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This presents a satisfying contrast: swim in the sea at Mui Ne in the morning and be wrapped up warm by the fireside in Dalat by evening.The highland pine forests are dry and fragrant – again offering a good chance for camping – and, with the coffee harvest over, the scent of coffee blossom fills the air.A plethora of cultural sites also provide a welcome distraction from the intensity of the weather.On the other hand, the ‘scale’ of weather at this time of year is an attraction in itself: massive heat, cathedralic thunderclouds and violent rains are exciting aspects of visiting an exotic tropical country.As a long, narrow country – with a spine of mountains to the west, a curving coastline to the east, and flat river deltas in the north and south – Vietnam’s weather is anything but predictable.The following guide will help you decide when and where to go.Southwest of Hanoi, the warm clear weather makes a wonderland of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Cuc Phuong National Park, Mai Chau, Thanh Hoa and Ninh Binh provinces.I call this area ‘The Limestone Valleys‘ because meandering rivers cut through steep, forested limestone hills.
Monsoon rains also have a romantic appeal for me, as do the magnificent skies that the rainy season brings.
There’s something inherently life-affirming about endless blue skies and the warmth of the sun on your skin: I take a road trip along the southern coast every year, during the Tet Lunar New Year holiday (January/February), and each time I do, it fills me with joy.
It’s not only the coast that basks in southern sunshine at this time of year: the Central Highlands are at their best during the winter months.
Having travelled to all of Vietnam’s 63 provinces, I’ve put together this personal guide to where in Vietnam I would most want to be at different times of the year.
I love weather, and it’s a fundamental consideration for me when planning when and where to go.
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Many people assume that Vietnam is bathed in tropical sunshine year-round, country-wide.