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Vietnam in May: Fewer Crowds and Better Rates

Discover gorgeous beaches, historic cities and stunning highlands as you go on a trip to Vietnam in May. On top of lower footfall, traveling to the country during this month also means that you can book accommodation and transport at a cheaper price.

Although temperatures start soaring in Vietnam this month, the country sees a mixed bag of weather conditions. While northern and southern parts of the country receive rainfall in May, the beach areas in Central Vietnam, as well as cities like Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Quy Nhon, all benefit from dry and warm conditions - perfect for exploring.

Vietnam Weather in May

A fruit seller in traditional conical hat in Hanoi.
Temperatures in cities like Hanoi can go very high in May, so make sure to pack breathable clothes.

May is the beginning of the rainy season in Vietnam and it is when temperatures and humidity levels start to rise. The average temperature of the country during this time of year is 31℃, although it hits 37℃ inland, in cities like Hanoi. This can be a little too hot for some people, so it is common for travelers to head to coastal areas to get respite from the heat.

There is a good chance of rain, especially in the north and the south of the country, during this month. Both these areas see an average of up to 150mm of rainfall over this period. Also, it is not unheard of for typhoons to hit the country during this time of year, which means you should check out weather reports before catching your flight to Vietnam in May.

Trying to figure out when you should visit Vietnam? For a seasonal overview, browse through our travel guide on the best time to visit Vietnam.

Why Visit Vietnam in May

Mui Ne white sandy beach in Vietnam with footprints in the sand.
Many visitors head to the beach to escape the humid weather and with fewer crowds, you can have an even better time.
A woman choosing between multiple lanterns in Hoi An.
With fewer crowds come better prices, head to Vietnamese markets and maybe you can get a great discount.

Despite variable weather conditions, there are plenty of things to do in Vietnam in May. We have listed a few of them below.

  • Lesser crowds: The great thing about May is that there are way fewer people around. The peak dry season that started earlier in the year has passed and locals are waiting it out until the school holidays of mid-June. All this means that you will most probably have beaches and landmarks to yourself during this time of year.
  • Get discounts: With fewer tourists and the rainy season starting to take hold, there are plenty of deals to be had on accommodation and tours. If you are looking to explore Vietnam on a budget, May might offer you the best bang for your buck.
  • Hit the beach: If you are looking to escape the heat and dodge the rain, head to Hue and Nha Trang for the beaches. It is dry and warm in this area and, more often than not, the heat is not as stifling as in inland cities.

Where to go and what to do

Colorful butterflies in a forest in Vietnam.
May marks the end of the butterfly season so catch a glimpse of these colorful creatures in Cuc Phuong National Park.

Not sure where to go in Vietnam in May? We have got you covered! If you are looking for lush green vistas as far as the eye can see and do not mind a bit of rain, head north to Hanoi in the Red River Delta region. Although some travelers might see the rainy season as a negative, rains really bring this area’s iconic rice fields to life. Carry a waterproof coat and your camera to enjoy beautiful Vietnamese scenery and verdant greenery.

While you are up at the Red River Delta, take a trip to the majestic Cuc Phuong National Park and discover this nature reserve at the end of its butterfly season. Although this reserve has lots of amazing species to discover, if you are traveling during May, you can experience the fluttering wonder of these winged beauties!

If you want to experience a spiritual and cultural wonderland, make sure that you are in Vietnam in early May for the Buddha’s birthday. The exact date changes based on the lunar calendar, but it falls on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, which is normally in the beginning of May. With Buddhism being a major religion in Vietnam, this occasion is a huge deal, with parades, celebrations and plenty of prayers going around.

What to bring

A local woman on her bicycle along a rice field in Vietnam.
While fewer crowds and lower prices may be the advantages of visiting Vietnam in May, you should come prepared for the weather.

Looking for what to wear in Vietnam in May? Depending on where in the country you are planning to visit, you will need different outfits. If your itinerary includes destinations in the north or the south of the country, then waterproof items are going to be an absolute must. If you are heading to the beach, where it is hot and humid, make sure that you pack breathable and lightweight clothes.

Remember to carry long-sleeved garments if you plan to visit temples and monasteries. You will have to cover up while you are in these places, regardless of the heat and humidity.

There are a lot of reasons to visit Vietnam, particularly if you are on a budget and do not mind tropical rains. From crowd-free beaches and temples to verdant rice fields, a trip to Vietnam in May offers an array of options that are suitable for different types of travelers.

Need a hand organizing the itinerary for your May trip to Vietnam? Have a look at our customizable tours to Vietnam, which gives you the chance to meet a local travel expert who will prepare an itinerary based on your requirements. All you have to do is add in your dates along with some quick preferences and our travel experts will do their magic.

Thinking of visiting Vietnam in May. Check out our tours.

Create your custom-made trip to Vietnam

Traveling to Vietnam? Chat with a local travel specialist in Vietnam who can help organize your trip.

  • Brett Seychell
    Brett Seychell
    Travel Expert in Cambodia & Iran
  • Linh Do
    Linh Do
    Travel Expert in Cambodia & Vietnam
  • Jacqueline Nguyen
    Jacqueline Nguyen
    Travel Expert in Cambodia & Vietnam
Our travel experts are recommended by
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Herald Sun
0 Comments We welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.
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Travel Expert in Cambodia & Vietnam
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