The entire country features a tropical climate. With autumn and spring being very similar to winter and summer, it’s quite normal to just split the year up into summer and winter. Winters in North Vietnam are relatively mild, whereas in areas at a higher altitude it can actually get very chilly. The winter months from November until April can be best described as cool and dry. The coldest months of the year are December and January. These months make up the dry season and the maximum temperature will be somewhere around 20 – 22°C. Minimum temperatures hover at around 14 – 15°C. Just bear in mind that mountainous regions can be a lot cooler than this.
The summer months are May, June, July, August, September and October. This time of year is hot and humid, with the most rainfall for the region occurring as well. The summer in North Vietnam is the rainy season. June and July are the hottest months with maximum temperatures of up to 33°C. The high humidity can be quite gruelling at times. However the native flora is unbelievably lush thanks to the rain. A disadvantage of the rainy season are the typhoons, which often drift over from the South China Sea from September until mid-October.
For the perfect holiday to North Vietnam and places such as Hanoi and Halong Bay, I recommend the months of November, December, January, February, March and April. The winter months are the dry season and you’ll have the best weather conditions in the region. December, January and February feature the least precipitation. The temperatures in December and January are summery, but they’re not to hot either. However in more mountainous areas it can be pretty fresh! If you like things to be a bit warmer, you should list November, March and April as the best time to visit North Vietnam. Just bear in mind that there are more rainy days per month during this time and that the rainy season is slowly returning!
The worst time to go to North Vietnam are the months of May, June, July, August and September. The rainy season is in full swing and the air is hot and humid. For us Europeans, such weather conditions are totally out of our comfort zone, so unless you’re experienced in dealing with humid, sticky weather I’d avoid it! The temperatures are known to hit the 33°C mark and nights aren’t really much cooler than that either. The months of July, August and September are the most humid and uncomfortable months to go on holiday to Vietnam. However, during the rainy season you’ll enjoy the longest days and the best water temperatures. If you don’t have a problem with hefty rainfall every now and then, then there’s nothing stopping you from exploring North Vietnam during the rainy season too. But be sure to keep an eye on those weather forecasts – you wouldn’t want to be caught out by a typhoon after all.