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Vietnam’s weather and climate are strongly affected by the southwest and northeast monsoons. In north Vietnam, the winter (November to March) is colder than in the south while south Vietnam experiences warm temperatures year-round. In central regions, the climate along the coast is slightly different from the inland areas. Vietnam is also affected by typhoons, so while planning a trip, make sure there are no typhoon warnings.

Let’s take a look at the seasons and climate in Vietnam that will help you plan your safari.

Seasons in Vietnam

Vietnam’s climate is subtropical in the northern region and tropical in the south and central, with primarily dry winter months and wet summer months.

However, the climate in the north, central, inland, and south regions is influenced by rainfall patterns. To give you an idea of what to experience in Vietnam, here are Vietnam’s four seasons along with average rainfall precipitation for Hanoi in the north, Da Nang in the central region, Pleiku in the inland region, and Ho Chi Minh in the south.

SeasonsMonthsAverage annual rainfall
North Vietnam
Central Coast
(Da Nang
Inland Region
South Vietnam
(Ho Chi Minh)
WinterNovember to March160mm715mm425mm195mm
SummerMay to September1305mm690mm1050mm1420mm

Data: World Climate Guide

The climate in Vietnam by regions

A southwest monsoon affects north and south Vietnam, causing heavy rainfalls from May to October. Its effects on central Vietnam are muted since the region is protected by mountains so it experiences only light rains and more sunshine hours.

The northeast monsoon affects Vietnam from October to April. In the earlier months of the monsoon, it rains heavily along the coast. While the northeast monsoon affects north Vietnam, the rainfall is comparatively lighter than the southwest monsoon.

1. North Vietnam

In the north, the winter months last from November to March and are sunny, cool and mostly dry. Temperatures average 17-22°C, January to March being the coldest months. In some areas like Hanoi and Vinh, the weather is a little cold, and the temperatures can fall below 20°C, while in other areas, like Tonkin, the temperatures can fall to 0°C.

In mountainous regions, the winters are cold. For example, the temperature at the top of Phan XI Pang peak can drop to 10°C.

The wet summers from May to September are quite hot and humid. Heavy downpours usually occur in the afternoons or evenings. As the rainfall tapers off, the weather in October and November can be pleasant. During the summer months, the sea near the far northern coast can be very warm. Avoid swimming during the winter months, as the waters can be dangerously cold.

The ideal months to plan a trip to north Vietnam are April, October, and November.

2. Central Vietnam

Central Coast

Compared to the north, the winters on the central coast are much warmer. Although it rains throughout the year along the central coast, it doesn’t make much of an impact during the earlier months. Along the central coast, the wet season begins in September and continues till January, with October and November experiencing torrential rainfall.

This unique rainfall pattern along the coast is due to the retreating monsoon. Central Vietnam experiences more sunshine compared to Hanoi and other northern Vietnam regions. Along the central coast, visitors can go swimming year-round. As you move south from Da Nang, the temperature rises even in the winter. Places such as QUi Nhonm and Nha Trang experience warmer winters.

The ideal time to visit Vietnam’s north-central coast is February to March, and the best time to visit the south-central coast is from January to March.

Inland Region

The interior of central Vietnam is surrounded by hills and mountains and therefore experiences a milder climate during the wet summer months.

Compared to the coast, the summers are less scorching while the winters are warm and pleasant. It follows similar rainfall patterns of north and south from May to September, although the rainfall doesn’t withdraw in September and continues to rain heavily until November.

The best time to visit the inland areas is during the dry winter season (November to March).

3. South Vietnam

South Vietnam experiences high temperatures throughout the year. Like the north, it also has a wet summer season. During the dry winter season (November to March), the temperatures are still high. March and May are considered the hottest months in southern Vietnam. The region experiences heavy rainfall during the wet season from May to October.

Compared to all regions, the south experiences more clear skies and frequent sunshine in the dry season. The ideal time to plan a trip to the southern parts of Vietnam is during the dry season. Avoid visiting the region from March-May when the temperatures can be unbearable.