Best time to visit Vietnam? Not only about weather!

The best time to visit Vietnam in general is from December to April. However, there are something nobody told you: it is not only about weather, but other factors too. This blog will analyze all of those in details so that you can pick up the best time for your Vietnam trip.
Best time to visit Vietnam - Not Only About Weather!

Table of Contents

1. The truth nobody tells you about "The Idea Time To Visit Vietnam"!

Are you looking for the ideal time to visit Vietnam as your trip is coming soon? It is easy to search on Google to find the good time to go. However, as you can see in many other articles, they mostly recommend that the best time to visit Vietnam in general is from December to April. But there is something you should ask yourself before being biased by those information:

  • Are those information correct? As some recommend this period of time but some write the other time is best?
  • Are there any deep & detailed explains why they recommend that?
  • Most of them only talk about weather in their “Vietnam good time to go” blogs. Is it the only factor?

Although there is a general recommended time, it does not mean May to November is not a good time to visit Vietnam. On the contract, some of them are even “the most suitable time to visit” a specific place in Vietnam. This is why this Vietnam Travel Itinerary Guide becomes much more helpful than the normal blogs that only give you a general answer, as we explain & help you find the best time to visit Vietnam on your own. In the detailed post below, we will analyze these factors to define your best time to visit Vietnam, personally:

  • Your own vacation time schedule
  • Weather in Vietnam
  • Price difference in all periods of time
  • Tourist crowded/ less touristy time
  • Seasonal activities/ festivals that only take place at a specific time of the year

Before you go on, make sure you have also read this post so that you can plan the best of your Vietnam trip:

Vietnam Travel Itinerary: Top #1 Guide You Must Read

2. Key factors to decide your own best time to visit Vietnam

2.1. Your own vacation time schedule

While all other articles appearing on Google search of “Best time to visit Vietnam” are talking about their recommendations with no explains or only about weather. They certainly don’t mention the most priority factor that you must sort out before considering anything else: Your own time.

You should ask yourself these questions:

a) How many vacation times do you have?

Everyone has their own free time for vacation, before deciding when to travel to Vietnam, you should check if you have only 01 or more times to travel in the year. Choose the time that you have more days or more comfortable will be better. For example, if you don’t like cold winter in your country, you can consider this time to visit Vietnam instead of summer.

In the case you only have 01 free time of the year, just go. But if so, it is best to read the rest of this post carefully so that you know what is going on your trip.

b) How many days do you have in your vacation time?

Consider your time in the vacation to choose the ideal moment to travel to Vietnam. According to Vietnam Tourism Report, tourists spend 7 days in Vietnam on average. However, the best recommended time to spend for a Vietnam trip is from 2 to 4 weeks. If one of your vacation time matches this, then it will be better than only 3-5 day trips.

2.2. Weather in Vietnam

2.2.1. Over all weather of Vietnam & each region

Although Vietnam is a tropical weather, affected by annual monsoon, the weather is not the same everywhere in the country. While the North of Vietnam has full of 4 seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter), both Central & Southern Vietnam only have 2 main seasons: rainy season and dry/ sunny one.

If you are not from South East Asia visiting Vietnam, you should know in advance that in most part of the country (except for the North in winter), it will be quite hot for you. That’s why there is a common joke in Vietnam: “We have 3 seasons: hot, hotter and hottest”.

In the charts below, we will show you rainfall & temperature of months in Vietnam so that you can consider your time of visiting.

2.2.2. Weather of popular destinations in Vietnam

Weather in Vietnam - AN Tours Vietnam

*Please note that the chart above is for reference, with quite exact data from many official sources. However, this data may change due to climate change and many other factors.

As you can see from the photo above, May to November is the time when it rains the most in many parts of Vietnam. That is why it is a common recommendation that travelers should visit Vietnam from December to April. You can follow this to decide your best time to visit Vietnam.

However, please note that the rainy season is not always bad for traveling in Vietnam. A quick example, the rain of Hanoi in September – October is considered one of the most romantic time in the area, when a lot of locals travel to Hanoi to enjoy the season. Another case is Mui Ne – Phan Thiet, the little rain in May or September is really good for the place, as its weather is dry all year round.

And as the title of this article “Best time to visit Vietnam? Not only about weather”, there are other reasons why you should consider visiting Vietnam even in rainy season. 

2.2.3. The heat & flood in Vietnam - something you should know

Vietnam Weather - The best time to visit Vietnam

Although being a tropical country with most parts covered by the sea, Vietnam will still be quite hot for many people from other countries. The average temperature of Vietnam is 22 to 27 Celsius degree. However, in the most extreme months (from May to July), many places in Vietnam have the heat up to sky.

According to an Guardian’s article, a place in Vietnam used to reach 44 Celsius degree, meanwhile Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is more than 33 degree.

Flood in Vietnam - Best time to travel to Vietnam

Another thing that you must notice when choosing the best time to visit Vietnam is its time of flood. Surprisingly, the flood is not caused by any heavy rain or storm, but by high tide. That’s why you can see flood in Vietnam even in the very sunny weather.

In most of the Southern cities (for example, popular destinations like Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon, or Can Tho), the most terrible high tide will be in September – October each year, which will cause flood all over the city.

Considering the heat & flood above, if you are not affected by other factors, you can consider avoiding those months for best experience in Vietnam.

2.3. Price difference in all periods of time

You may have heard cases about tourists being price scammed when traveling in Vietnam. That’s true, however, it is just a small part that affects our beautiful country’s reputation. But there is another thing you must know about traveling price in Vietnam: it does have difference in each time of the year, even for the locals!

Unlike many Western countries which usually have a break time in summer or winter, Vietnam has many “small vacation days” when all locals in the countries don’t have to go to work. As everyone is not working, they start vacations! This increase in traveling demand causes price to go up high than normal. There are a lot of problems from this:

  • Price are too high
  • Service is not good in those days
  • Popular places become super crowded and will affect your experience a lot

Therefore, if you are finding out the best time to visit Vietnam, it is highly recommended to avoid those. Here AN Tours Vietnam will list all of the Vietnamese local vacations:

  • New Year (01/01)
  • Lunar New Year (in Jan or Feb)
  • Hung King’s Commemoration (in April)
  • Reunification Day (30/04)
  • International Labor Day (01/05)
  • Vietnam Independence Day (02/09)

***Please note:

  • Some of the vacations are not mentioned in exact day as they are following Lunar Calendar. Most of the time they will be in those months
  • Just because those vacations are in your month of traveling does not mean it will be totally bad because of the touristy time. You can consider still traveling in that month but just avoid that specific of time (for example traveling 2 weeks at the end of September instead of the beginning). Or if you are traveling in those days and want non-touristy experience, you can contact AN Tours Vietnam for a Local Night Walking Tour – 100% No Tourist for example.

2.4. Tourist crowded/ Non-touristy time

Not everyone like traveling around too many tourists and vice versa. That is why you should check which months are most crowded and which are less to identify your best time to visit Vietnam. Here is the chart so that you can visually check:

Vietnam Travelers over month

As you can clearly see, summer time in Vietnam is the most crowded local tourist time. Sadly, many of them are not that polite when traveling. You may easily see local tourists throwing trash around or yelling when in line to a popular place. Therefore, if you want to visit destinations that everyone goes, you may consider again. But if you only travel to non-touristy places of Vietnam then it will be fine.

2.5. Seasonal activities/ festivals in Vietnam

At the beginning of this article, we have claimed that besides the most recommended time to visit Vietnam (December to April), the rest of the year does not mean it is not good to travel. Not only the factors mentioned above, but seasonal activities that only take place in a specific month also play an important role in deciding your own best time to visit Vietnam and crafting a good Vietnam itinerary.

In this part, we will list activities that you should not miss or may interest you that take place across different months of the year (please note that we won’t list international festivals/ activities like Halloween or Valentine,…):

2.5.1. National activities/ festivals

National activities/ festivals are those which will be celebrated across the whole Vietnam. In these festivals, you may find many interesting things that you want to pick into your itinerary, and decide your best time to visit Vietnam.

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year, or Tet, is the top #1 festival of Vietnamese culture. It will take place in January or February every year for locals to celebrate the incoming Lunar Year with happiness and luck.

For international tourists, you will easily realize the big changes when it is close to the festival, and even after. A lot of decorations and activities will take place in this festive period of time.

If you think the Lunar New Year (Tet) is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Things to do in Tet 2023 - Ho Chi Minh City
Mid-Autumn Festival (Full Moon Festival)

Vietnam Mid-Autumn Festival (Full Moon Festival), also known as “Tet Trung Thu” in Vietnamese, is a vibrant, bustling, and culturally rich holiday for Vietnamese people. At the Mid-Autumn Festival, tourists can experience the colorful scene of lanterns all over the road, the fantastic lion dance, and many stalls selling mooncakes.

If you think the Mid-Autumn Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Top things to do in Vietnam Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival 2023 by AN Tours Vietnam
Hung King's Commemoration

Each and every year, on March 10 (Lunar Calendar), or in April, Vietnamese will celebrate Hung King’s Commemoration – a festival to commemorate the work of Hung Kings – who are believed to have founded Vietnam.

The festival will be national-wide, however, the most formal one will be organized in Phu Tho province – located in the North of Vietnam. This area will be crowded with visitors from many parts of Vietnam, including officers in the government.

A lot of activities will be held during a few days of the festival. If you think Hung King’s Commemoration is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Hung King's Commemoration - AN Tours Vietnam
Spirit Month (Ghost Month)

Spirit Month (or Ghost Month) is an annual time when Vietnamese celebrate the dead, which is quite similar to Halloween in many other countries. It usually falls between July and August.

Along with their beliefs, Vietnamese also hold a lot of interesting activities during the period of Spirit Month. As travelers, you can easily catch one activity on the street and get the best moment photos.

If you think Spirit Month (Ghost Month) is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Ghost Month in Vietnam

2.5.2. Local activities/ festivals

Local activities/ festivals are those which will be celebrated only in one or a few places in Vietnam. In these festivals, you may find many interesting things that you want to pick into your itinerary, and decide your best time to visit Vietnam.

Nghinh Ong Festival

Nghinh Ong Festival (or Fishermen Festival, or Whale Festival) is the spiritual festival of fishermen across the Central and Southern coast of Vietnam (Quang Binh, Nha Trang,… Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, Can Gio – Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc,…).

As the festival takes place in many coastal places in Vietnam, celebration times are also different. In some places, it will be in March, and others will be in September – October.

If you think Nghinh Ong Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Huong Pagoda Festival

The Huong Pagoda Festival in Vietnam is a captivating fusion of spirituality, tradition, and breathtaking landscapes, making it a compelling draw for travelers seeking a truly immersive cultural experience.

During the festival, the air is filled with the mesmerizing sounds of traditional Vietnamese music and dance performances, adding to the festive atmosphere. Visitors can savor authentic Vietnamese cuisine at floating markets along the Yen Stream and witness the release of lanterns, a symbolic gesture of letting go of worries and troubles.

If you think Huong Pagoda Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Elephant Racing Festival

The Elephant Racing Festival in Vietnam is a vibrant celebration of culture and tradition that brings together locals and travelers alike. Held annually in Buon Don, a town in the Central Highlands, this unique event features majestic elephants competing in thrilling races. With colorful parades, traditional music, and the chance to witness these gentle giants in action, the Elephant Racing Festival is a captivating and unforgettable cultural spectacle that offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s rich heritage and love for its magnificent elephants.

If you think the Elephant Racing Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Ba Thien Hau Festival

The Ba Thien Hau Festival in Vietnam is a colorful and deeply spiritual event that honors the revered goddess Thien Hau, the protector of seafarers and travelers. Held annually in Ho Chi Minh City’s historic Chinatown, this festival is a mesmerizing spectacle of vibrant parades, intricate incense offerings, and traditional performances. Devotees and curious travelers alike gather to pay their respects, seeking blessings for safe journeys and good fortune. The Ba Thien Hau Festival offers a captivating glimpse into Vietnamese religious traditions and cultural heritage, making it a must-visit event for those seeking an enriching cultural experience in Vietnam.

If you think the Ba Thien Hau Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Black Virgin Mountain Festival

The Black Virgin Mountain Festival in Vietnam is a captivating fusion of tradition, spirituality, and breathtaking natural beauty. Nestled within the scenic Tay Ninh Province, this annual event celebrates the sacred Black Virgin Mountain and its significance in Vietnamese culture. Visitors are treated to vibrant processions, mesmerizing music and dance performances, and the chance to explore ancient temples and shrines. Set against the backdrop of lush forests and dramatic mountain landscapes, the festival is a sensory feast that offers a profound connection to Vietnam’s spiritual heritage and its stunning natural wonders.

If you think the Black Virgin Mountain Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Rowing boat racing festival - Hue

The Hue Rowing Boat Racing Festival in Vietnam is a lively celebration of tradition and competition set against the picturesque backdrop of the Perfume River. Held annually in the imperial city of Hue, this event showcases the skill and agility of local rowing teams as they navigate traditional dragon boats down the river’s winding course. Spectators gather along the riverbanks, cheering on the rowers as they engage in spirited races. With colorful boats, rhythmic drumming, and an electric atmosphere, the festival is an exhilarating blend of sport and culture that offers a unique insight into the heart of Vietnam’s historic capital.

If you think the Hue Rowing Boat Racing Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

Flower Festival - Da Lat

Da Lat Flower Festival is a mesmerizing celebration of nature’s beauty and floral artistry. Held in the charming city of Da Lat, often referred to as the “City of Eternal Spring,” this biennial festival transforms the city into a colorful floral wonderland. Visitors are treated to breathtaking flower displays, intricate flower parades, and vibrant street performances. With the fragrant aroma of blossoms filling the air, the Da Lat Flower Festival is a sensory delight that showcases the region’s horticultural expertise and deep appreciation for the natural world. It’s a must-visit event for anyone seeking a captivating and fragrant experience in Vietnam.

If you think the Da Lat Flower Festival is interesting and will have an impact on your decision of the best time to visit Vietnam, please check this article for details:

2.5.3. Other activities/ festivals in popular destinations of Vietnam

As we can’t list all of the seasonal things to do for you, we will keep updating those of popular destinations in Vietnam below, with links to detailed posts, so that you can have more information to decide which is the best time to visit Vietnam.

3. Conclusions

Thank you for reading until this line. As the article is long and detailed enough, we will sum up some conclusions so that you can define your own best time to visit Vietnam.

For Vietnam travelers who don’t want complicated things, you can just follow popular recommendations and travel to Vietnam between December to April. Unless your vacation time is not in this period, there is no need to consider other factors.

For those who want to maximize their Vietnam trip experience, you can read our contents above carefully to decide the best time to visit Vietnam yourself. In case you find it difficult to plan, you can always contact AN Tours Vietnam for free help. Please fill out the form below so that we can give the best advice:

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