Best Time to Visit Thailand and Vietnam
Split apart by Laos and Cambodia, which lie directly between Thailand and Vietnam, these two prominent tourist destinations are major players in tourism in Southeast Asia. Thailand has long been a popular destination for tourists from Europe and North America, and this ancient Siamese nation is a stunning place to visit. Vietnam, on the other hand, has not been popular for tourists for as long, but has grown to become one of the top tourist destinations in the region of Indochina. And for anyone planning a trip to both Thailand and Vietnam together, it is important to know which season is the best for traveling to both countries.
Climate features in Thailand and Vietnam
Thailand has a typical two-season climate for most of the country, with the exception of the south. Here, the region is split from east to west, and has a very different monsoon season, depending on which side you are on.
Thailand Bangkok City
The north and central areas of Thailand have a dry season that runs from November to late-May and early June, with little to no rain expected throughout the season. Temperatures are relatively cool, ranging from 17-26 degrees depending on the altitude. However, from March onwards, the heat increases, hitting highs of up to 38-40 degrees and above until May. The rainy season sees a drop in temperatures, averaging 28-32 degrees, and an increase in rainfall from August to September, the wettest months of the year.
The south of Thailand can be split into two regions, the Gulf region on the eastern coast and the Andaman Sea region on the western. On the east, the region has three defined seasons, with the main dry season from December to February, with good weather and little to no rain. From March to May, the hot season begins, with temperatures rising up to as high as 35 degrees. Through June and July, little rain falls, with the main monsoon season starting in August and September. The wettest period is normally from October to November, when the heaviest rainfall occurs.
In the west, the dry season runs from November to March, and temperatures for the season range up to around 26-32 degrees. However, from March to May, the temperatures rise sharply, hitting highs of up to 36 degrees. Throughout the monsoon season, from June to October, the monsoon season sees lower humidity, thanks to the cooling sea breezes. Temperatures range from 25-26 degrees, and the wettest months are generally between mid-September and mid-October.
Vietnam has a varying climate from north to south, and the weather can be very different in the different areas. In the far north, the year is split into two main seasons, with the dry season from October to late March and the wet season from April to September. December and January can get very cold and frosty, especially overnight.
In the north, around Hanoi and Halong Bay, the climate has distinct summer and winter seasons, with a cool dry winter from November to April, with the coldest months being from January to March with average temperatures of around 17-22 degrees. Summer, from May to October, is hot and humid, with the heaviest rainfall occurring from July to September.
Central Vietnam. Around Hoi An and Da Nang, has hot dry weather from mid-January to August. The temperatures can reach up to the mid-thirties. From September to December, the monsoon season comes, with the wettest months being in October and November, and often featuring harsh typhoons. To the south, around Nha Trang, the dry season is longer, from January to September, with the central highlands area seeing the wet season from June to October.
South Vietnam has temperatures that are pretty constant almost all year round and has simple wet and dry seasons. The dry season runs from November to April, with the period from late February to May being hotter and more humid. The rainy season runs from May to early November, and the bulk of the rains usually fall from June to August. On average, the general temperatures in the south range from 25-35 degrees throughout the year.
Best time to visit Thailand and Vietnam
Thailand’s differing seasons mean that you can visit somewhere in Thailand at any time of the year, which is beneficial to budget travelers. The best time to visit Thailand in general is from November to February, when the weather is at its best across the whole country. For budget travelers, October and March are the best times to get decent weather at a lower cost.
Best time to visit Thailand
In the south, the best time to visit the eastern coast of the peninsula is from December to February, though if you are not concerned with the hotter weather, and you are traveling on a budget, you can also travel there as late as early August, and even into September, when the rains are light and sporadic. For the western coast, the best time to visit is from November to February, when conditions are generally at their best for beach holidays. However, October is a pleasant time to visit for a lower cost, and you can also get in a decent holiday from late May to July, when the rains come less often during the day, usually in the late afternoons and evenings, and temperatures have dropped from the hot season from March to May.
Ideally, Vietnam can be visited throughout the year, if you plan carefully. The best time to visit the entire country would normally be from January to March, though this can be changed depending on the region. If you are planning a trip to the north, November to March is ideal. For the central and southern regions, the best time is normally from January to March.
Best time to visit Vietnam
For budget travel, you can simply choose a period around the main tourist season, which runs from November to April, generally. And with plenty of variation on the good weather seasons from north to south, you have plenty of options for a decent low-season vacation.
Highlights during Thailand and Vietnam tour
Thailand has a wealth of places to visit, and there are more places to see than you will manage in ne trip. For the best of the best, it is essential to get to the main cities of Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, though there are plenty of other attractions you can visit as well. Bangkok is the exotic capital of Thailand, and no visit is complete without a trip around the city and its wondrous attractions.
Chiang Mai is also a must-visit destination, and is one of the best places to visit for backpackers, with its amazing treks through the northern highlands. The city itself is one of the most culturally and historically important cities in Thailand, and the ancient Siamese architecture and temples abound in this northern capital.
Chiang Mai Elephant nature park
Phuket is one of the most interesting islands in southern Thailand. The location of the famous Wat Phalong, the largest temple on the island, Phuket is renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches, and the long tourist season. Phuket is also more than a beach destination, though. In the interior of the island, you can find the Phuket Old Quarter, the ancient original town of Phuket that is more than a thousand years old.
Phuket in southern Thailand
Vietnam has more to see than is possible in one trip, but the main areas you should visit are in Hanoi and Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).
The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a city that retains its French colonial architecture and much of the former French culture. Renowned for its wide boulevards and avenues, the old quarters of Hanoi are some of the best examples of western influences in Asia. Nearby Halong Bay is a must see, with the thousands of limestone islands and karst formations dotted throughout the bay. Many of the islands have small caves, most of which can only be accessed by boat, and a boat cruise around the bay is the best way to explore.
Halong Bay is a must see in Vietnam
Once the ancient capital of Vietnam, Hoi An was the center of the ancient Champa Empire. Dating back more than 2,000 years, this beautiful city is filled with historic architecture and ancient traditions that show how influential the ancient empire was in Vietnam. Hue, the former capital of the Dang Trong Kingdom, is one of the most amazing cities in central Vietnam, with its Imperial City bounded by thick stone walls and the ancient Forbidden Purple City of the Nguyen Dynasty.
One of the most amazing metropolises on the planet, HCMC was formerly known as Saigon and lies on the Saigon River in southern Vietnam. The financial, economic, and business center of Vietnam, HCMC is famous for its many stunning attractions, including the Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, the Notre Dame Basilica of Saigon, and the renowned Independence Palace.
A visit to Thailand and Vietnam is one of the most amazing tours in Indochina. With plenty of variation on when it is best to travel to these two great countries together, you will have a lot of options, whether you are planning a peal season visit or are traveling on a budget and are looking for less-busy periods of the year.