While the vast majority of tropical/sub-tropical Vietnam will never see snow, there are a few high elevation places that might. So, yes, it can snow here, however, you’ll have to travel north to mainly mountainous regions of the country to witness it, just don’t expect to find any ski slopes or sledding.
You may be able to make a few solid snowballs or snow angels, but just as quickly as the snow falls, it can vanish.
Does Vietnam experience winter?
The weather in Vietnam varies and changes from region to region. So while some areas only experience a dry season and wet season, others have four distinct seasons, including winter. Typically, the farther north you travel, especially during the end and beginning of the year, the more likely you’ll need to wear a jacket and gloves.
Seasons in Central and Southern Vietnam
Cities like HCMC, Nha Trang, and Da Nang stay hot year-round, so it’s basically summer. It’s mainly a wet and dry season to choose from in southern Vietnam. However, you can go up in elevation in places like Da Lat, which would cool down more and see 4-season weather like you’d see in the north in Sapa.
- Wet Season | August – November
- Dry Season | December – June
Seasons in Northern Vietnam
Cities like Hanoi, Lao Cai, and Ha Giang tend to see more evidence of a cooler winter, and shoulder seasons of fall and summer. Like southern Vietnam, they also have a similar wet and dry season.
- Summer | May – September
- Spring | April
- Fall | October
- Winter | November – March
Where can you see snow in Vietnam?
Northern Vietnam is the coldest area of Vietnam. During the winter, you can see snow on the peaks of mountains such as Tam Dao, Sapa, Mount Fansipan, and Hoang Lien Son. While snow isn’t a common occurrence, there are a few special places you can visit in the winter to find some fresh powder.
For those who may not spend a lot of time in the snow, make sure that you pack a warm jacket, scarf, gloves, hat, and boots. Waterproof items are important as snow can melt as fast as it falls. Of course, grab some rice wine to help warm up your insides when you get a little chilly!
Dong Van-Meo Vac
As long as you’re timing is right, you may be able to enjoy up to 5 cm or 2″ of snow in Dong Van-Meo Vac. It’s a gorgeous location to hike during the winter for amazing views of ice and sometimes snow in the area. Many communes in the Dong Van district such as Lung Tao, Pho Bang, and Lung Cu are so cold that in the winter, ice accumulates and there is a potential for snow.
Likewise, Can Chu Phin, Thuong Phung, and Xin Cai, in the Meo Vac District, may be covered in a thin layer of white fluff.
This is one of the best and most popular locations to find snow during the winter, especially from December through January. Sapa is located in Lao Cai Province in northwest Vietnam, at the base of the tallest peak, Fansipan. The best route to the top navigates through the Y Ty Pass, which should provide some amazing views of the mountainous snowfall.
While in Sapa, places such as Heaven Gate and Silver Falls are top choices. Make sure to visit Hoang Lien San Mountain and Bat Xat for some of the best views in the winter.
Mau Son Mountain
With beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, the peak at Mua Son Mountain has snow and fog throughout the winter. Though high up in the mountains, it is less than 19 miles away from Lang Son, which is about 2.5 hours from Hanoi.
Other Wintertime Destinations
The chance to see snow in Vietnam is a magical occasion. However, there are plenty of other locations that showcase a stunning winter wonderland, albeit a snowless one.
While snow is a novelty to see in Southeast Asia, if you’re traveling in the winter season, also consider these destinations.
- Ha Giang Province – Considered to be the most beautiful winter location in Vietnam, Ha Giang’s buckwheat flowers bloom in light pink and cover the hills in early winter. Terraced rice fields on Ha Giang’s slopes are equally as stunning.
- Moc Chau – A flower lover’s paradise. Here you will find red poinsettia, orange sunflowers, white cauliflowers, all on the green hills. Though it may be a little chilly, the dreamlike setting and beauty are worth it.
- Tam Dao – Float in the clouds of this mysterious mountain fantasy town. Said to be even more pretty in the winter, Tam Dao has interesting biodiversity and great views of nature. Spend your day walking around the mountain and make sure to visit the Bac Waterfall and Tam Dao National Park.
- Da Lat – At 1500 meters, Da Lat is a delightful destination in the Vietnam. You’ll certainly be able to feel the cold in this southern Vietnam mountain town.
Vietnam’s beaches and tropical escapes are certainly one of its best attractions, but once you see the tranquil beauty of Vietnam covered in snow, you will have a new love for the country. Make sure you add a winter trip to Vietnam to your must-see list.