By June, the summer monsoon has firmly arrived and this month marks the beginning of typhoon season, but there are still significant regional variations. Northern Vietnam sees marginally less rain than Southern Vietnam (the really heavy rains will follow in July and August), but mountain trekking is off the cards as rain spreads through the mountains and Central Highlands. Temperatures in Northern Vietnam also peak this month at a sultry and very humid 86°F (30°C) average in Hanoi. Mosquitoes are also at their peak—bring plenty of insect repellent.
The beaches and coastal lowlands of Central Vietnam are still in a rain shadow in June, and promise a good deal of sunshine. Temperatures peak this month (averaging about 88°F/31°C in Hue—the warmest part of the country), but rains are still relatively infrequent. If you’re chasing the sun, bring lots of sunscreen and be prepared for crowded beaches, particularly on the weekends, as late June is when Vietnamese families begin their summer vacations.
By contrast, June is one of the wettest months in Ho Chi Minh City and the south, with daily downpours. These typically occur in the afternoon, and you can still expect plenty of sunny and dry daylight hours. After really heavy downpours and prolonged week-long rains, you'll probably experience some flooding in Ho Chi Minh City and other cities, while the South China Sea can be rough, and transportation delays are likely.
However, the clouds and monsoon rains begin to cool things off, with the average temperature dipping to around 82°F (28°C), but highs can still regularly climb into the 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You should plan some backup activities in case you experience long-term rains.
Crowds & Costs
Early June is a relatively uncrowded time, with the lowest number of international visitors of any month. But by mid-June Vietnamese domestic travel takes flight as schools break and families take their vacations, marking the summer high season. If you’re planning a beach vacation, it’s best to do so earlier than later, as beach resorts such as Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, plus the most popular destinations such as Halong Bay get crowded by late June. You’ll need to book your accommodations early to beat the rush. And don’t expect any bargains—prices are at a premium in summer.
Where to Go
Unless you’re unfazed by heavy rainfall and plenty of other visitors, you may want to focus on a beach vacation in Central Vietnam.
This is the only part of the country with more-or-less guaranteed sunny days and blue skies in June. So, pack your towel and sunscreen and head to the beaches of Hoi An, Danang, Nha Trang, or Phu Quoc. And since Hue and Hoi An are also enjoying good weather, throw a little cultural exploration into the mix. Each is a UNESCO World Heritage Site city full of antiquities and fabulous architecture. Don’t fail to visit Hoi An’s Lantern Market.
June is also one of the best times of year to explore Da Nang, Vietnam’s third largest, and perhaps most dynamic and rapidly evolving, city. Your checklist of sites should include the Cao Dai Temple, Phap Lam Pagoda, Cham Sculpture Museum, and the not-to-miss Dragon Bridge, where the dragon sculpture spouts fire every Saturday and Sunday night at 9 pm. It also has excellent beaches, great nightlife, and fabulous dining.
In Northern Vietnam the terraced rice fields are at their most beautiful—lushly green and brilliant yellow-gold with a new rice crop, twinkling in June—the “falling water season”—with cascades of water running from terrace to terrace. The most photogenic places include Mu Cang Chai, Pu Long, and Trang An at the edge of the Red River Delta.
What to Do
June marks the start of Green turtle nesting season on the white sandy beaches of the Con Dao archipelago, off Vietnam’s southern tip. This former prison island is today a national park and marine tourism paradise, providing an opportunity to witness turtles laying eggs (and, later, baby turtles hatching from the sands). The female turtles come ashore between May and October, peaking between June and September. They nest on 14 of Con Dao’s 16 islands, with Bay Cahn Island receiving the vast majority of turtles. Obligatory tours are offered through the national park office. You’ll need lots of patience and good fortune to see the turtles, which can come ashore as late as 2 or 3 am.
Take a sunset cruise on the Thu Bon River, in Hoi An. If possible, time your trip for the middle days of any lunar month, when floating paper lanterns showcase this ancient city at its most picturesque during the Full Moon Lantern Festival. Take time to explore the adjacent streets, when the lights are turned off and thousands of decorative colored lanterns illuminate the old city.
Tet Doan Ngo. Vietnamese celebrate the summer solstice in mid-June. Many towns and villages have festivities, which coincide with the anniversary of the death of Au Co, a mountain fairy considered the mother of all Vietnamese people.
Da Nang International Fireworks Festival. Every June, international fireworks teams put on spectacular displays alongside the Han River on selected nights during the entire month.
Traveling to Vietnam in June? Check out these great itineraries
Vietnam Nature & Culture Tour – 17 Days. Explore the cultural and natural highlights of Vietnam end to end on this 17-day trip, which ranges from trekking in Phong Nha National Park and a boat trip on the Mekong to exploring Ho Chi Minh City by Vespa.
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.