Vietnam locates in the intrinsic region of the Northern Hemisphere, so the influence of wind in the Northern Hemisphere operates year-round.
On the other hand, Vietnam climate has a strong effect on seasonal air masses with two main monsoon seasons: the northeast winter monsoon (Nov – Apr) and the southwest (May-Oct).
What are the monsoon seasons in Vietnam?
The winter monsoon has operation time from November to April next year, moving in the northeast direction, so it is called the northeast monsoon.
The scope of the northeast monsoon comes from North Vietnam to Bach Ma Range in the central country. In the first half of winter, the weather is cold and dry, bringing a cold and prolonged winter in the North. The second half of the winter season is cold and humid, with drizzle rain in the coastal areas and the North and Central plains.
Moving to the south, wind weakens, less cold, and almost stopped in the Bach Ma range. Thus, from Da Nang onwards, the wind blows in the Northeast direction strongly, dominating and causing rain for the Central Coast, while South Vietnam and the Central Highlands come in dry seasons.
The duration of the summer monsoon season is from May to October with two winds blowing in the same southwest direction.
The first half of summer (May – July): with the scope of the southwest monsoon, the tropical mass of the Bay of Bengal moving southwest and penetrates directly into Vietnam, causing heavy rains for the Southern Delta and Central Highlands.
After that, this air mass crosses the Truong Son range, causing a dry and hot effect in the coastal plains in the Central and the South of the Northwest region.
Mid and late summer (June – October): Southwest monsoon (from near-tropical high pressure in the southern hemisphere) operates. Crossing the equatorial sea becomes hot and humid, and this air causes heavy rain for the wind-receiving area in the South and the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Due to the low pressure in the North, this atmosphere mass moves from Southeast to the North, creating the Southeast monsoon happening in the summer in North Vietnam.
The results of the monsoon seasons in Vietnam cause:
- Creation of climatic seasons: The North has cold winter with little rainfall and hot summer with humid and rainy. And, in the South, there are two distinct rainy and dry seasons.
- Between the Central Highlands with rain in summer (May – Aug), and the coastal plain of Central Vietnam has rained in the autumn and winter (Sep – Nov).
Should you travel during the monsoon?
Yes, you should. However, you need to notice the monsoon seasons come to different regions in Vietnam to have a good plan to visit the beautiful country.
Vietnam country has long land with different regions and climate. It is difficult to get the best time to visit Vietnam from the North to the South. It is because different parts and times in the country will get various monsoon seasons.
Thus, Vietnamdrive will give you general suggestions as below to choose the correct regions to explore in Vietnam.
- North Vietnam, including Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa and Ninh Binh, is good to visit in the autumn from the end of Sep to Nov. Not much rain there, and the most north wind of winter monsoon has not come yet.
- South Vietnam, covering HCMC, Mekong Delta and Nha Trang, is perfect to stay there during Feb – April. During that time, you can avoid the summer monsoon coming from the southwest.
- Central Vietnam, such as Danang, Hoi An, Hue and Phong Nha, can be visited at the same time as South Vietnam, from Feb – April.
- Central Highlands, including Dalat, Kon Tum, Pleiku, will be a nice destination for a self-guided tour from Sep – April when the southwest monsoon stops influence this area.
>>> Please see the different regions in Vietnam on the map.
What should you prepare for when traveling to Vietnam during monsoon seasons?
You will get a lot of surprises when visiting Vietnam, such as diverse culture, great food, beautiful landscape, and typically weather. It can suddenly rain any time in the monsoon seasons in the regions it comes.
So, when you go out during the monsoon time in the southern and central cities in Vietnam, you should prepare a raincoat or an umbrella although it may be sunny.
Besides, you need a warm coat for monsoon duration in North Vietnam because the cold temperature with strong wind can make you feel cold. The cold wind is surely different from your snow cold in other countries.