Ho Chi Minh Weather Overview
The local Saigonese often dub the weather as “a teenager with mood swings” because of how unpredictable it is. Let’s imagine on a sunny Sunday, you dress fancy and put on some nice make-up to go out with your friends. Suddenly while you’re out, it starts raining heavily even if the sun is still shining brightly. Then after a moment of thinking “WHY ME?”, you put on your ugly raincoat, and then the rain stops. Then all you can do is shake your fist at the laughing sky. This is how Saigon weather is.
Geographically, Saigon has what you would call a tropical climate which consists of a dry season (November to April) and a wet season (May – October). But the humorous youth of Saigon usually joke that just like many Western countries, you can break down Saigon’s weather into 4 seasons as well! But don’t expect your standard spring, summer, fall and winter. Over here, it is the hot season, the very hot season, the extremely hot season and yes you guessed it, the wet season.
Check the below table to have the general idea of Ho Chi Minh weather throughout the year.
|Month||Avg. High (°C)||Avg. Mean (°C)||Avg. Low (°C)|
Best time to go to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)
The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the drier months of December to March, when temperatures range between 21°C and 34°C. Many like to visit during the Tet Festival (Vietnamese New Year) in late January or early February. The whole country joins in the festivities and it's a colourful spectacle, but prices are higher and getting around may be difficult due to the large numbers of people travelling.
May to September sees frequent showers with monthly rainfall levels of 200 to 300mm during this period. The rains tend to come in short bursts, so it's possible to still enjoy sunny days during these wet summer months. Just be sure to bring an umbrella to avoid being caught out! The peak period for typhoons to hit Ho Chi Minh City is from July to November.
Ho Chi Minh Seasonal Weather Guide
Saigon in the Dry Season
Most of the tourists prefer to visit Saigon in December and January so this influx of tourists makes those the busiest months of the year. Those are the time when the heat is no longer a reason to stop you from walking around and enjoy the atmosphere of Saigon. In the mornings, the temperature can be as cool as 17°C (62°F) , and as the day progresses, it will normally increase to around 24- 26°C (75 – 78°F) in the afternoons and evenings.
December, January and February are also the months of festivals. During this time, the buzzing city will become more beautiful with lots of twinkling lights and festive decorations everywhere. Although Vietnam is predominantly Buddhist, the Christmas spirit is not non-existent in Saigon. In fact, it is quite popular. You will be surprised to see many huge Christmas trees and Christmas decorations in every corner of this wonderful place. And don’t forget store discounts too!
The streets and traffic will be crazier since many people go out during this time and enjoy the atmosphere. January and February are when the Vietnamese celebrate New Year and Lunar New Year (A.K.A Tet Holiday). Many activities will be held during these two months. Saigon will be livelier with ornamental flowers and Tet-related music playing everywhere. But the city gets quite empty during the actual days of the Lunar New Year as locals will go to their home provinces in the country and the city will look quite deserted. Try not to miss out on this almost-Armageddon-like experience.
As the dry season goes on, March and April get hotter and dryer. The heat peak occurs in summer as the highs can hit around 36 – 40°C (97 – 104°F) in most days. Don’t freak out, my friend. You can easily find ACs in many hotels/hostel, shopping centers and coffee venues all over Saigon. Cooling down with a “ca phe sua da” (Vietnamese iced-milk coffee) is one of the most local experiences you can have.
Highlights of Visiting in the Dry Season:
- On tourist season (December to February) accommodation price can be increased up to 30% so be prepared.
- During Tet holidays, most shops, local restaurant and shopping malls will close down. However, you can still visit some tourist destinations such as some museums, Independence Palace and some.
- The shopaholic travelers will definitely love November and December as it is sale time. On fashion streets such as Nguyen Trai and Le Van Si, you will see many sale signs up to 50% or 70% off everywhere.
- Many tourists that travel to Saigon in the dry season usually pay a visit to the Mekong Delta for a few days. If you don’t mind the heat and butt pain, I suggest you to take a road trip by motorcycle to visit the floating market in Can Tho. The crystal clear sky and the rural life of the Mekong Delta, which is completely different than what you normally see in the west, will amaze you. Also, from April to May is fruit season (yum!). Therefore, you can enjoy living your tropical dream eating a lot of delicious fruits like rambutans and longan berries while drinking fresh coconut juice. C’EST LA VIE!
Saigon in the Wet Season
After so many crazy hot days, the rain starts pouring down in intervals to cool off Saigon and help the crops and the people. This is a sign that the monsoon season is about to begin. From May to the beginning of November, the humidity is higher than average and heavy showers happen frequently. Beware that the water might drop non-stop for some days in a row – especially when the storms hit the city in August, September and October. An interesting (yet annoying) fact about the rainy season in Saigon is that some streets will be flooded regardless big rain or small because of bad drainage.
Highlights of Visiting in the Wet Season:
- If you decide to go around the city (or Vietnam) by motorbike, you should make sure that you know how to prevent water from entering your motorbike’s muffler. Otherwise, you will have to walk with your bike if it dies on the flooded streets.
- The tourist attractions in town will still be open as a sign showing that everyday is a good day to visit Saigon.
- Cheap accommodation is the biggest benefit brought by the wet season. If you are on a budget then bingo! You know when to go.
- Lightning will occur sometimes. My advice is to unplug your laptop and earphone when there is a thunder storm.
- “Saigon in the rain” is such an inspiration for anyone who loves photography