has tropical weather marked by a monsoon season. It is typically
humid and warm, although the weather can vary significantly from
one area to another due to the long length of the country which
covers several weather zones and the variance in altitudes (in late
1999 there was snow in northern Sapa while it was over eighty degrees
in Saigon). Flooding is also common in the central coast region
around Hue and Hoi An. Vietnam had back-to-back years of devastating
flooding in this region during 2000 & 2001 — travel companies
may list tours for the rainy period, but plan your trip dates carefully
or your trip may be a washout.
almost constant in Saigon while in Hanoi there is a marked cooler,
although pleasant season from November through March and warmer
period during the summer ("cooler" is relative, you will
not likely need a jacket). See our charts below, showing the levels
of rain and temperature for north, south, and central Vietnam by
month of the year.
Since flooding is
common, most important for traveling in Vietnam is avoiding the
monsoon season. We cannot emphasize this enough. People on trips
have been stranded over a week or more during floods. Below are
some charts to help you guage when to travel. Our scheduled tours
are limited to the drier period of the year: December through March
(although we do arrange custom tours year-round in areas that may
be dry). During December, the weather north of Danang (and the Hai
Van Pass) can be cool and rainy. January is an optimal month to
travel the length of the country (combined with humidity, it is
not as cool as the chart below reflects). However, Sapa does not
thaw until around the first week of March.
for Sapa, September through November and March through May are the
best times for trekking and cycling in Sapa. Daytime temperatures
range from 15-28 C, and night-time temperatures from 18 down to
10 Celsius. Trekking and cycling are possible at other times too,
but the wintertime can be rather chilly, and the summer rather wet.