The Best Time to Visit Ho Chi Minh City
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Listen! We know many people already told you their noted best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City. Good news for you is that geography in a specific land is hard to change over time! And time for bad news! During your upcoming trip to this Southern metropolis, you are likely to witness some dinky changes.
It's time to note down some new updates as 2018 had just finished. No worries! Let our native Saigonese advise you what to bear in mind. Our post below lists down three BIG THINGS that you surely do not want to miss. Get your pen and paper ready as you never know what you're about to find out.
Saigon River at night (Source: Internet)
AN OVERALL IMAGE OF WEATHER IN HO CHI MINH CITY
Born within the "field of action" where tropical monsoon season works, Saigon witnesses two significant different seasons: dry and wet. "Rainfalls come in May and leave in around November!". I know that's what your friends said, or at least what you've read somewhere. However, global climate condition seems to change greatly these days.
Within two years back, the city welcomes heavy rainfalls a bit earlier, around April to be exact. Meanwhile, right now when I am updating this weather news for you in the second half of December, showering rains are still here.
This period of time kills off the burning heat in Saigon, with excessive rainfalls coming over and leaving just within ticks of the clock. A long sunny day in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) these days would also be disturbed by several sudden raindrops. Never miss your raincoat!
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Ho Chi Minh City on a sunny day (Source: Internet)
In the very first hours of a day, don't be surprised if your morning is sometimes ruined by heavy rains, yet followed by a big sunny sky right away! To be honest, some days in a month, Saigon may be filled with slight storms and showers the entire day. How about the other half of a year? Saigonese live with tropical heat and stunning sunlight from the end of December to next April.
Vehicles escaping the rain (Source: Internet)
Around these months, even though you would not need any umbrellas or raincoats, get ready for some sunscreen and sunglasses! At some specific times, the outside temperature may reach 38 or sometimes 40 degrees Celsius. The dry season in HCMC is now playing hard to please! As previously warned, snow and winter are something you can never witness when traveling to Saigon. Instead, think about Northwestern Vietnam, travel to Sapa for instance!
This means it is completely perfect if you are from the Frigid Zone fleeing to Southern Vietnam for some great sunny escape. Many of your friends choose to fly over Saigon first, then hop on a sleeping bus and head to Mui Ne Beach, and you may love to experience it too!
On the other hand, local Saigonese like us would love to head up North for some cooling breeze brought by the Northeastern monsoon. As said, Sapa with imposing mighty summits welcoming snows almost every year. As a native Saigon dweller, it is always my top pick! Since the dry season seems ideal for globetrotters, it automatically becomes a peak season in Ho Chi Minh City.
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HO CHI MINH CITY CLIMATE – A LOOK INTO EACH SEASON
Now, you may just pack your bags and fly to Saigon when December comes? Please calm down! It's time to have fun like a real Vietnamese in Saigon. Let us show you the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City regardless of which season you are in.
Bến Thành Market (Source: Internet)
Ho Chi Minh City during its dry season
Apparently, Saigon within these days is fun and bustle (as always). Choosing this season for your journey in Saigon brings in a wide range of both indoor and outdoor activities without paying much attention in finding shelters.
Nguyễn Huệ Walking Street at night (Source: Internet)
Saigon's sunlight is just brilliant for a long day out! Remember to get some cool shots for your Instagram feed. The area around Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is stunning when the light is on, especially with a lovely greenish park right next to it. Finding a local buddy is what you need for now. Otherwise, contact the nearest tour operator for an absolute art tour, won't you? Just a simple City tour will allow you to find out how awesome this French-influenced city can be when sunlight is around every corner.
Inside a hidden coffee shop in Saigon (Source: Internet)
Last but not least, do you want to know where I go when hanging out with my friends during this killing heat? Obviously, coffee time! Vietnamese iced coffee for a hot sunny day seems too good to be true! Have a look at our suggestion on the best cafes in Ho Chi Minh City to make it your best time to visit Saigon as always!
Where to go in Saigon in such a season?
Well! I mean you may find the best fun almost everywhere across HCMC when rainy seasons are not around. As a local, I would totally recommend some outdoor activities such as a picnic in greenish gardens, cycle tours around downtown and a Saigon street food by night tour.
Ho Chi Minh City when the rainy season arrives
Talking about Saigon in the rainy season, let me compare it to a young lovely girl, yet just a little too sour and scornful to please. I mean, you will never know what you're going to get with this "young woman". The biggest thing about this "girl" is a "combo" of heat and humidity. Averagely, Saigon welcomes around 160 rainy days in a year.
A rainy day in Saigon (Source: Internet)
This means average annual precipitation comes up to 1.949 millimeters. And you don't need to understand why. Just enjoy! Some days, this "Southern capital" lives with the pouring rains both day and night, making it a fit of sudden anger from Mother Nature. And, some of the other times, Saigon is back to its true self again, with showers and short light rains, just enough to moisten the entire passageways.
Occasional floods (Source: Internet)
Within a recent couple of years, frequent floods usually occur as a negative outcome of long-lasting rains. Central routes around Saigon downtown deal with a high level of flooded water from Saigon River.
It's not that long, coming in "just a couple of hours", especially in the afternoon around 5 pm towards midnight.
Where to have fun in HCMC with raindrops?
I would strongly recommend you some hot coffee in a hidden cafeteria at the back of an alley, and of course a boiling hot pot in District 4. Otherwise, some BBQ when the night approaches is fun too. How about a water puppet show or the famous A O Show in Saigon Opera House?
BBQ, everyone? (Source: Internet)
TWO SPECIAL OCCASIONS TO COME OVER SAIGON
Now, you all figure out what the best time to travel to Saigon is! And more specifically, Christmas and Lunar New Year make it even better to enjoy. Tết, or Vietnamese New Year, fills HCMC with enormous spring blossoms, cuisine, and festivals. Don't forget to reach Nguyễn Huệ Walking Street for an absolute "Tết" view. The site is famous for its role as a “street of flowers", with art performances, blossom display, ladies in traditional costumes and music.
Nguyễn Huệ Walking Street when Tết comes (Source: Internet)
For X-mas time, popular big churches in Saigon are decorated with a sparkling "outfit" including neon lights, X-max trees, and stunning candles. The most crowded place must be nothing else but the sensational Notre Dame Cathedral as the biggest Catholic church in the city. This way helps you chase away your homesickness and feel loved when spending this iconic time in Ho Chi Minh City.
A church in Saigon during X-max time (Source: Internet)
In general, the dry season would be the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City. Coming over between December and April brings you a perfect trip. Excursion Vietnam hopes that our short article above helps you a bit to decide when to set foot in this beautiful city. For more useful tips about Saigon, please have a look at our Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide.