If you are planning to travel to Vietnam and have a question that "When is the best time to visit Vietnam?" There is no real best or worst time to visit Vietnam, so this article we will give you the most comprehensive overview of climate as well as the destination for the time of year.
Vietnam (one of 3 countries in Indochina) with over 2,000 miles of coastline and climate with four seasons of the year, so visit Vietnam at any time always will give you unforgettable experiences. But we also have a relatively answer about the best time to visit Vietnam is the period from October to April of the following year, the temperatures are more moderate and rainfall is lighter.
BEST TIME TO VISIT NORTH VIETNAM
Northern Vietnam is generally warm and sunny from October to December, after which cold winter weather sets in, accompanied by fine persistent mists which can last for several days. Temperatures begin to rise again in March, building to summer maximums that occasionally reach 36°C between May and August, though average temperatures in Hanoi hover around a more reasonable 30°C.
Set in the mountains of northern Vietnam, Sapa’s climate is very seasonal with temperatures reaching 29°C (84°F) in summer down to freezing in winter. Humidity ranges from 75% to 90%, but summer months are the wettest, especially July and August. The best time to visit Sapa (Vietnam) is March and April for warm and dry weather or goes in October and November for cooler climes and clear days.
Visitor to Sa Pa in summer can feel the climate of four seasons in one day. In the morning and afternoon, it is cool like the weather of spring and autumn. At noon, it is as sunny and cloudless as the weather of summer. And it is cold in the evening. With no advance warning of a thunderstorm short and heavy rains may come at noon on any summer day. Subsequently, a rainbow appears, transforming Sa Pa into a magic land, which for years has been a constant source of poetic inspiration, lights up the whole region. Sa Pa is most beautiful in spring. Apricot, plum and cherry flowers are splendidly beautiful. Markets are crowded and merry, and are especially attractive to visitors. Minority groups come here to exchange and trade goods and products. Market sessions are also a chance for locals to promenade and young men and women in colorful costumes to meet, date or seek sweethearts.
Places to visit and things to do in Sapa - Vietnam
There are lots of things for you to do in Sapa, some of the most favorite activities are trekking, cultural travelling, home stay, shopping at ethnic minority markets and street food.
Trekking: Of course as a mountainous picturesque district with numerous of wonderful attractions, Sapa is the ideal place for trekking lovers. There are many trekking routes available for travelers, from easy ones such as some walk around the town, visiting some tribal villages to the great achievement of climbing to the top of Fansipan at the height of 3,143 meters above sea level. On the trekking routes, the beautiful scenes of valley, terraced rice fields and numerous fantastic attractions won’t let you down.
Cultural travelling: When travelling to Sapa, the town in northwest part of Vietnam, the home of many ethnic groups, visitors can have the chance to combine some sort of cultural travel tours with their trekking. There are many cultural spots waiting for your exploration.
Home stay: This is really an excellent experience that you will always treasure. Travelers are offered to share the house with the local residents, who are a part of the ethnic minorities in Vietnam. You will have chance to know more about their authentic lives, cultures as well to try some traditional dishes and of course, enjoy the comfortable stay.
Shopping at ethnic minority markets & enjoying street food: If you are looking for some good food, Sapa won’t disappoint you. Many delicious dishes are served at hotels and restaurants around the town. Wandering along the streets, you will have chance to discover the great street food there. One very well known dish named “thang co” is something you should try once when you travel to Sapa. About ethnic minority markets, besides many shops around the town, there are some large markets in the region such as Bac Ha, Can Cau…where visitors can buy good souvenirs for their friends, family.
Summer in Hanoi runs from May to September and brings heat and humidity, with average temperatures reaching 32°C (90°F) accompanied by refreshingly short bouts of heavy rain. These tropical downpours generally arrive in the afternoons, and despite being wet, summer months have the highest number of hours of sunshine. Winter is cooler and can bring fog and clouds but little rain, and the average temperature is 17°C (62°F). The best time to visit Hanoi (Vietnam) is October and November, as days are not too hot with averages around 21°C (70°F) with less rain and plenty of sunshine.
Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Ha Noi still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Famous sites include the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Ha Noi Citadel, Ha Noi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum... Ha Noi also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake..., which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy. Many traditional handicrafts are also practiced in Ha Noi including bronze molding, silver carving, lacquer, and embroidery. Ha Noi has many famous traditional professional handicraft villages such as Bat Trang pottery village, Ngu Xa bronze casting village, Yen Thai glossy silk...
Places to visit and things to do in Ha Noi
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long: The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing 40 metres high, the central flag tower is the most recognizable feature of the Imperial Citadel and is often used as a symbol of Hanoi. This was the centre of ancient Hanoi and served as the political centre for eight centuries. Located in Ba Dinh, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is close to many other tourist attractions
Water Puppet Show: The ancient art form of water puppetry has a long association with Hanoi and there are several theatres where guests can enjoy this uniquely Vietnamese take on Asia’s puppet tradition. The original – and widely regarded as the best – theatre in town is the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. Puppets dance and slide elegantly over the liquid stage, controlled by a whole troupe of puppet masters hiding behind a screen.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Ho Chi Minh has left an indelible mark on Vietnamese history and he is revered in Hanoi as the country’s greatest leader. Nicknamed ‘Uncle Ho’ by locals, his preserved body is now laid to rest in a glass case in the Ba Dinh area of Hanoi. This is more than a tourist attraction, it is a part of living history and a visit here stays long in the memory. The sombre building was modeled after Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow
Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple: Hoan Kiem Lake (Turtle Lake) is a central feature of Hanoi and is a popular hangout spot throughout the day with locals and tourists. Ngoc Son Temple sits on a small island in the centre of the lake and linked by a bridge, makes a beautiful background for a few photos. Around sunset this area becomes especially busy with joggers and couples enjoying the relaxing views across the lake
Dong Xuan Market: Dong Xuan Market is the largest of its kind in Hanoi. This sprawling complex has several floors of fashion, apparel and souvenirs at some of the best prices in the city. Even if you’re not interested in printed T-shirts or cheap sunglasses, it is still fascinating to see the comings and goings of the local traders, and there is a wet market on the ground floor where the sights and smells of exotic produce assault the senses.
Hanoi Old Quarter: Hanoi Old Quarter is a fascinating area of the city where visitors can enjoy many fine examples of colonial architecture packed along narrow streets. Endless packs of scooters, motorbikes, bicycles and cars weave around traders selling fruit and souvenirs and narrow shop houses sell delicious Vietnamese food for pennies. The Old Quarter brings to life what many people imagine Hanoi to be, and exploring this area on foot is highly recommended for all visitors to Vietnam’s capital city.
Temple of Literature: The Temple of Literature is a charming temple complex in the centre of Hanoi that was originally built to be a centre of learning dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius. Over the proceeding 1000 years many more buildings have been added and beautified o that now this large area is filled with ornate pavilions, shrines, and a rich garden. It has become a rite of passage for graduating doctors to visit The Temple of Literature and the whole place is steeped in Vietnamese history
Fine Arts Museum: Tuesday to Sun from 9:15am to 5pm. Only party-approved Socialist art is shown here and most of the rooms have an small board explaining the history, aesthetics, and techniques of the paintings in that exhibit in Vietnamese, French, and English. It is an interesting museum at any rate, with pieces such as the wonderful pictures of soldiers on boats depicted on prehistoric bronze drums, Buddhist art, and revolutionary art of the 20th century wars. Also some interesting silk paintings.
From March to May, Halong Bay has blue sky and pleasant weather. During summer, from May to November, you can expect days to be warm and humid with refreshing afternoon showers. Winter, from December to February, can be quite cold. The best time to visit Halong Bay (Vietnam) is the period from October to April of the following year for the best chance of warm days and clear skies, perfect for cruising, kayaking and swimming.
A visit to Vietnam wouldn't be complete without a traditional junk boat cruise around spectacular Halong Bay, with its iconic limestone peaks and emerald green waters. While a peaceful cruise is the perfect way to kick back, relax and take in the iconic views that this UNESCO World Heritage site has to offer, there is plenty else to keep you busy in Halong Bay.
Places to visit and things to do in Ha Long Bay
Learn Tai Chi on deck: The ancient martial art of Tai Chi has been practised for generations in China to promote the health of mind, body and soul through its soft, controlled movements. It is said that practising Tai Chi in the peace and tranquillity of the great outdoors aids in the deep concentration and inner peace many hope to achieve through this art form – and what better place to do it than surrounded by the sublime beauty of Halong Bay?
Visit a traditional floating village: For most of us a cruise on the emerald green waters of Halong Bay is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it may be difficult to imagine living day-to-day life surrounded by the incredible beauty of this famous bay. But for the families of Halong Bay’s floating fishing villages living in a water world is second nature. Rising and falling with the tide, these villages have been home to generation after generation of fishermen who earn their living from the bay’s bountiful supply of marine life and growing tourism in the region. Pay a visit to one of these charming villages, meet grinning fishermen and playful children and learn about their fascinating way of life in Halong Bay.
Discover hidden caves and grottos: Hidden among the thousands of jungle-covered peaks rising dramatically out of the emerald waters of Halong Bay are illuminated caves, isolated grottos and picturesque hidden coves of all shapes and sizes. Hop on board a row boat and venture out to explore these hidden gems for yourself, such as the beautiful Thien Cung Cave – nicknamed the Heavenly Palace Cave, famed for its many stalagmites and stalactites, and Dau Go Cave – known as the Cave of Wonders, featuring fascinating rock formations illuminated by a kaleidoscope of colour.
Kayak between karst limestone outcrops: While a traditional junk boat cruise is an excellent way to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Halong Bay at a relaxed pace, the active among you can get your paddle out on an off-boat excursion and explore the beauty of the bay up close on a kayaking adventure.
BEST TIME TO VISIT CENTER VIETNAM
Along the central coast the rainfall pattern reverses under the influence of the northeast monsoon. Around Nha Trang, the wet season starts with a flourish in November and continues through December. Further the North, around Hué and Da Nang, the rains last a bit longer, from September to February, so it pays to visit these two cities in the spring (Feb–May). Average temperatures are about 30 degrees.
HOIAN ANCIENT TOWN
Usually low season in a popular tourist destination means rubbish weather and a seasonal shutdown of things to do. In Hoi An, it’s the complete opposite. From May to July, when the crowds thin, it’s perfect beach weather around Hoi An, with temperatures averaging around the mid-30s Celsius. This means it’s not only great for photos and bartering down the tailors, but room prices become surprisingly affordable — upgrade a star or two and you’ll still remain within budget. Diving conditions are at their best and very few local businesses close down.
Hoi An is a city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals. The former port city’s melting-pot history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda.
Places to visit and things to do in Hoi An
Hoi An Old Town: Once a major Southeast Asian trading post in the 16th and 17th centuries, the seaside town Hoi An is basically a living museum featuring a unique mixture of East and West in the form of its old-town architecture. Among the heritage architecture stand Chinese temples, a Japanese-designed bridge, pagodas, wooden shop-houses, French- colonial houses and old canals. Though large-scale trading had long moved elsewhere Hoi An has been successful in preserving and restoring its charming roots and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in December 1999.
Japanese Covered Bridge: One of Vietnam's most iconic attractions, Hoi An's Japanese covered bridge dates back to the 18th century and is a beautiful historical piece of Japanese architecture. It is claimed that it was created by the Japanese then living in Hoi An as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water.
The bridge was opened by Nguyen Phuc Chu Lord in 1719 who carved three Chinese symbols above the door in commemoration. The bridge also features the sculptures of two dogs and two monkeys representing the Chinese years in which many Japanese Emperors were born along with the fact that the building of the bridge began in the year of the dog and was completed in the year of the monkey.
My Son Sanctuary: My Son Hindu Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a great sample of the ancient Champa civilization located in the southern part of Vietnam. It was an independent state from around the 2nd to the 17th century, at which time it was occupied by Vietnam.
Hoi An Central Market: Sharpen your bargaining skills and head south east to Hoi An Central Market, one of Vietnam’s best, offering an unmissable shopping experience. Rich in the smell of fragrant herbs and spices and the vibrant colours of Vietnamese silk, delve deep and you are guaranteed a bargain. Prices tend to be more inflated at the stalls closest to the entrance so head right in for the best buys.
Cooking class in Tra Que village: Tra Que village is famous for very fresh vegetables and vietnamese herbs.Most of tropical vegetables cam grow well at Tra Que and their flavor and taste are so distinctive that they can never be mistaken for products of the same kind from other loacalities.You will have a chance to learn how to make tasty traditional dishes from vegetable.
Near Hoi An in central Vietnam, Hue has a wet season from September to December with brief but very heavy rains in October and November which can cause flooding. The best time to visit Hue City (Vietnam) is January to August; it is dry season though afternoon showers are still common, with average temperatures rising to the mid-thirties in the middle of summer.
Hue City is one of places which have many cultural heritage. Up to now, there is no place like Hue remaining a lot of originally historical vestiges as in this ancient Capital City.
On the northern bank of Perfume River has relics consisting of palaces, which were constructed as arc defensive ramparts with 11km length. This valuable construction includes more than 100 architectural works which were extremely reflected the life of Emperors and mandarins under reign of Nguyen. Situated in the middle of hills on the southern bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Kings Nguyen. Among these tombs are the four famous ones with the name and the arrangements of the tomb reflected each Emperor's points of view, personality and tastes. This is majestic Gia Long Tomb, imposing Minh Mang Tomb, poetic Tu Duc Tomb and magnificent Khai Dinh Tomb.
Hue is also an important center of Buddhism. In Hue and its surrounding still exist tens of pagodas constructed more 300 years ago, and a hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early century. Besides, Hue is a place where the royal music is originated, and a place with traditional famous dishes and sophisticated handicraft.
As a unique city of Vietnam still remains its form of City under Middle Age and the constructions of monarchic, Hue has become a big and invaluable museum. Therefore, vestiges in Hue ancient capital have been classified by the government as a very precious property and on December 1993 Hue has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Places to visit and things to do in Hue City (Vietnam)
Forbidden City: Lies on the northern shore of the Perfume River just a 15-minute walk from the Hue Backpackers’ Hostel. At the entrance of the Ngan gate into the Citadel are the Nine Holy Cannons cast from melted down bronze wares from the Tay Son dynasty. The cannons are named after the four seasons and five elements (metal, earth, wood, water and fire) and are known as the “Holy Invincible Generals”. They have never been used for military purposes and are the guardian spirits of the Citadel.
Tombs of the Emperors: 7 tombs in all scatter the countryside around Hue and are monuments to 9 of the 13 rulers of the Nguyen Dynasty, usually built and designed during the emperor’s lifetime. The 3 most visited are Minh Mang, Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. The remaining 4 are less visited but still have interesting features, with Duc Duc, Thanh Thai and Duy Tan being housed in the same tomb.
Thien Mu Pagoda: Also on the north shore of the Perfume River about 3km from the Citadel. You can get there by dragon boat along the river, or for those feeling more energetic, a pleasant bicycle ride. The Thien Mu pagoda is regarded as the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital. Today it is the home of the Austin motor vehicle which drove Thich Quang Duc to his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 in protest against the Diem regime. It is still home to many monks and a holy site visited by many everyday.
Dong Ba Markets: The largest market place in central Vietnam, this is definitely a place to visit to immerse yourself in the local culture. Tourists can see all the typical features of a traditional Vietnamese market, such as, the sampan landing, the bus station and the bazaars. Dong Ba market is considered a paradise for snapshots of daily activities as well as for shopping with everything from souvenir items to bronze goods, Hue sesame sweetmeat, conical poem hats, just to name a few. Should you find interest in Vietnamese food or culture, you’d better come here to explore.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SOUTH VIETNAM
In southern Vietnam the dry season lasts from December to late April or May, and the rains from May through to November. Since most rain falls in brief afternoon downpours, this need not be off-putting, though flooding at this time of year can cause problems in the Mekong Delta. Daytime temperatures in the region rarely drop below 20°C, occasionally hitting 40°C during the hottest months (March, April and May). Much closer to the equator, has warm temperatures year-round, it is around 28°C (82°F). This tropical climate is marked by wet and dry season. The best time to visit Saigon (Vietnam) is May to November; expect tropical downpours in the afternoon. Travel is rarely affected by the rain and everything is lush and green at this time.
HO CHI MINH CITY - SAIGON
Today, Ho Chi Minh City is the big tourism center in Vietnam, attracting a large of visitors to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City has various attractions as Ho Chi Minh Museum, formerly known as Dragon House Wharf, Cu Chi Tunnels, system of museums, theatres, cultural houses... Recently, many tourist areas are invested such as Thanh Da, Binh Quoi Village, Dam Sen Park, Saigon Water Park, Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa..., which draw numerous tourists. Despite its quite recent past, Ho Chi Minh City nevertheless possesses various beautiful buildings, displaying a characteristic combination of Vietnamese, Chinese and European cultures. These include Nha Rong (Dragon House Wharf), Quoc To Temple (National Ancestors Temple), Xa Tay (Municipal Office), Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre as well as many pagodas and churches (Vinh Nghiem, Giac Vien, Giac Lam, Phung Son pagodas...). After more than 300 years of development, Ho Chi Minh City presents many ancient architectural constructions, famous vestiges and renowned sights. It is remarkable for its harmonious blending of traditional national values with northern and western cultural features.
Places to visit and things to do in Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon, Vietnam)
War Remnants Museum: The War Remnants Museum is a sobering and unforgettable museum which details the effects of the 30 year long war between America and Vietnam. There are immaculately preserved tanks, planes and other war machines in the outside grounds, but the really hard-hitting information is found inside. Photographs, exhibits and written documentation show the horrific lengths that the American Army lowered themselves to in order to try and defeat the North Vietnamese Army.
Cu Chi Tunnels: This marvellous tourist attraction lets visitors experience what it must have been like for soldiers who used an extensive network of tunnels to move around undetected by their enemies. There is an informative movie to watch, followed by a guided tour of some mock recreations of daily life for the Viet Cong hiding in the jungle. Burnt out tanks make for a great photo prop and then everyone gets to crawl through a small section of the tunnels which has been widened and supported with concrete.
Reunification Palace: The centre of the allied command and the place where the North Vietnamese claimed victory in the American War, Reunification Palace has played its part in some incredible scenes. This ageing palace has essentially been frozen in time since a North Vietnamese Army tank smashed through its gates in 1975. Visitors will get to discover secret rooms, grand reception halls and the command bunker where General Ngo Dinh Diem conducted his war strategies.
Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office: The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a glorious example of French colonial architecture, perfectly preserved with as much style as when it first opened in 1891. The building still functions as the city’s main post office and sending a letter or postcard home is highly recommended for a taste of living history. Beautiful from any angle, this building was designed by Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Notre Dame Cathedral: Located next to the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral is another relic of French colonial times, but it is kept in perfect condition and is still holding masses every Sunday. Many of the building materials were imported from France and it has an unmistakable Gallic touch with two long spires measuring 60 metres tall. In front of the cathedral is a beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary or ‘Notre Dame’.
MEKONG DELTA VIETNAM
Located adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong River Delta is a particularly important economic - cultural region of the South. The bustling floating market days in the early morning such as Cai Rang (Can Tho), Phung Hiep (Hau Giang), Cai Be (Tien Giang), Nga Nam (Soc Trang) ... or islets with sunny all year round such as Phung Islet, Oc Islet, Tien Islet (Ben Tre), My Phuoc Islet (Soc Trang); Thoi Son Islet (Tien Giang)… are also distinctive beauty of the Mekong River Delta. In addition, the traditional folk festivals with unique cultural identity such as Ba Chua Xu, Ook om bok, Ngo boat race, Bay Nui cow race... and gentleness and hospitality Southern people are also interesting tourism products for tourists. To the Mekong River Delta, visitors can enjoy folk art forms including cai luong, tones of ly, ho or traditional songs and dances of Khmer people. In particular, the Mekong River Delta’s provinces also preserve and develop art of Don ca tai tu music and song – Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity recognized by UNESCO.
Places to visit and things to do in Mekong Delta (Vietnam)
Floating Markets: Floating markets are held every morning from 5:00 to about 11:00. Phung Hiep market is the biggest since it is located at the intersection of 7 major canals. It is also a photographer's delight because it can be seen above from a bridge. Cai Rang and Phong Dien are two other notable floating markets in the delta. Boats loaded with produce from nearby orchards of the Mekong Delta converge to the floating market. They carry mostly fruits but also coconuts, vegetables and fishes. Buyers are local traders with bigger boats snapping everything by the bushels and resell at local markets or to wholesale dealers from big cities, often for a handsome profit. Large floating markets are not complete without its floating restaurants, floating gas stations and an occasional tour boat filled with tourists.
Mekong Fruit Orchards: The majority of Vietnam's fruits come from the many orchards of the Mekong Delta. On any given season, one can find a variety of tropical fruits that are produced by farmers of this region in the markets of Saigon, Hue, and Ha Noi. or many tropical fruits, the season is very short because they cannot be picked green and they don't last long in storage where they quickly loose their aroma. The greatest variety of fruits is available during the raining season, from June to September in the South. After they are picked, the fruits are transported on small boats to floating markets where they are sold to wholesale dealers. In the off-season, many orchards become flower nurseries to meet the peak demand for flowers during the new year celebration in the big cities. The orchards are divided by a myriad of small irrigation canals with delicate bamboo bridges called "Cau Khi" or monkey bridges crossing them.
Homestay at Ba Linh’s house: Travelling to Mekong delta, with great time spending on Vinh Long river, tasting "elephant ear fish" you mind have a night at homestay there. I would rather say "guest house" on Vietnamese style is that of Mr. Ba Linh whose family is very nice and friendly. His house is very clean, it has an ideal setting on the river side. In Mr. Ba Linh’ house, you will have private rooms with clean air, quiet space. You would love nights in with the locals, explore the most authentic moments of the river landscape and the lives of people in the Mekong Delta.
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