Clear blue skies, heaps of sunshine, and comfortable temperatures provide a stellar combo, and rainfall is the least of any month.
Central and South Vietnam are blessed with absolutely perfect beach weather, and "summer" is in full swing at resorts such as Danang and Hoi An; basking in sunshine, they average a near-perfect 77°F (25°C) in February. Occasional showers won’t dampen the spirit. Inland, Dalat and the Central Highlands are slightly cooler—perfect for hiking and other adventure activities—so pack a light jacket, especially for evenings.
Further south, temperatures are slightly warmer, averaging 79-86°F (26-30°C) around the resorts of Pan Thiet and Ho Tram, and even warmer around Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong delta. Sprinklings of light rain (usually afternoon showers or short-lived downpours) also help keep things temperate. The really hot, humid weather of wet season is still a few months away. Still, pack a light rainproof along with your shorts and light clothing.
However, temperatures in the north will still be quite cool and frequently overcast, or even misty or foggy, especially at night. Pack a warm jacket, especially for the highlands of Sapa, where the temperature remains cold (averaging 63°F/17°C).
Crowds & Costs
February is high season and is busier than either January or March, drawing plenty of visitors to the beach resorts of central and southern Vietnam while the warm weather and humidity are still comfortable. Northern Vietnam remains cool, with relatively fewer visitors, despite this being the dry season. With Tet (Vietnamese New Year), locals are on the move as they head to their ancestral homes en masse: Most shops, and many restaurants and museums, close for the duration.
Prices for flights to/from Vietnam are, surprisingly, lower than in summer or mid-winter months. The price of accommodations varies only marginally through the year, with prices in February only marginally higher than the annual average. Lodging costs in Ho Chi Minh city can be significantly higher, while February is actually the cheapest month of the year for accommodations in Hanoi.
Where to Go
February is the perfect month for a beach vacation, when the coastal resorts bask in sunshine but temperatures have yet to soar. Pack your sunscreen and beach towel and head to Phu Quoc or Con Do islands, two peaceful tropical paradises off the southern tip of Vietnam. Or combine an exploration of Ho Chi Minh City metropolis with one of the nearby coastal resorts, such as Ho Tram or Phan Thiet.
Adventure-seekers should head to the North of Vietnam, where spring is in the air north of the Bach Ma mountains. The gorgeous upland landscapes are abloom with flowers and the temperatures are deliciously mild for mountain trekking near Sapa and for wandering around Hoi An ancient town. And Hanoi—one of the most ancient capitals in the world—offers a multi-cultural cornucopia, with ancient pagodas, French colonial architecture, unique museums, plus great shopping and the Tet celebration at its most vibrant.
One of the best places to be for Tet (Vietnamese New Year) is Hoi An for its Lantern Festival. Much of the city is adorned with colorful lanterns, with scores of traditional workshops competing to present the most beautiful effect. Immerse yourself in the spontaneous seven-day celebration, which concentrates in the old town. Hire a sampan for a boat ride amid the floating lanterns. And don’t forget to buy a lantern and set it afloat too for good luck.
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What to Do
The waters of the Mekong Delta are high enough that this is prime time for visiting the floating markets, and for sailing trips upriver—a perfect month to experience the languid river life at its busiest, and for admiring the Khmer pagodas and stilted villages set amid rice paddies. Adventure travelers can hitch a ride on a cargo boat, sleeping in a hammock beneath the stars. For greater comfort, opt for one of the many commercial cruise packages from Vinh Long or other river port.
Hue, on the Perfume River midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, is dotted with important and impressive historical sites. Hop on a bicycle (or take a cyclo taxi) and explore like a local. Don’t miss such sites as Vong Canh Hill, with its splendid panoramic views of the city and river; then downhill to the exquisite Tu Hieu pagoda, set amid a pine forest; the tomb of emperor Minh Mang; and the walled Imperial Citadel—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tet, Vietnamese New Year. The year’s most important festival falls between late January and mid-February, lasts a full week, and is celebrated throughout the nation. Many cities have their own unique festivities as part of Tet.
Quang Trung. Drum performances, lion dances, and human chess are highlights of this celebration held at Hanoi’s Dong Da Mound on the fifth day of the first lunar month to commemorate the uprising against the Chinese army of Emperor Quang Trung (Nguyen Hue) in 1788.
Perfume Pagoda Festival. Held immediately following the Tet festivities, this is one of the most significant pilgrimage festivals in Vietnam. It’s held at the Huong Pagoda, the country's most revered Buddhist pilgrimage site, about 40 miles (70 km) southwest of Hanoi.
Traveling to Vietnam in February? Check out these great itineraries
Highlights of Vietnam – 9 days. Visit many of the iconic sites, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and many of its most magical physical settings.
Trekking in Rural Vietnam – 8 Days. Active travelers and those seeking a true cultural immersion will love this 8-day itinerary that focuses on trekking between the villages of Vietnamese hill tribes.