Vietnam is a long country north to south. There is more than 3,000 kilometers of coastline, and it has high mountains. In fact, the highest mountain in Indochina is in North Vietnam. So the climate in an area depends a lot on the elevation and the proximity to the sea. The hottest part of the country is in the far south that extends about 700 kilometers or 400 miles south of the latitude of Bangkok, Thailand, and the coldest part of the country is in the northern mountains.
In 2010, Vietnam had its worst drought in about 100 years. It is forecasted that draught conditions will continue in 2011. If you are wishing to visit the beaches, the draught probably won’t affect your visit. But the rivers are at historically low water levels. Temperatures are higher than normal, and rainfall is lower than normal.
There are major cities in each of the three geographical regions of Vietnam: Hanoi in the north, Danang in the center, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south.
Hanoi – Northern Vietnam
Average high temperatures in Hanoi vary between 18 degrees Celsius or 66 degrees Fahrenheit in January and over 30 degrees Celsius or 86 degrees Fahrenheit in July. In the mountains, it may snow in the winter. To visit Hanoi, it is suggested to go in winter or early spring to avoid the heavy rains.
Danang – Central Vietnam
Average highs in Danang vary between 24 degrees Celsius or 76 degrees Celsius in January and 34 degrees Celsius and 93 degrees Fahrenheit in July. The rainfall pattern is different and more moderate in Danang. To enjoy high temperatures and dry weather on the beaches, summer is the best time to go to Danang.
Ho Chi Minh City – Southern Vietnam
And in Saigon, strangely, the high temperature stays about the same though the year. It reaches an average high of about 31 degrees Celsius or 89 degrees Fahrenheit in both January and July. April is the warmest month in Saigon when highs reach an average of 34 degrees Celsius or 94 degrees Fahrenheit. To visit Saigon, it is suggested to go in winter or early spring to avoid the heavy rains.