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Best time to visit Vietnam

Planning a trip to this fascinating South-East Asian country? Find out which month is the best time to visit Vietnam with our insider guide, covering Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the central beaches and the islands of Ha Long Bay


By Chris Schalkx, Condé Nast Traveler

It’s never a bad time to visit Vietnam – but it depends on where you’re going. The distance between the mountainous north and the palm-fringed beaches down south spans more than 1,500km and involves different climates at every latitude. It’s perfectly feasible to see Sapa’s scenic rice terraces covered in snow, and sunbathe at one of Phu Quoc’s beach hotels a day later.


Generally, the best time to go to Vietnam is between April and June, when the north emerges from its chilly winter season. Around this time, skies will usually be clear across the country and temperatures will be pleasant (as in not excruciatingly hot and humid). Right after this period, tropical storms and bouts of heavy downpour (especially in the south) need to be taken into account when making travel plans.


Tết celebrations, which mark the Vietnamese New Year, usually take place around the end of January or early February. The festivities are heaps of fun, but keep in mind that travel during this time can be challenging: flights and buses are booked up weeks in advance and many businesses shutter their doors.


While Vietnam might be known for its tropical climate, it can get seriously cold in the north during the winter months between November and January. Temperatures of below 10ºC are not unheard of, so pack a jacket.


Hanoi is lovely year round but is most pleasant from April to June, when temperatures are toasty (28–31ºC) and downpours aren’t too heavy. This is also a great time to visit the dramatic karst formations of Ha Long Bay (pictured), right before frequent tropical storms roll in from July to September.


If Sapa is on your itinerary, plan a trip around springtime to see its flower fields in full bloom.


In central Vietnam, Hoi An and Hué (pictured) are at their best between March and August when the skies are blue and the lukewarm seawater makes the nearby shores great for beach holidays.


A little further south, the beaches of Nha Trang can be visited almost every month, but encounter the occasional downpour between October and December.


The hectic, beeping streets of Ho Chi Minh City (locally referred to as Saigon) will be steamy whenever you visit. Dodge the monsoon season by planning your trip between November and May, when temperatures hover around 30ºC and the chance of rain is slim. The months between June and September are wetter – but the afternoon showers are pretty predictable and usually don’t last more than a few hours.
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See more at: Condé Nast Traveler
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U.S. Daily News: Best time to visit Vietnam
Best time to visit Vietnam
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