How to get there
Lotus Tours uses Vietnam Airline Business Class exclusively as they are the only airline that offer direct flights from London to either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Their Business Class service both on the ground and in the air is second to none – please see the independent review of their service.
Best time to visit
Deciding the best time to visit Vietnam greatly depends upon how far north or south that you begin, as well as other factors such as festivals and holidays. In general, the best time to visit Vietnam is during December through February when temperatures are milder and rain is minimal.
Vietnam’s long, narrow shape means that the three primary regions (north, central, and south) experience different types of seasons and weather events throughout the year. Choosing when to go to Vietnam is important, both for personal comfort and packing purposes. The south generally receives more rain and enjoys a tropical climate; however, Hanoi and points farther north have cooler winters than many travellers expect. The area is one of the few places in Southeast Asia you can really feel cold without going to higher elevations.
You can visit Vietnam at any time of the year however, weather plays a big factor—particularly if you plan to enjoy trekking and outdoor activities. Sometimes monsoon rains can become so heavy in urban areas that streets flood and transportation shut down completely!
Although Vietnam still receives a little rain during the dry season, the driest months for visiting the south of Vietnam (Saigon) are typically between December and April. Temperatures and humidity levels in March and April can be suffocating before monsoon rains begin to cool things off in the summer months.
The spring and autumn months are most pleasant for visiting the north of Vietnam (Hanoi). Winter nights can get relatively chilly, with temperatures dipping into the 50s. Much colder has been recorded. You’ll certainly need a jacket when visiting Halong Bay in the winter, particularly if you’re already accustomed to warmer temperatures in the South.
Visiting Vietnam During Monsoon Season
As with most destinations Vietnam can still be enjoyed during the monsoon season but with some caveats
You’ll meet far fewer travellers and outdoor activities such as exploring the citadel in Hue can become soggy experiences.
Transportation delays happen. Buses may not run during long periods of heavy rain — perhaps a good thing as roads become flooded and more dangerous to drive. Even the low-lying tracks along the north-south railway become flooded, causing delays in train service. Lotus Tours may provide four wheel vehicles where deemed necessary for safety reasons.
Visiting Vietnam During Typhoon Season
Regardless of the season, large weather events such as tropical depressions and typhoons blowing in from the east can create week-long downpours that disrupt trip plans. Sometimes they can devastate areas that are prone to flooding.
Although Mother Nature doesn’t always play by the rules, typhoon season typically ends around December each year. The start dates depend upon which part of Vietnam (north, central, or south), but August is a general starting point. October tends to be a stormy month overall.
The good news is that typhoons don’t normally sneak up on a country unexpectedly. Keep an eye on weather events as your trip approaches. If a typhoon is moving into the area, flights may be diverted or delayed anyway. Lotus Tours in conjunction with Vietnam Airlines constantly monitor unexpected weather events.