Kick off the new year by visiting Ho Chi Minh City in January. The weather’s warm, but not scorching hot, it’s less rainy, and the holiday the Lunar New Year hangs around the corner. It’s a busy time in Saigon, so make your travel reservations well in advance.
Climate Averages in Ho Chi Minh in January
Although January is one of the coldest months of the year in Hoi Chi Minh City, temperatures are still quite pleasant, ranging from as low as 72°F (22.2°C) to as high as 88°F (31.1°C). Out of the typical 11.6 hour-long days, Hoi Chi Minh City receives approximately 7.9 hours of direct sunlight.
January is also characterized by dry weather and low humidity of 72%. On average, the city only receives 15.2 mm of rain over 2.4 rainfall days, so it is very easy to enjoy the warm temperatures without worrying about getting caught in a torrential downpour.
Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh in January
January is peak tourist season and is also a hectic time as locals begin preparations for Tet Nguyen Dan (Tet), also known as the Lunar New Year. Depending on when the date falls, according to the Lunar Calendar, this festival takes place in late-January or early/mid-February on the first day of the first month. The festival typically lasts one week but can last longer depending on if the date falls on a weekend.
Leading up to Tet, the streets of Ho Chi Minh City transform into a festive art display in celebration of this important holiday. Entire streets are closed off to traffic, allowing locals to create beautiful art out of flowers and lights for everyone to enjoy.
At midnight on the eve of Tet, visit one of the six following locations for an excellent view of the annual fireworks display:
- Thu Thiem Tunnel
- Dam Sen Park
- Cu Chi Tunnels
- Rung Sac Square
- Lang Le-Bau Co historical site
- Nga Ba Giong Memorial
During the Tet holiday, visit Chinatown for a traditional dragon dance or stroll along Nguyen Hue Street to admire the annual Flower Festival, in which the street is transformed with stunning flower displays and LED lights.
From the first day of Tet to the fourth day, a Street Book Festival is hosted along the streets of Mac Thi Buoi, Nguyen Hue and Ngo Duc Ke. During this time, thousands of literary works—from books to ancient documents— are displayed to encourage the traditional art of reading.
Tips for Visiting Ho Chi Minh in January
January has some of the best weather conditions for visiting Hoi Chi Minh City, which is why this is the peak tourist season of the year. Visitors can enjoy ample sunlight without worrying too much about unexpected rainstorms, and the weather will not feel as muggy compared to the monsoonal months.
Shorts and t-shirts are certainly appropriate for January’s warm temperatures. Because of the substantial amount of sunlight Hoi Chi Minh City receives during this month, make sure to wear plenty of sun protection and stay hydrated.
Due to the Tet holiday, many businesses and restaurants will be closed to allow locals to spend time with their families. Some hotels may also be closed, and it can be difficult booking transportation as many locals will be traveling home to the countryside to visit their families, however, you’ll be fine.
January is a wonderful time to visit Hoi Chi Minh City to experience the city’s vitality and unique culture, which can be observed throughout the Tet holiday. However, if you’re not a fan of large crowds and busy streets, it may be best to avoid Hoi Chi Minh City during this time and postpone your trip for a later date. Although the city does get remarkably quiet during the heart of Tet because locals retreat to their hometowns to be with family.