Stretching from the North to the South of Vietnam, the weather is variable deeply. Whilst it is sunny all year round in the Southern part, for the Northern regions, this period can be divided into 2 separate periods: October till February, it is cool/cold & dry and from March to April it is warm & dry. Winter in the North is maybe one of the best time to discover Vietnam. It is not only the time of the dry weather, delicious & hearty dishes but also the time to explore the outstanding sceneries of the beauty of Vietnam.
Top destinations to travel within Northern Vietnam in this winter
To experience the best of winter in Northern Vietnam, make sure to check out Inside Travel list of the top 5 destinations to visit here:
There is no visit to Vietnam is complete without a stopover in Hanoi. This 1000-year-old capital is rich in culture and traditions.
Besides taking a Hanoi city tour to visit highlight attractions such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature or Museum of Ethnology, you can experience a day like a local. Walking early in the morning to have a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, watching locals do their morning routine: doing exercises like walking, running, doing tai chi, or just some old citizens play chess over a cup of green tea.
Come to a small street restaurant for a smoking hot bowl of Pho (A famous speciality - You must try!). Then try a local coffee looking over the bustling streets, seeing people on their motorbikes hurriedly rush to work.
Later on, you can get into Dong Xuan market during the day and night time – During the day, it biggest and busiest market in downtown Hanoi while at night, street vendors around the market make it an interesting spot for locals and tourists to hang out.
HALONG BAY VIETNAM
Though you cannot swim in this winter, Halong bay offers a mystique beauty in a little foggy scenery. Try to wake up early for a Tai Chi class while the sun hasn’t come out yet. You feel like the whole surroundings and the air belongs to you.
You can follow the crowd to discover some of the Halong bay’s majestic caves or just lie on the sundeck to enjoy the scenery. Furthermore, you can also be able to experience high energy activities such as kayaking to the further paths or observe the daily activities of a small fishing village around the Bay. You can book Halong bay cruises to discover Halong bay right now.
This destination is especially popular for the Vietnamese domestic market during winter, especially during the time when there is snow that happens once or twice each winter. For those who want to trek the off beaten paths to remote hill tribe villages or up high in the mountains, there is no better period than this. The cool and dry weather with a stable temperature makes it perfect for your trekking and photo takings.
HA GIANG VIETNAM
Ha Giang is a new attractive destination for travellers because of its pristine beauty like a great number of the impressive rugged mountain range, the most remote villages & diversity of ethnic minority groups such as Hmong, Dao, Lo Lo, Tay, Nung, etc.
Coming to the land of Ha Giang, you will be not only amazed by its outstanding scenery but also the friendliness of locals. Staying in one of the homestays in either Ha Giang rural areas or Hoang Su Phi & interacting with the hosts, you will be able to gain an insight into their customs & cultures & do not forget to enjoy their delicious traditional cuisine. If you do not know yet, the best time to visit Ha Giang is from October till April. This is a great time to witness a wide range of flowers blooming all around the area.
MAI CHAU VIETNAM
Mai Chau is less popular than Sapa but not that it is less interesting. It is home for several ethnic minority peoples such as Thai, Muong, and Tay, so there are plenty of cultural and traditional values for you to discover.
With the close proximity to Hanoi, making Mai Chau an ideal getaway for those who want to escape from the bustling Hanoi to experience the tranquillity of the mountainous village.
You can choose to just relax in the Lac village or Pong Cong village of Thai ethnic people, bicycling around the villages or can go further into remote villages up to 2 or 3 days of trekking.
It is highly recommended for you to stay homestay at least 1 night at a very simple rustic stilt house and experience the warm-hearted hospitality of the local ethnic people. During winter, the tranquil atmosphere and brilliant blossom nature in the valley will bring the most relaxed time, it definitely will charm you to stay longer.
What should you pack for winter in Northern Vietnam?
• The most important thing is mosquito repellent since mozzies can turn up anywhere in Vietnam
• To keep warm: a thick scarf & a hat are very essential in the mountainous areas
• Winter clothes such as a sweater, waterproof jacket & do not forget your hiking boots if you are heading to some off beaten paths
• Travel camera to take some of the most outstanding photos
• Travel insurance as any adventurous country requires insurance
FAQs about Northern Vietnam in winter
When is the winter in Northern Vietnam?
Northern Vietnam experience a notably cold winter for a country with a tropical climate with the temperature fluctuates from 4-degree Celsius to 22-degree Celsius. The mountainous regions like Sapa & Ha Giang get the coldest in December & January but these months are also a suitable time for travelling to have a good chance of seeing clear views of the mountains.
How cold is the winter in Northern Vietnam?
Please do not worry as the winter in Northern Vietnam doesn't get as cool as spring or fall in Europe or North America. Somedays, it can drop down to freezing but only in some mountainous regions. On the other days, the temperature fluctuates around 15 degrees Celsius with less rain during the winter months. So this is definitely the perfectly pleasant time of year to travel these areas.
Is there snow in Vietnam?
YES but not on every day or in every other region. There is only snow in the northern mountainous areas such as Ha Giang or Sapa in December or January. Travellers don't see snow in the town of Sapa or Ha Giang city often but the top of Mount Fansipan can get dusted with snow.
If you are looking for a perfect itinerary to travel in Vietnam, don't forget to check out our list of the best Vietnam tours or contact Inside Travel Experts to have a tailor-made tour which suits your taste & interests.