central Vietnam cyclones can appear from around September to December. Not a regular occurrence, but it happens.
- The South: Anything from Hoi An and South. It’s almost always hot. It can rain hard, but usually around lunchtime and only for a few hours. There are no bad conditions in the South.
Within these regions, you can then try to identify their seasons.
Weather Seasons, North, South, Mid
In April and March, the Vietnam weather will be the best overall time to travel. Across the country, the weather conditions and climate are mostly stable. Don’t assume perfect conditions from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi, though, and don’t let yourself believe the other ten months aren’t worth coming either.
Northern Vietnam. Hanoi And The North
- November-April is the dryer winter, while January-March temperatures hover in the high teens, with rainfall in January around 20mm. Temperatures at this time can dip down to freezing at night.
- May-October is summer or the rainy season. The weather is warm and humid, with temps in the high 20’s and low 30’s. Factor in another 8-10oC of heat on very humid days.
- June-July-August sees the peak rainfall, around 300mm in August.
- Late October to December, the monsoons dry up, and days are typically pleasant.
- North of Hanoi is more unpredictable. You should prepare for even colder, wetter, and more extreme climates to those of Hanoi.
Overall March/April and October/November are the most stable months to visit Hanoi and The North for motorbiking.
Central Vietnam. Hanoi–Hoi An
A vast temperate region whose monsoon/typhoon season is influenced by the coastline and Truong Son mountain range.
- August-December is the wet & rainy time of year. With October-November being the wettest months that can see some areas briefly flooded.
- January-March average 20oC. June-August 25oC with rainfall averaging 85mm. The peak of the rainy season is October.
Overall, the optimal time for dry, warm weather will be mid-January to late March in Central Vietnam.
Inland Central Vietnam
Once you head inland in Central Vietnam, you can include areas like Pleiku and North to Hanoi. Here you’ll find yourself in the mountains and higher from sea level. This results in cooler temperatures and a slightly different climate.
- Pleiku yearly average temperatures sit in the high 20’s. From October to March though, they cool off with an average in the mid-teens at night.
- May-November, the rain runs from August to October with over 300mm of rain falling in October.
Overall December to early April are the most temperate and dry months to visit inland Central Vietnam for motorbiking the region.
South Vietnam. Hoi An–South of Ho Chi Minh City
The South of Vietnam is typically hot. The choices here are hot and hotter, with the monsoons bringing more humidity and heat.
- December to mid-February is dry season and has the most tolerable temperatures. High 20’s to Low 30’s
- Mid-February to April are still dry but hotter, with temperatures reaching the mid-30’s
- May temperatures peak and can reach 40oC with the humidity of the coming monsoons.
- May-October is the wet, summer months, tapering off in November. With rains peaking in June.
Overall, December to February are the optimal months.
Bring the right motorcycle gear
Armed with the knowledge above, you now know that you should be expecting all conditions in Vietnam. The key to a successful adventure on a motorbike is to have the right gear. We have a full article on what to bring and wear. Try and avoid showing up to Vietnam and buying fake North Face gear. It doesn’t work properly and won’t keep you warm. Get the best quality gear from home and pack light but smart.
Vietnam Weather Myths Revealed
All of Vietnam is Hot and Sunny
Despite having access to all the information in the world, travelers still show up for Vietnam trips with shorts and a t-shirt expecting every day to be sunny and all regions to be warm.
Storms & rain in Vietnam will ruin your holiday
The monsoon season in Vietnam is often overdramatized and should not ruin your holiday. Like all doomsday newscasters and fake news providers, the situation is never as bad as it’s portrayed in the media. Often areas that have been hit with devastating monsoons are a collaboration of poor infrastructure and harsh weather. Unfortunately, when the rains hit poorer, less-developed regions, they can wash out wooden homes and up-root poorly constructed buildings. When those same storms hit developed cities, they easily wash away unnoticed in a day or two.
Don’t let the weather stop a motorbike holiday
The negative clickbait news like those found on Vietnam Facebook groups is so extreme that we advise ignoring it entirely. Plan as you go, knowing that significant storms clear up quickly, and use sites such as Accurate Weather for 24-hour forecasts.Vietnam Weather