We think it’s better to ask “what is the worst time” rather than “what is the best time of year to visit Vietnam?”, as then it comes down to two topics only: cultural holidays and the weather.
The Chinese new year known as TET in Vietnam is the biggest holiday period of the year. It sees half the country on the move.
Usually celebrated for between 7 & 9 days. It sees many return to their hometowns and villages to party. So hotels prices rise even if you can get a room.
Transport is booked months in advance.
While it can be an enjoyable time for a cultural experience you will need to book much further in advance and be prepared to pay more than usual to ensure a happy holiday.
TET in 2020 is Saturday January 25th; 2021 is Friday, February 12th.
Peak tourist season
Then we have the international tourists holiday peak season which is between November and April. While the weather may be the best at this time of the year, the prices are not.
So once again, while it is the best time to visit Vietnam weather-wise, those bookings need to be made well in advance and a few extra dollars need to be found.
Weather in Vietnam
Many travellers take into account the weather patterns to find out the best time of the year to travel in Vietnam. As everywhere, no guarantees can be made in this regard. But if your main consideration in avoiding the rain then November to April is your best choice.
Apart from Hanoi and parts further north it is always ‘hot to very hot’. Hanoi and the north can ever get chilly in the winter months of January and December. It has even been known to snow on the higher peaks.
Vietnam has over 3,000 kilometres, (2,000 miles), of coastline. So if you travel from North to South, you may experience four different climates at certain times.
While it can rain any time of the year, the worst months weather-wise are usually August, September and October when typhoons are more likely to occur. These massive storms can cause death and destructions as well as the cancellation of flights and other transport. Flash floods and landslides can occur very quickly.
This is the wettest time of year also even without the storms although the rain usually comes in very short but extremely heavy downpours only.
Minus the Typhoons, this is actually not a bad time to travel in Vietnam as the crowds and prices are far more palatable. A bit more luck is needed weather-wise at this time of the year.
The hottest of hot months are April and May.
The answer to what is the best time of the year to visit Vietnam is; anytime, depending on your pre-holiday planning, your expectations and a bit of luck! Though most people, in general, would prefer to give the TET holiday period a miss and the period when typhoons are more likely to occur.
But if you want a cultural experience or are happy to take a chance on the weather then: any time of the year is the best time of year to visit Vietnam.