Best time to visit North Vietnam(Hanoi, Halong Bay & Sapa) (updated 2019)

Hanoi – Halong Bay and Sapa are located in Northern Vietnam. Therefore the weather share the same patterns. In the recent years, the weather in Vietnam is fluctuated and it is hard to give form predictions of each month as it can be changed from day to day. However, in this article, we will offer some general suggestions and how to make the most of your trip even in the bad weather. Let’s explore!

See more: Best time to visit Vietnam and suggested places month-to- month

North Vietnam (Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa) Weather in general

Hanoi – Halong Bay and Sapa are located in Northern Vietnam. Unlike weather in the South, North Vietnam weather has 4 distinct seasons:

August to October:  the weather is quite pleasant in North vietnam, not too hot and not too cold. However there is still some typhoons in the early of August.

November to March: Northeast monsoon, the temperature can drop to 4oC, especially at night.

December – January: Driest month of the year.  December and January in particular can get quite frosty in the far north of Vietnam — pack accordingly.

July and August: Wettest months of the year.

April – May: Spring time – everything

May – July: Summer time with scorching weather of the  year.

Hanoi - Halong - Sapa maps
Hanoi – Halong – Sapa maps

When is the best time to visit Hanoi?

Basically, you can visit Hanoi all year round. However, the most pleasant time to visit Hanoi is August to November, when Hanoi is in the autumn weather. Everything is just cool down am relaxed after scorching summer. Hanoi in this weather is just as beautiful as a charming girl. Leaves are falling on the pathways and there are remnants of bloomed flowers from the past Hanoi climate. Don’t forget to bring your camera along as many beautiful sights are encountered in your way.

From December to early March, Hanoi enters winter season, which is the coldest time of year. It is also the driest month of the years. The temperature is around 10oC to 18oC. The cold weather is perfect time to enjoy a hot bowl of Pho or taste delightful Hanoi Street Food. 

From February to April, Hanoi is in the spring time with ligth drizzles and grey sky and humidity is high before the monsoon starts its heavy downpours in May

From May To August, Hanoi is every hot with temperatures may up to 40oC and extremely high humidity, it feels even like 48oC to 50oC. July is the hottest month of the years.

See more: Best places to visit Vietnam in December

When is the best time to visit Sapa

It is hard to say when is the best time to visit Sapa  as you basically can visit Sapa all year round, it is just beautiful in each season and there many things to enjoy at any time. Thanks to its high altitude, Sapa is ideal for hot summer escape to enjoy fresh air and avoid heated city.  It is also one of few places  where you can see snow in Vietnam.

However, the best time to visit sapa to admire the stunning terrace fields are September and October. The weather in this period is also cool and dry with stable temperatures, making it the perfect time for hiking and photography.

Stunning Golden Terraced fields in Sapa

From May to July, the weather in Sapa is quite warm and it is not as hot as Hanoi. There are also may colorful flowers blooming at this time.

From December to February, Sapa weather becomes very cold, especially at night. However, in return, you will have the opportunity to watch mesmerizing sunrise over the valley in the morning.

When is the best time to visit Halong Bay

The best time to visit Halong bay is in the Spring (from March to May) and the Autumn (from September to November), the weather is really cool, not too hot and not too cold. The temperature is around 25oC and the sun shines nicely, especially in April, May, September, and October; so prepare your camera and snap the best moments of the UNESCO site. Most of the activities in Halong bay are doing outdoor, therefore, a dry climate and pleasant temperature are ideal, you won’t want to sweat too much while kayaking or hiking to Thien Canh Son cave.

In summer,  from May to August, the sun is brighter, the water is super warm for swimming and you will get the really good prices from tour operators.   Summer is also a low tourist season so you won’t feel tired of crowdedness. However, there is a thing – Typhoon. The typhoon season in Halong bay starts from June to August, the infrequent storms come unexpectedly and your trip might be canceled just a day before your trip, you will get the refund or rearrange your trip. Heavy raining in the bay also makes your trip less enjoyable because you have to spend most of your time inside the boat.

Winter in Halong bay is a bit uncomfortable, it is misty and all day soft raining. Normally, the cold weather doesn’t have much effect on recreational activities: kayaking, climbing mountains, but swimming is a bit chilled. Occasionally, there are days when it is colder, heavy fog that you hardly see what is behind your ship or the icy rain falls all day, you should have extra attention and follow the instruction of the crew. Besides, the fog makes Halong bay looks more like a dreamy land, the freezing fog make everything blurred like an out focus picture.

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