Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide

Are you wondering about the weather in central Vietnam? Central Vietnam is a treasure trove of incredible destinations like Da Nang, Hoi An, Phong Nha, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon Island, Hue, and Dalat. But understanding the weather is imperative to planning your trip to these awesome places!

Vietnam is amazingly diverse in terms of its temperature range and weather patterns. Southern Vietnam weather consists of hot weather with a dry and rainy season, while the Northern Vietnam has four distinct seasons. Even specific areas, like the North Central Coast vs the South Central Coast vs the Central Highlands, will generally have a different temperature range all year round and different types of weather during other parts of the year.

Speaking of the North, there are optimal times to visit Hanoi, explore Halong Bay, and travel to the mountainous far north regions like Ha Giang. If you want to learn more about Northern Vietnam weather, check out this guide on the best time to visit the north in our comprehensive guide here.

Otherwise, prepare to journey through Central Vietnam with our weather guide. From travel times to handy tips, we’ve got you covered. Start planning your unforgettable Vietnamese escapade today!

Mui Dien Light House Phu Yen. Photo by VIA Ambassador Ben Torto - Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide
Mui Dien Light House, Phu Yen. Photo by VIA Ambassador Benjamin Tortorelli

Central Vietnam Weather & Climate Overview

weather in central vietnam
Hue from above. Photo by VIA Ambassador Le Van Anh Tai

The climate in Central Vietnam is extremely distinct because of several principal reasons:

Topography: Central Vietnam’s weather is affected greatly by the region’s hilly areas. The varying altitudes, especially in the Central Highlands, create microclimates. Higher altitudes experience cooler daytime temperatures and different precipitation patterns than low-lying coastal areas.

In addition, the Annamite Mountain Range, which runs northeast and parallel to the Central Coast, creates a rain shadow effect on the western side of the range. This effect leads to very different weather on Vietnam’s Central Coast compared to the inland areas.

Monsoon Winds: Central Vietnam’s climate is heavily impacted by monsoon winds caused by a global reversal in wind direction twice a year. The region experiences the Northeast Monsoon from October to April and the Southwest Monsoon from May to September. The Northeast Monsoon brings heavy rains and cold temperatures, while the Southwest generally brings warm, dry weather.

Hon Yen Phu Yen. Photo by VIA Ambassador Ben Torto - Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide
Hon Yen, Phu Yen. Photo by VIA Ambassador Benjamin Tortorelli

El Nino: Since Vietnam’s central regions are trapped between the tropical climate of South Vietnam and the more temperate climate of far North Vietnam, it is ripe to experience the brunt of the global weather effect known as El Nino. El Nino generally has two phases: El Nino (which generally makes the region drier, sometimes leading to droughts) and La Nina (which usually makes the region wetter, often causing major floods). El Nino weather patterns can also affect the area’s weather throughout the year.

Ocean Air: Central Vietnam is on the coast of the East Sea, which impacts its climate significantly. The Central Coast is the most popular part of the region for tourism, and its air tends to feel and smell a bit fresher, cooler, and tangier than most places in Vietnam. The ocean air does not seep over to the Central Highlands because of the Annamite Mountain Range.

Seasons in Central Vietnam

Locals in Central and Southern Vietnam are fond of repeating that “there are only two seasons in this part of Vietnam: the dry season and the rainy season.” And it’s true that Vietnam’s central regions generally do not experience four distinct seasons like you’d likely see in the mountainous far and North east of Vietnam or many other parts of the world. Fun fact: Northern Vietnam can get cold enough for down jackets or so hot that Vietnam’s hottest-ever temperature was recorded at 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) in May 2023!

Dry Season in Central Vietnam

Dry season is perfect for making salt in Tuyet Diem salt village. Photos by VIA Benjamin Tortorelli

The dry season in Vietnam’s Central provinces usually lasts from January to August. The weather during this time tends to be predictable compared to the wet season, with very little rainfall and mostly sunny days.

The area is still quite humid, even during the dry season, so foreign tourists might not agree that it’s exactly “dry.” For those who don’t mind the heat, though, the dry season is inarguably the best time to travel to the Central regions of Vietnam.

Rainy Season in Central Vietnam

Hoi An in the rain. Photos by VIA Ambassador Etienne Bossot

The rainy season, also known as the wet season, is less predictable than the dry season, but you can count on at least a few hours of heavy rain daily. The wet season lasts from September to December. The rain increases are partly due to the Northeast Monsoon, which brings damp ocean air inland. The rainy season starts in September and lasts until late December, with cooler temperatures in general.

Rain and tropical storms can be disruptive to tourism activities. Still, flexible travelers can use the typhoon season to their advantage, which we’ll cover in the “rainy season vs flooding season” section below.

Rainy Season vs Flooding Season

Vietnam’s rainy season has a bad reputation, but it’s not necessarily a showstopper for tourists willing to take advantage of it. The rainy season can be the best time to visit Vietnam for several reasons:

  • It’s easy to avoid. Most rain only rains for 1-3 hours per day during the rainy season, and that rain tends to come in a solid block of afternoon downpours. You can generally tell when it’s about to start raining, too, because the air becomes colder and breezier. All cities and even small towns in Vietnam are filled with cafes, so you can duck into one for a few hours to wait out when the rain increases. It’ll also allow you to experience some of Vietnam’s rich coffee culture!
  • It has a clean, fresh feeling. Rain washes away unnatural dirt and grime, and a landscape that’s recently been showered with rain looks (and smells) more lush and clean, whether it’s a metropolis like Ho Chi Minh City or a more natural area like Halong Bay.
  • It’s open. The warmer, drier parts of the year tend to attract more tourists. Visiting Vietnam in the rainy season is a good way to avoid crowds.
  • Cooler climate. As you can see in the table above, the climate in Vietnam’s Central region tends to be more temperate during the rainy months.
  • Lower prices. Since they’re less crowded with tourists, rainy months tend to lower prices for accommodations and local attractions.
  • Lusher agriculture. A huge draw of Vietnam’s Central regions for many tourists is its rice paddies and other agricultural sights, and they tend to be even greener and more beautiful when they receive a lot of rain.

Central Vietnam’s flooding season is not to be messed with. By “flooding season,” we mean the months with over 150 millimeters, equal to about six inches, of average precipitation per day. In the table above, you can check the average precipitation in each area, organized by month. We recommend avoiding the flooding season, as it can be dangerous. The flooding season hits especially hard in the lowland areas like Hue and Hoi An, which are more susceptible to flooding.

Weather Throughout the Year

Let’s look at a quick guide to weather patterns in different regions of Central Vietnam. This will help you to plan your trip itinerary and affect the order in which you visit each destination. The table below displays approximate times of year for both the dry and wet seasons in Central Vietnam’s four main areas.

Region

Dry Season

(Feb – Aug)

Rainy Season

(Sep – Jan)

Central Highlands (Dalat, Buon Ma Thuot)

Late November-Early April. Temperatures range from 18.5-21.5 degrees.

Mid-April through mid-November. During this time, climate is around 20 degrees on average.

Central Lowlands (Hoi An, Hue)

Late January through early August. Temperatures range from 20-27 degrees on average.

Late August through early January. Central Vietnam lowlands flood a lot during this time, so we recommend steering clear.

North Central Coast (Phong Nha, Dong Hoi)

Late November through July. However, late April through July get extremely hot – often over 28 degrees.

August through early November.

South Central Coast (Quy Nhon, Nha Trang)

January through August. After January, the South Central Coast gets progressively hotter until it peaks at around 29 degrees in the summer.

September through December.

Travellers Guide

Here are a few final tips to help you understand and prepare for the weather in Vietnam’s Central provinces:

  • Bring your raincoat and umbrella if you’re traveling during a particularly rainy month. If you are in desperate need of one, most street vendors in cities and small towns sell thin plastic ponchos for around $1. They’re one-time-use, but they’ll keep you dry.
  • If you’re going in a month with higher average temperatures, whether during the dry or wet season, stay hydrated. Hot temperatures combined with Vietnam’s humid climate make you sweat a lot, and fresh coconut juice or a bowl of pho will help you replenish the water, salt, and electrolytes you lose.
  • Ask locals for advice! Central Vietnam’s locals are used to harsh weather and will happily advise you on where to go and what to do if it’s extremely hot or very rainy.

Central Vietnam Weather by destination guide:

Let’s take a look at the most popular time to visit various popular destinations in Vietnam’s central regions.

Da Nang

A fisherman in his boat. Photo from Vietnam in focus - Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide
A fisherman in his boat. Photo from Vietnam in focus

The most popular time to visit Danang is between February and May. The weather is dry and comfortable during this time, ranging from 20 to 32 degrees Celsius (68 to 90 Fahrenheit). The international fireworks festival is also held in Danang in April or May, with the exact date changing depending on the year.

Hoi An

Fruit selling on Hoi An street. Photo by VIA Ambassador Etienne Bossot - Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide
Fruit selling on Hoi An street. Photo by VIA Ambassador Etienne Bossot

Most people visit Hoi An between February and April. The days and evenings are clear and warm (but not sweltering) during this time, perfect for exploring the town’s charming streets late into the evening. The town also has a full moon festival once a month, and the increased visibility during this time of year will make for an even better moon gazing experience. Discover carefully curated tours, attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Hoi An here.

Hue

Hue from above. Photo by VIA Ambassador Le Van Anh Tai - Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide
Hue from above. Photo by VIA Ambassador Le Van Anh Tai

Like Hoi An, the most popular time of year for visitors in Hue is between February and April. Not only is the weather great, but every two years the city is host to the Biennial Hue Festival, a huge celebration of Ancient Asian culture and arts. The 2024 Hue Festival takes place from April 1 to 7. Discover carefully curated tours, attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Hue here.

Phong Nha

A farmer on her chillies field in Phong Nha Quang Binh. Photo by VIA Ambassador Etienne Bossot - Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide
A farmer on her chillies field in Phong Nha, Quang Binh. Photo by VIA Ambassador Etienne Bossot

The most popular months to visit are from February to August. The park stays nice and dry between these months most years, so you’ll be able to trek or participate in other exploration activities without tromping through mud. Discover carefully curated tours, attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Phong Nha here.

Quy Nhon

Kho island Quy Nhon. Photo by VIA Ambassador Le Van Anh Tai - Weather in Central Vietnam: Your Helpful Travel Guide
Kho island, Quy Nhon. Photo by VIA Ambassador Le Van Anh Tai

March and April are the most popular times to visit Quy Nhon, as they are on the border of the dry season and the rainy season and therefore bring moderate temperature as well as a comfortable amount of humidity.

Discover carefully curated tours, attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Quy Nhon now.

Time to Visit Central Vietnam!

Whether you’re planning to visit during hot and dry weather or the rainy days of the summer season this year’s latter half, Vietnam’s Central provinces are full of magic, both natural and manmade. Each destination also has a prime time to visit, that’s worth taking into consideration when planning your travels. We hope this guide on the region’s weather helps you pick the best time to visit. Be sure to stay safe and have an awesome time.

If you’re planning on exploring other parts of Vietnam during your trip, check out this in depth guide on the best time to visit Vietnam in 2024.

Avatar photo
Written by Dustin Kemp
Writer
Share this
Dustin moved to Ho Chi Minh City in 2014 and quickly fell in love with the culture and people of Vietnam.