January in Vietnam: Is It a Good Idea?

Wondering if spending January in Vietnam is a good idea? Here’s what you should know!

January marks the beginning of a new year in Vietnam and also signals the start of the dry season across much of the country.

January in vietnam

After several months of rainy weather, January tends to be cooler and drier compared to the preceding months.

However, despite the cooler temperatures and lack of rain, January in Vietnam still offers travelers plenty to see and do.

January in vietnam

This post will provide an overview of what you can expect weather-wise in January in Vietnam as well as some top things to experience during your visit in the first month of the year.

Is January in Vietnam Crowded?

In general, January is considered to be part of the tourist low season in Vietnam.

However, with such a diverse country and various attractions spread across its landscape, the level of crowdedness can still be affected by factors like specific regions, events, or attractions you’re visiting.

January in vietnam

Here’s a quick breakdown of crowd levels in Vietnam during January:

  • North Vietnam: Since it’s winter, you can expect cooler temperatures and less rainfall. Most tourists prefer visiting the region during the warmer months. So it is less crowded in famous destinations like Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Sapa.
  • Central Vietnam: This region experiences slightly warmer temperatures, making it a popular choice for tourists seeking a more moderate climate in January. Popular spots like Hue, Da Nang, and Hoi An might have a noticeable influx of visitors, but it’s still not as crowded as it would be during peak season.
  • South Vietnam: In contrast to the North, the South experiences its dry season from November to April. Consequently, travelers tend to flock to beach destinations like Phu Quoc, Mui Ne, and Nha Trang. You might find these places busier and more crowded during January.

Another important factor contributing to crowd levels in January is the Lunar New Year or Tet Festival.

January in vietnam

This event usually falls between late January and mid-February and is the most significant holiday in Vietnam.

As local people take time off to celebrate and spend time with family, you’ll find popular places, transportation and local markets more crowded than usual.

To sum it up, while parts of Vietnam will be less crowded due to the off-peak tourist season in January, you should take regional climate variations and local events into account when planning your trip.

January in vietnam

What’s the Weather like During January in Vietnam?

In January, you can expect Vietnam to have a mix of climates.

It’s winter in the north, while the south enjoys more warm and dry conditions.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect in various regions during January.

Northern Vietnam: In the north, including cities like Hanoi and Sapa, the weather is cooler and can be quite wet.

You might want to pack warm clothes and a waterproof jacket.

Daytime temperatures typically range from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), and it can get colder at night.

Central Vietnam: The central region, which includes places like Hue and Da Nang, tends to have pleasant weather during January with moderate temperatures and occasional rainfall.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Temperature: 18°C to 25°C (64°F to 77°F)
  • Rainfall: Typically low, with around 60mm of precipitation for the entire month.

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Southern Vietnam: In the south, January is a great time to visit destinations like Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc, as the weather is warm and sunny.

You’ll want to pack light clothing, sunscreen, and a hat. Here’s a brief overview of the climate:

  • Temperature: 27°C to 33°C (81°F to 91°F)
  • Rainfall: Minimal, with an average of just 14mm throughout January

Activities like beach visits and water sports are perfect for the south during January.

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January in vietnam

What to Pack for January in Vietnam

January in Vietnam can be a bit unpredictable, with both cooler temperatures in the north and pleasant warmth in the south.

To make sure you’re prepared for your trip, let’s talk about what to pack for January in Vietnam.


  • Light layers: It’s a good idea to bring a mixture of light layers, such as t-shirts, long-sleeve tops, and tank tops. This allows you to adapt to changes in temperature throughout the day.
  • Warm jacket or sweater: If you’re visiting the north, a warm jacket or sweater will help keep you warm on those cooler days and evenings.
  • Pants and shorts: Pack both pants and shorts, so you have options depending on the weather and your planned activities.
  • Comfortable shoes: Choose shoes that are suitable for walking, as you’ll likely be exploring quite a bit.


  • Umbrella or rain poncho: Rain can be common in January, so it’s best to be prepared.
  • Sun protection: Don’t forget sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen for protection against the sun.
  • Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated during your adventures by bringing a reusable water bottle.

Places to Visit in Vietnam in January

Hoi An

In January, Hoi An is the perfect place to embrace the traditional Vietnamese culture.

January in vietnam

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Ancient Town, with its well-preserved buildings and canals.

For foodies, a cooking class is a must, or simply indulge in the local cuisine at the many street food stalls.

Da Nang

Da Nang offers stunning beaches like My Khe and Non Nuoc, perfect for relaxing or taking a beachfront stroll.

January in vietnam

You’ll also want to visit the Marble Mountains, which features caves, temples, and a fantastic panoramic view of the city.


In Hanoi, you can immerse yourself in Vietnamese history at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature.

January in vietnam

When you’re done sightseeing, warm up with a steaming bowl of Pho and stroll around the bustling Old Quarter.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City attracts visitors for its modern charm and compelling history.

January in vietnam

Make sure to visit the War Remnants Museum, the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, and the bustling Ben Thanh Market for some shopping.

Sa Pa

Nature lovers should head for Sa Pa in the northwest.

January in vietnam

Hike through the incredible terraced rice fields or book a guided trek to visit the local ethnic minority villages. Stay overnight in a homestay for a unique cultural experience.

Nha Trang

Delight in the sandy beaches of Nha Trang, perfect for sunbathing or snorkeling among the coral reefs.

January in vietnam

Pay a visit to Po Nagar Cham Towers, a remnant of the ancient Cham civilization.

Ha Long Bay

You can’t miss a cruise on the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay in January.

January in vietnam

Apart from sailing through the picturesque limestone islands, you can also explore caves, kayak, or just relax on the sundeck of your boat.

Phu Quoc

Round off your Vietnamese journey on the idyllic island of Phu Quoc.

January in vietnam

Indulge in fresh seafood at the night market, sunbathe on Long Beach, or visit the local fish sauce factory to learn about this iconic Vietnamese ingredient.

Festivities and Events During January in Vietnam

January in Vietnam is particularly exciting because there’s a lot going on in terms of festivals and celebrations!

Tết Nguyên Đán

Tết Nguyên Đán, also known as Tết or Lunar New Year, is the most significant and vibrant celebration in Vietnam.

You’ll experience unforgettable cultural events and enthusiastic festivities.

Typically occurring in late January or early February, different regions of Vietnam have unique ways of celebrating.

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Đền Quang Temple Festival

The The Đền Quang Temple Festival is another festival that takes places during January in Vietnam, especially in northern areas like Hanoi.

Taking place from the 3rd to the 6th day of Tết, this event features traditional ceremonies, folk games, and music performances.

Lễ Hội Chùa Hương (Perfume Pagoda Festival)

Lễ Hội Chùa Hương (Perfume Pagoda Festival) in Hanoi lasts two months, starting from mid-January.

Don your most comfortable walking shoes and hike to the Perfume Pagoda, relishing the serene ambiance among the limestone mountains.

The excitement peaks with boat races, a lion dance, and a solemn procession.

Cồ Chi Bình Dị Village Festival

The Cồ Chi Bình Dị Village Festival takes places in Ho Chi Minn on the 12th day of the first lunar month.

The festival showcases exciting events, such as flag dances, lion dances, and dragon dances.

Tips For Spending January in Vietnam

  • Weather check. January in Vietnam can vary greatly in temperature and weather conditions depending on the region. Pack layers to accommodate the varying climate!
  • Arrange accommodations and transportation in advance, especially in popular tourist areas. Remember that are are lots of festivals taking place during January in Vietnam, so it’s best to book early!
  • Look for special discounts and promotions during the holiday season.
  • Be respectful of local customs and culture during the Tết celebration.

FAQs about January in Vietnam

What’s the weather typically like during January in Vietnam?

In January, the weather in Vietnam can vary depending on the region.

In the North, it’s usually chilly with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C. Central Vietnam tends to be mild, with temperatures between 20°C and 25°C.

Southern Vietnam experiences warm weather, with temperatures hovering around 25°C to 33°C. The climate is mostly dry in January, especially in the South.

Any recommendations for top spots to visit in Vietnam at the start of the year?

January is a great time to explore Vietnam, as the weather is cooler and drier.

Some top spots to visit during this time include bustling cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the scenic Ha Long Bay, the ancient town of Hoi An, and the picturesque beach town of Nha Trang.

The cooler weather in the North also makes it a perfect time to trek in the beautiful terraced rice fields of Sapa.

Should I pack a raincoat for traveling to Vietnam in January?

While January is generally dry, it’s always a good idea to pack a lightweight raincoat or umbrella to be prepared for unexpected rain showers, particularly in Central and Northern Vietnam.

Is visiting Vietnam in January a better experience compared to other months?

Visiting Vietnam in January offers you the advantage of cooler and drier weather, especially in the South, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Moreover, the festive spirit of the Lunar New Year, known as Tet, fills the air during this time, offering a unique cultural experience.

What kind of attire is appropriate for the climate in Vietnam during January?

For the North and Central regions, it’s advisable to pack a mix of light layers and warmer pieces like a sweater or light jacket, as the temperatures can range from cool to mild.

In the South, lighter, breathable clothing is appropriate as it stays quite warm. Don’t forget comfortable shoes for walking and sightseeing.

Are there any particular months that are less ideal for a trip to Vietnam?

The climate in Vietnam varies significantly by region, so there may be less ideal months depending on your destination.

Generally, the rainy season (from May to October) might be less appealing for travelers who prefer outdoor activities and sightseeing, as the weather can be unpredictable and roads may become difficult to navigate.

However, these months also offer lower prices and fewer tourists, providing a different type of travel experience.

January in Vietnam: Conclusion

While it may be slightly cooler than other months, the dry season means comfortable temperatures and very little rain to worry about disrupting your travel plans.

You’ll find plenty of cultural activities, festivals, scenic landscapes and more to enjoy throughout January in Vietnam.

Whether you want to explore bustling cities, relax on beautiful beaches, or take in stunning natural scenery, the first month of the year is the perfect opportunity to experience all that Vietnam has to offer.