Traveling during Vietnam rainy season
Are you searching for the best time to visit Vietnam? While most travelers tend to book their holidays outside of the Vietnam rainy season, there are some good reasons to ‘get wet’ from downpours. You may relieve youself from the scorching heat in the country where the rain can be a sight of absolute bliss.
Even though you are not the one who loves rain, you can still find the ‘magic’ in the most arduous situations. From enjoying the best landscapes to finding the lowest prices, you should take at least one trip while it’s raining and consider Vietnam as your destination of choice. Take a closer look of Vietnam rainy season and fun things to do while traveling.
Vietnam rainy season
The climate in Vietnam is typically characterized by regions. You can expect the Vietnam rainy season to vary in Northern Vietnam, Central, and Southern Vietnam. Due to the severe influence of climate change, the rainy season may come earlier or later than expected.
Rainy season in Northern Vietnam
Northern Vietnam features tropical monsoon climate, divided into four seasons. The winter can be dry while the summer can turn extremely hot. The rainy season in Northern Vietnam usually falls in May and ends in October. The peak of the rainy season is from June to August. The weather turns back to dry and cool from November until April.
If you travel to Halong Bay, take note that there will be light rain and even unexpected typhoons between May and September. Your cruise may be canceled due to bad weather.
» See more on Northern Vietnam Travel: Best Places for the Wanderlust
Rainy season in Central Vietnam
In the North Central Coast (eg. Quang Binh, Hue), the rainy season comes in September and lasts until December. The peak of the rainy season is in October and November, usually accompanied by severe storms and floods. The average temperature during the rainy season is around 20°C. In the South Central Coast (eg. Da Nang, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan), the dry season lasts longer, from January to September. The rainy season starts from mid-October to early December.
Keep in mind that during the rainy season, the rising of Son River may obscure entrance to the cave, so you cannot visit Phong Nha Cave at this time. But some dry caves including Tien Son cave and Paradise Cave are still accessible.
Rainy season Southern Vietnam
The rainy season is officially regarded as the period from May to October, though, travelers should be aware of a sudden change in weather conditions in Southern Vietnam. You may be taken by surprise as sudden rain lashes Ho Chi Minh City in March, for example. Heavy rain may appear some time between June and September.
If you travel to Ho Chi Minh City during the rainy season, you will know how happy the locals are with rain provided that it does not cause floods. It is good to know that it may rain a few minutes then stop, and then continue to rain all day long. The Mekong Delta experiences similar weather conditions. There is a flooding season when it rains for months, so you should be careful as mosquitos really love this.
Top destinations on rainy days
Travel to Vietnam during the rainy season is obviously not a common recommendation for travelers. However, if you are into authentic travel experience and unique local culture exposure then the rain won’t ruin your vacation. Here are some best destinations to visit in a less than desirable weather season in Vietnam.
You can make the most of your trip in Hanoi despite unexpected rain shower. The daily traffic seems to be less busier, however, indoor activities have never been less interesting. The capital city of Vietnam offers a wide range of things to do from enjoying cultural performances, walking through art galleries to drinking at quaint coffee shops or vibrant bars.
While some visitors replace the sightseeing tour with the performance at Thang Long Water Puppet Theater or Hanoi Opera House, museums and art galleries offer plenty of things to discover. You can also join local people in the ‘coffee culture’ with egg coffee or filter coffee at any sidewalk cafe and be a part of Hanoi’s street life.
Moc Chau Highland
Moc Chau Highland is a lesser-known destination in Northern Vietnam. The thing that makes visitors really fall in love with this place is its climate. The average temperature is around 20°C and the winter is much more favorable compared to other parts of the region. The changing landscape of Moc Chau will be even enhanced under the rain.
Dai Yem Waterfall seems to be more spectacular and mysterious. Mountains and hills are covered with green grasslands. The atmosphere after the rain is really refreshing. In addition, you will get amazing experiences with Hmong ethnic minorities, enjoy local authentic dishes, and discover their unique customs.
There’s no denying Hue is a romantic city. Hue looks ancient as it should be as a former capital of Vietnam. Hue during Vietnam rainy season is melancholy yet ‘irresistible’. Walking through the Imperial City of Hue under your umbrella is nothing short of romantic experience. The scenery seems to ‘refresh’ as the rain clears the dust away and makes trees look greener.
If you have had enough cold feelings from the rain then find a restaurant by the Huong River to enjoy heartwarming dishes that represent the essence of cuisine in Central Vietnam. Don’t forget a cup of royal tea and comment on the quintessence of Hue people. There is nothing like the warmth you get from the people and the food despite how hard it rains.
» See more on Hue City Tour and River Cruise
Hoi An Ancient Town
While so many visitors are chanted by the charm of Hoi An on sunny days, you can explore the alluring yellow city during the rainy season in a particular way. Rains in Hoi An won’t last long, you will find rain showers cover the old town with blur. There is no need to queue in front of souvenirs shops or restaurants. You can discover the beauty of Hoi An Ancient Town in its true nature – peaceful and serene.
In addition to that, if you travel to Hoi An during the flooding season, there is a good chance to take a sampan ride along the ‘river street’ flowing through the town. If you want to walk with the water around, feel free to do that. Just remember to protect your toes with some plastic boots that can be purchased from local shops.
Ho Chi Minh City
After months suffering from the boiling heat, the Saigonese really go crazy for the rain. It is not unusual to see traffic jams that even take place when it rains. Don’t expect anything predictable from the weather in Ho Chi Minh City. You are covered in sweat just a moment before dark clouds cover the sky and it pours. Take out your umbrella and continue walking through historic landmarks in the city.
If you need to change your itinerary due to hard rain, consider plenty of indoor activities the city has to offer. History buffs would love to explore the Fine Arts Museum, War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh Museum or any of the essential museums in Ho Chi Minh City. Alternatively, make your way to temples, pagodas, or churches to learn something interesting about architecture and religion. If you are shopaholics, the rain will not deter you from enjoying shopping experiences at Saigon Takashimaya or Vincom Center.
For those who really want to contemplate the quiet scene of Saigon, find a seat, enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the rain. There is a good chance to do that at the Café Apartment on Nguyen Hue Walking Street. There are numerous coffee shops, workshops, and boutique fashions inside this building. Just choose your favorite flavor and let the time go by.
» See more on 24 Hours in Ho Chi Minh: Things to Do in a Day
Tips for traveling during the rainy season
Even though traveling during Vietnam rainy season is your very last choice, you can still turn your trip into a special experience with some useful tips right down below.
♦ Get rain-ready: Be prepared to get wet but try to keep your belongings dry under the rain. A reliable travel umbrella is a must. Also pack a rain poncho, linen or nylon T-shirts, quick-dry shorts, non-slip footwear, etc.
♦ Visit places that are still beautiful during the rainy season: If you are adventurous, visiting waterfalls is not a bad idea. While the sky is gloomy, waterfalls are more majestic. The mountains and fields are also greener and more vibrant.
♦ Pack mosquito repellent: Rainy season is also mosquito season, so don’t forget the mosquito repellent and anti-itch cream. A portable mosquito net can also help to reduce irritating bites at night.
♦ Follow the weather forecast: Avoid days with heavy rain. It is still possible to enjoy outdoor trips on days with little rain. However, the weather is basically unpredictable, so you may have to cancel your plan at any time of the day.
It is no doubt everything looks more beautiful drenched in the rain. Ever seen how breathtaking the waterfall looks during a downpour? Walked the streets amidst heavy rainfall? Or simply sat by the window and watched the rain in a new destination? New country yet familiar smell of the rain, what an experience!
© Maika Tours
Written by Trinh Tran
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