Updated: Mar 1, 2020
Different seasons, different places to visit. So, where should you visit in Southern Vietnam to keep the best memories?
Are you wondering "When is the best time to visit Southern Vietnam?" Before visiting Vietnam, one of the most necessary things you should do is to check the weather in Vietnam at that time. If you check the weather before you go, your must-visit list will be fully accurate, meaning you will not miss any places in different seasons. Different from the North, the South in Vietnam has only two seasons, including rainy season (or monsoon season) and dry season. Funnily, people living there always joke that there are two seasons, hot and hotter. So, where should you go and what should you do? Let’s check it out!
Dry season - Best time to visit Southern Vietnam
Dry season in Southern Vietnam lasts from November to early May, which is the hottest season here. The temperature is around 31-32 degree, sometimes it even gets higher. At this time, the weather is quite warm and sunny which makes your trips more convenient and… dry. Moreover, it should be noted that the best time to visit the South during this season is from December to February, when the sun brightens all day, the air is fresh, the skies are blue and the weather is jolly. You should bring your umbrellas or something to protect you from the sun since some days, the sun can burn you out. Furthermore, you will also have an opportunity to explore some festivals taking place at this time. Tet holiday, the biggest festival of Vietnam also takes place during the dry season (late January or early February); therefore, traveling at this time is a need to explore the country’s festivals.
The first place you should make a note is the Mekong Delta, where you will explore the antique villages, or eat fresh fruits…
Geographically, the Mekong Delta is down in the Southwest of Vietnam, where Cà Mau is the cape of the country. The area is covered by Cuu Long River, starting from Tibetan Plateau, reaching the area and dividing into nine branches. However, there are only 7 branches left because of some reasons. One is blocked by Mother Nature, and one is blocked to avoid its effects from human life. Travelling around this area, you will discover the lively life of the people floating in the water. Actually, nowadays their life standards are so increasingly improved that houses are built on the ground. Obviously, the river not only gives them tons of favors but also damages the life a lot since floods, droughts annually occur.
Why is visiting the Mekong Delta in the dry season the most suitable time? As in the rainy season, the level of water in this river is quite high that might affect your journeys.
Like what is discussed above, the main transportation in this area is narrow boats taking people go around and explore the countryside. Don’t be scared because rowers will do that for you.
Some provinces you can take a trip to visit are Cần Thơ, Kiên Giang, Cà Mau, Hậu Giang, Sóc Trăng, An Giang… Some of them have recently urbanized; while, some have not. If you can ride a motorbike, honestly you should learn how to ride it to make your trips in Vietnam more fantastic, you can do a journey around the Mekong Delta area.
Here are some attractions for you: Cái Bè Floating Market, Cái Răng Floating Market, Trà Sư Mangrove Forest, Tràm Chim National Park, Tân Lập Village, and some fruits orchards. Also, if you really want to deeply the discover in this area, you should visit some provinces such as An Giang, Sóc Trăng. For the people who want to go to Cambodia for their next trip, you should visit Châu Đốc and take boat directly to Cambodia.
One more thing you should not miss is its food and beverage. This is where you can pick and eat fresh fruits directly at the fruits orchards. If your accommodations are hostels or homestays, you might have a chance to enjoy the local meals with local people and eat fishes, shrimp… which they catch from the river.
With Haha Tours, you can do the Mekong Delta tour in a different and enjoyable way. You can do a 1-day trip (visit here: https://www.hahatours.com/mekong-delta-1-day ).
Ho Chi Minh City
Of course, this spine city is one of the cities you should put your foot on when travelling in Vietnam.
This city seems to be the spine of the country as people come here for studies and work thanks to its opportunities. The weather of Ho Chi Minh City is not actually so warm, some days the temperature is high-ranking. However, compared to other provinces and cities in Southern Vietnam, its weather and atmosphere make people more comfortable.
Here, you can spend your time visiting some historical attractions during the day, then at night, enjoy yourself with some activities to reduce your tiredness and the day heat.
In this big city, you might find the most luxurious hotels to the cheapest guesthouses, from the finest restaurants to street foods. There is a joke that in this city, you have everything you need if you have money. You can spend your time visiting these following attractions: Củ Chi Tunnels, War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Saigon Central Post Office, Opera House, ChinaTown, Independence Palace, Bến Thành Market…
The first time you visit a city, you probably need to learn more about the histories, the lifestyle, the changes of that city. Hence, HaHa Tours will be your friends to tell you more about this modern city. Do the Saigon Night Lights, you might see how young the city thanks to some activities young generations usually do, visit here https://www.hahatours.com/saigon-night-lights. Or you can find interesting attractions and activities in a day, visit https://www.hahatours.com/the-changing-city.
Furthermore, if you love shopping, here is heaven. You can find the most luxurious fashion brands to normal clothes shops. There are some shopping malls such as Vincom Center, Saigon Center, Diamond Plaza. There are some streets full of clothing shops like Nguyễn Trãi Street, Lê Văn Sỹ Street, Lý Tự Trọng Street.
If you don’t try street food in some alleys here. Street foods are loved by everybody in this city. Some are cheap, but some are not. You can easily find street foods everywhere you go around this city. Nevertheless, here are some alleys you can explore and try street food: 177 Lý Tự Trọng Street, 84 Nguyễn Du, 200 Xóm Chiếu, 76 Hai Bà Trưng…
Street Food Tour is one of the most common tours for travelers to explore the Vietnamese traditional cuisine in this big city. With HaHa Tours, you will not worry about missing anything, visit https://www.hahatours.com/street-food-tour.
Beaches and islands
Finally, this time is when we enjoy the vitamin-sea at some glorious beaches and islands in the South of Vietnam, from the very famous to unexplored ones. No words can explain the feeling that we soaking under the water and tasting the salty flavour of the sea, or sunbathing under this weather.
Since Phú Quốc is isolated from the shape of the country and less residential, this place is less explored. It has recently become a famous attraction internationally. With its wildness and beautiful nature, this is a must-come island for the people loving vitamin-sea.
There are two ways to get there, by flight or by ferries. Taking a flight is of course more expensive than taking a ferry, which you can go from the Mekong Delta. There, it is much more fantastic with whom can ride motorbikes because tourism is not developed that exploring Phú Quốc quite difficult. Accommodation there is quite cheap that you can stay at some beautiful hostels, homestay, hotels or resorts. Also, you can try fresh seafood at some markets which are not so expensive.
There are some small beaches to go swimming and doing coral reef scuba diving, but they are quite far from the center, that is why you should learn how to ride motorbikes. For example, Bãi Sao, Bãi Dài, Gành Dầu Cape, Bãi Ông Lang… Or, you should spend time stopping by the Phú Quốc Prison to see how terrible the war was in Vietnam and the exploration of Phú Quốc from the very early days.
These islands belong to Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu province and it is also isolated from the mainland. To get there, you can book a flight ticket of Vietnam Airlines’ VASCO which is the only one opening flight tickets there. Otherwise, you can take ferries from Vũng Tàu or Mekong Delta, of course, it takes longer.
Forget everything and enjoy your time here at the remote and quiet island. There is a main and inhabited island called Con Son, which was where French colony set a cruel prison in the past. Coming here, you will learn about the history of a young woman Võ Thị Sáu and show your respect for her bravery.
This is an inhibited and isolated island, beaches here are less discovered so they can remain their beauty and wildness. Again, motorbikes are the most convenient transportation for you to start your journey there. With the motorbike, you can go further to some beaches far away from the center, such as Mũi Cá Mập, to enjoy sunbathing, swimming, diving in a wild atmosphere, white sands and blue-colored beaches. Food here is also cheap and fresh, but accommodation is quite expensive especially if you want to stay at some resorts.
Getting there is quite easy by motorbikes or buses all day. Some have experienced viewing the sunrise on the bus on the way from Saigon to Mũi Né.
Visiting here, you can explore stunning beaches, tropical forests, and sand dunes with some activities like exploring by motorbikes, doing quad biking at the White Sand Dunes, visiting the early fish market, viewing sunrise and sunset on the beach, visiting Red Dunes…
Although you can also eat fresh seafood, it is quite expensive because this is a famous travel destination for both locals and foreigners. Meanwhile, accommodation here is various, from the top luxurious resorts to classical guest houses with very cheap prices.
When you are visiting the Mekong Delta, don’t hesitate to spend your time at Nam Du Islands, one of the primitive islands of the country. This island has recently opened for tourists so its glorious and wild beauty still remains. Furthermore, the island has been developing, so the accommodation is not diversified.
To explore this island, you have to do it by yourself without any electric support because Google Maps doesn’t work here. Going around with the motorbikes, some might be surprised at the breathtaking views from the island.
Although rain can stop you explore the beauty of the country, and sometimes storms come which is such a nightmare. Rainy season (also monsoon season) lasts from May to the end of October, heaviest from July to September. It doesn’t mean that if the rain falls, you can only stay at home and go nowhere. It does mean that you will do other activities different from the days the sun brightens.
It is believed that this is the time you can learn how local people “survive” during the rainy days and how lively their life is. You can catch a laugh from a group of people riding on the flooded streets. During the rainy season, Vietnamese people always keep one or more than one raincoats in their motorbikes. When the rain falls, they simply park their bikes on the walking sides and wear them on, then keep going. But with some people without raincoats, they keep moving until they can buy it on the street. Life is moving on, so are they. Even though the streets are flooded, they have to move forward to work or to study. Or you can see how sad they are because of the influences the rain brings to them.
Actually, there are no places you should avoid to visit during the rainy season, except some coastal cities because of storms and floods. Just go and enjoy your trip with some tips.
Coming to Ho Chi Minh City to see how lively life is during the rainy season is not a waste for the people who escape from their countries. Although this is a developed city among the country, people have no protection from the heavy rains. Just simply take a cup of coffee and watch how they are moving, you might learn how life is moving.
Actually, no activities are stopped because of the downpour in Ho Chi Minh City. Why? Because it is a tourist city. Just going and if the rain comes, passing by a coffee shop and enjoying it.
Especially, after a rainy day, when night comes, people living here go out to chill despite the wet or flooded streets. They go out to chill at bars, to enjoy a hot pot or BBQ at their familiar restaurants.
Always bring your umbrellas, raincoats to protect you from the rain. Slippers are the best to walk under the rain; moreover, keep your expensive shoes in your bags, surely you don’t want to damage them. Use the taxis or buses instead of riding motorbikes since you are not familiar with the rain and the street so you should avoid accidents as much as possible. More importantly, check the weather forecasts before you go somewhere.