Visiting Vietnam in January might seem like an unusual decision.
It’s not the most popular month, and it’s fair to say that temperatures will be cooler than at other times of the year in the North. Yet, visiting Vietnam in January provides the opportunity to see Vietnam at its most lively and chaotic, during the Tet (Vietnamese New Year) celebrations. You’ll also be able to beat the crowds ahead of the peak tourist season which really starts to pick up in March.
The temperature in Vietnam in January varies dramatically. It’s worth remembering that Vietnam as a country is long and thin, meaning that it has a variety of climates, depending on location. The weather can be changeable, but here is a rough guide by region.
NORTH OF VIETNAM IN JANUARY
This is one of the coldest months of the year for the capital, Hanoi, with an average temperature of 17°C/ 63°F. Yet, the streets are still bustling, and there’s always an abundance of Phở (hot noodle soup) to keep you warm! Even further north, in Sapa, temperatures may be more like 11°C/ 52°F, so prepare for some misty mornings and chilly evenings!
In Halong Bay, there’s a risk of drizzle and fog, but prices are considerably lower than at other times of the year if you’re prepared to deal with rain showers, interspersed with sunny spells. The average temperature in the bay will be around 16°C/ 61°F.
On the other hand, if you want to witness snow or enjoy cold weather with a hot beverage, head to Mau Son (Lang Son) or Ha Giang.
CENTRAL OF VIETNAM IN JANUARY
For the night markets of Hoi An, January is a good option, with relatively low visitor numbers and an average temperature of 22°C/ 72°F (daytime). If you’re looking for a cultural trip, then this is a fantastic time of year to visit the historic sites of Hue, which has an average temperature of 20°C/ 68°F.
SOUTH OF VIETNAM IN JANUARY
With mild temperatures and little humidity, this is one of the best months to visit Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). The average temperature is a very pleasant 27°C/ 81°F, ideal for walking the streets during the day and enjoying a river cruise by night. You can make a “beach detour” to Nha Trang, it’s still a good 25°C/ 77°F on average, with a much lower risk of rain than in December.
So, what are the best places to visit in Vietnam in January, according to our team?