I was planning to spend around 10 days in Northern Vietnam (Hanoi/Ha Long Bay cruise/ Sapa trekking)with two possible time frames:
1) beginning-mid November
2)end November-beginning of December
But when looking at the weather charts of Northern Vietnam on this site, it appears that any two of these periods would actually be quite bad (lower temperatures, and highest rainfall of the year). So my question is: would going to Northern Vietnam around that period of the year not be a good thing? I would be coming from Vientiane by plane, so if it's not, I could actually save a lot of money and time.
On the other hand Ha Long and Sapa really got my interest out of reading about it, but I just don't wanna be facing terrible weather and thus not having the right experience there. What do you suggest? Is that area really something to be avoiding during that time of the year?
#1 Seba has been a member since 28/4/2009. Posts: 54
Ha Long Bay at that time of year can be pretty miserable and in December Sapa gets very cold - esp in the evenings. You're right is saying these are not ideal times to visit, but even at the height of monsoon, you get clear days -- perhaps you'll be lucky.
If this is a one-off trip then I'd be inclined to give it a go and hope for clear weather, but if you'll be back next year, perhaps save this region for another trip...
Thanks for the info. Last question: what is it like begin-mid November? Is it much different from december then?
#3 Seba has been a member since 28/4/2009. Posts: 54
Monsoon in the north is roughly October to March - you can see some rainfall charts at the base of the Vietnam weather page here: http://www.travelfish.org/vietnam-weather.php
Ive been doing a lot of research on Northern Vietnam and chose November as the month to go. Most of the other websites have rainy season ending in October for Northern Vietnam and then the northern monsoon winds kicking in bringing dryer and cooler temps.
This website contradicts itself such as this from the summary section of weather under Vietnam:
Wet season runs from around October to March in the north, August to December in the centre and May to November in the south.
Dry season runs from November to April in the north. January to July in the centre and December to April in the south.
From other travel sites it appears that November is a pleasent time to go to North Vietnam/Sapa/Halong Bay
Hopefully Im not wrong as I will be there in three weeks!
#6 sdl68 has been a member since 16/7/2009. Posts: 14
I suggest you have the webmaster look into the weather information you've referenced. You will notice the numbers are identical for Central and Northern Vietnam. We all know the weather is different between these two locations with Central Vietnam having opposite rainy season than South or North. It would be worth correcting.
#7 sdl68 has been a member since 16/7/2009. Posts: 14
i agree with sd168 i found the summary c0ntradictory,further,i was in HCMC last year i november and i was checking the weather daily and hanoi had the best weather for weeks on end
#8 barrydullaghan has been a member since 4/1/2009. Posts: 5
November can be nice, an execption to September (monsoon or even worse, an annual typhoon), or December which can be cold. You need to knwo Sapa is at altitude, so most weather charts are incorrect. At over 4,000 feet, Sapa (as with any place in the world at this altitude) with be much cooler and possible clouded in.
I also am arriving in Vietnam in HCMC November 12 for 19 days and want to visit Mekong Delta, Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa ...and hike in Sapa area. Is this way too much? And would the Sapa hiking require hiking boots and warm pants and coat ...
#11 terbear31 has been a member since 28/10/2012. Posts: 1
N. Vietnam is quite dry in late Nov into Dec - that's why I travel to VN at that time.
Terbear - I would reverse the order of your trip (north to south) for optimum weather conditions. Sapa should be a little cool in November, but certainly not cold enough to require winter clothes. Boots are always a good way to go in Sapa, but there are boot rental places in town. Sapa usually starts out foggy in the am, and in the dry season, sunny in the pm.
#12 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,083