Because of the difference in latitude and relief, Vietnam’s climate differs from place to place. The northern part of the country consists mostly of highlands, while the south is divided into coastal lowlands.
There are two climate zones in Vietnam:
- moderate climate in the North
- tropical climate in the South
The moderate climate is characterized by two seasons: winter —from November to April — and summer —from May to October. Winter is cold and dry, while summer is hot and rainy.
The tropical climate is characterized by three seasons: cold season — from November to January -, hot season — from February to April/May — and the rainy season — from June to October. From June to early November the coast is regularly struck by typhoons. The tropical climate area is hot and humid all year round.
Central Vietnam tends to be more temperate rather than tropical. However, the rainfall is pretty much as heavy as in the south but the highlands offer slightly cooler temperatures.
The official peak tourist season in Vietnam is from September to April. The best time to visit the northern part is from November to April, while the best time to visit the southern part is between February and April. The best time to visit the highlands is between November and March.
Hanoi has a humid tropical climate. The summer — May to September — is characterized by hot temperatures and lots of rain. The winter — November to March — is relatively cold and dry. April and October can have any type of weather. The hottest months are June, July and August, while the coldest is January.
Jan: avg high 18 C/66 F; avg low 14 C/58 F
Aug: avg high 31 C/90 F; avg low 26 C/80 F
Saigon is located in the tropical climate zone and has warm weather all year round. The dry season lasts from December to April when the temperatures are relatively lower. Typhoons are common between June and November.
Dec: avg high 30 C/87 F; avg low 22 C/72 F
Apr: avg high 33 C/93 F; avg low 26 C/79 F
What clothes to bring
Wear natural fabrics all year round, but be careful to bring warmer clothing if you are heading to the highlands or if you visit Vietnam during winter. Raincoats and other water proof clothing are essential during the rainy season.