Is Vietnams rainy season a bad time to visit?

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When does Vietnam’s rainy season begin?

Vietnam is typically classified into three regions: the north, the center, and the south. In the southern regions, there are two distinct seasons. November to April is the colder (and drier) season, while May to October is the hot (and wetter) season.

And in the the northern areas of Vietnam they have four distinct seasons, it can be freaking cold in the winter but bloody hot in the summer.

And yet there is more. Climates, sub climates, my head is spinning. Vietnam has coastal influences and mountainous regions all with there own climatic patterns. Let’s look a bit deeper. Monsoons are a thing.


Monsoons are commonly associated with rain, but this is not always  the case in Vietnam. Monsoon winds travel from the northeast along China’s coast and across the Gulf of Tonkin during the winter or dry season, taking away much of the precipitation.( That means rain ) As a result, most of Vietnam’s winters are quite dry ( unlike the rainy season in summer).

From May to October, the summer monsoon pushes moist air inland from the southwestern Indian Ocean, bringing a lot of rain. In Vietnam, yearly rainfall ranges from 1,500 to 2,000 mm (60 to 79 inches), with 90 percent of it falling during the summer. And sometimes it just buckets down on a daily basis.


When does the rainy season begin?

Visiting during the peak months, means higher prices and larger crowds. What if you can’t change your vacation dates? It can take a long time to plan a fun trip during the monsoons. And you can have a lot of fun in the rainy season as well.

Here are some of the different seasons you will find around the country. You have the north, central and southern regions. The more mountainous areas of Vietnam have there own sub climates. It can snow in Vietnam in the highlands up north !

Vietnam’s North (Hanoi and Ha Long Bay)

The northern section of Vietnam is hot and humid from mid-May to mid-September (except from Sapa, which has its own climate), with the most rainfall in July and August.

Showers are common in the afternoons and evenings throughout the rainy season. If feasible, go for outdoor activities in the morning and then relax with a cup of coffee at a bar or explore indoor attractions such as museums, galleries, and local shops and markets for the rest of the day. Or find a Bia Ahoi shop and get drunk with the locals. Cheap beer, yahoo.

Vietnam’s central region (Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An)

The influence of the monsoons is weaker because the steep mountains in the western side of this region prevent the southwest monsoons from bringing rain to the area. The region receives less rainfall than the rest of the country throughout the rainy season, mostly from April to early September

But from September through to November, this region experiences its most rainfall. Hoi An and some adjacent towns are frequently inundated around this time. Tourists exploring the old town by boat, as well as images of local inhabitants calmly dealing with the water are often shown the newspapers and cause a great deal of amusement.

Vietnam’s south (Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta)

Summer is hot and humid from May to October, with June and July being the rainiest months. It rains virtually every day during the southwest monsoon, which produces a lot of rain. For gods sake, bring a raincoat.

This rain, however, is not like that in the north, where it is quite often just mist and light rain. Drag out the raincoats because the rain in the south is heavy but mostly short-lived.

Ho Chi Minh City’s roads flood during the rainy season. Riding in the city is difficult and can be dangerous. Despite the fact that it rains every day, the city receives enough sunlight to offset the torrential downpours.

Prepare your rainy adventure.

The shite consequences of rain and travelling can’t be overlooked. You can, however, find ways to make the most of it.

“Prepare for the worst and hope for the best,”  You might get stuck in a bar or restaurant for the afternoon, so just go with the flow. It’s impossible to over-prepare, and you will be shocked by how much fun you can have when it’s pouring down..

Be clever. You’ll see a pattern if you pay attention. It is best to finish your outdoor activities in the morning and explore museums, galleries, pagodas, temples, retail markets, and cafés in the afternoon, as rain usually begins after lunch or in the early afternoon. Or even do some other indoor activities.

Check out the weather reports. Remember to check the weather forecast before you start arranging your trips. When  warnings are given, avoid traveling during typhoons, rainstorms, or other natural disasters like the locals asking for money. Lol.

Dress for the occasion. It is preferable to wear dark hues and quick-drying shirts (otherwise if you get wet, your clothes will be see-through).

Make a travel schedule that is reasonable. Don’t try to fit too much in one day. You will enjoy your stay so much more if you take your time. Sitting in a restaurant or bar all afternoon is not an unpleasant way to spend an afternoon.

So, Is it a bad time to visit?

Rainy season provides a fantastic opportunity to learn how the people live in settings that we would consider shite and from a cultural and photographic standpoint you will have memories that will last forever.. During the “difficult” times, you get a true sense of the country, as well as the local culture and traditions.

Not only will you be in in awe of how they get around in the rain, but you’ll also be amused by the various forms of ponchos people use in the rain.  You think a poncho is just a poncho, not in Vietnam.

You’ve got your regular poncho, a poncho with a plastic ‘window’ for your motorbike light, and also two headed ponchos.

You’ll also be amazed at just how many people can fit under a poncho while on a motorbike.I have seen up to six people on one motorcycle. And in Hanoi I saw a man carrying a huge pig with a raincoat over it. Just some of the amazing sights you will see in Vietnam


Do not be put off coming to Vietnam in the rainy season. You will get a better understanding of the locals and some great photo opportunities.

I hope you enjoyed a bit of insight into travelling around Vietnam in the rainy season. For me it is the best time to travel.


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8 thoughts on “Is Vietnams rainy season a bad time to visit?”

  1. This article taught me a lot, I’m grateful for learning about Vietnam’s season changes as I hate travelling and being stuck in the rain for the days I’m there. This is an excellent topic of choice and one like me people want to know about as one of the biggest deterrents on vacation is when you get stuck inside and not being able to travel as planned.

    1. Thanks Page, being stuck inside is not too bad in Vietnam. But if you are on a fixed schedule it can be a drag.


  2. Hi Stephen

    I have experienced an asian monsoon season and it can get pretty intense. I spent some time in Thailand and I did experience quite a bit of rain. However, the rain did not diminish my experience or enjoyment of the place. I don’t see why Vietnam would be any different during the rainy season. I am sure there would still be lots to see and enjoy. And, as you mentioned in your article, it would be good to experience how the locals handle such weather.

    I would definitely visit Vietnam, and I wouldn’t care much about the season or time of year. 

    Thanks for a great article.

    1. Thanks  Les, If you ever come to Vietnam you will enjoy it. I would be happy to offer any advice and help you to travel around. Rain or no rain, Vietnam is a great country.


  3. Hi Stephen,
    I have always wanted to visit Vietnam as it is a beautiful country. The rainy season would not bother me because we live in a hot place that very rarely ever rains.
    Hochiminh city looks like an interesting and busy place to go to.
    I will get there one day!
    One question is there much in the way of Gluten-free food there?

    1. Yes, Lisa. Ho Chi Minh city is now a pretty cosmopolitan city and you can get Gluten free products. And it is certainly busy and interesting. I hope you get to visit one day.

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