The travel year in Vietnam is generally divided into three seasons: peak season (November through March), shoulder season (April through July), and the off-season (August through October).
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate but it is not as intense as its neighbors. In the north, the season are quite distinctive with spring, summer, fall, and winter. If you are from a western country where the winter is severe, the winter in Vietnam will be different. The temperature varies between 5 and 15 Celsius so travelers should bring light jacket or cardigan.
The rest of the country is affected by the rainy tropical climate. Therefore, it is best to research before traveling. It will be ideal to travel to Vietnam in dryer months, typically between December and April. The humidity and the heat in March and April can be suffocating to some. However, the advantage of traveling during March, April, or May is that: it is less crowded and travelers could have the places for themselves. It is also a period of flowers blooming in some areas.
The rainy season lasts from April to October, common setbacks are:
Peak travel season falls between December and March, the dry season, which is also the best time to travel to Vietnam. There are a few special occasions that travelers can experience during this time:
We celebrate Christmas as well. It is not a national holiday per se, but one that is celebrated among Christian communities, and is widely accepted by Vietnamese people. Travelers will not be seeing snow (of course) but the festive atmosphere is hard to miss. There will be Christmas carols, decorations every where in the country, especially in the main cities such as Saigon and Hanoi.
This usually falls somewhere between the end of January or mid-February. It is the Vietnamese traditional New Year Holiday (Lunar Calendar). People return to their hometowns and spend time with their family, so the traffic is less busy. If travelers plan to visit during this time, they will be able to experience first-hand how the people here get ready for the holiday. Note that the price for accommodation during Tet could be higher than usual. It will be wise to plan ahead.
For those who want to include a beach break in their Vietnam trip, we have some options and tips for when and where to go.