Vietnam is a country with a complicated political past, but one that has emerged from its struggles with courage and is now establishing itself as a prime holiday destination to visitors from across the world. From busy, modern cities to beautiful stretches of coastline and rural, rugged landscapes, it’s a location with something to offer every kind of traveller, whatever your interests.
March is one of the best months of the year to visit Vietnam because of the good weather across all regions of the country that means you can get out and explore, wherever you are. Whether you’re backpacking, visiting with a family or living it up in luxury accommodation, Vietnam will never cease to amaze and delight you with everything there is to discover across the country.
Reasons to Visit Vietnam in March
- The weather in Vietnam in March is favourable across the whole country, meaning that you’ll likely experience warmth and sunshine wherever you decide to visit
- March begins to see an increase in tourists coming to the country, but if you travel at the start of the month then you should still see Vietnam when it is relatively quiet
- Numerous different festivals happen in Vietnam in March, offering a great range of opportunities for travellers to engage with local culture
Weather in Vietnam in March
Vietnam is a country with very different climates depending on which area you visit, and whilst there are no dramatic changes in the weather in March, there are still differences in temperature and rainfall across the different regions. You avoid monsoon season in both the north and the south of Vietnam in March, which is one of the reasons this is such a good month to visit.
The north of Vietnam is the coolest part of the country in March, with the average temperature hovering at around 19°C and lots of sunshine and clear skies that provide ideal conditions for hiking. Central and South Vietnam are hotter and more humid, reaching up to 29°C and providing the perfect weather for the beach if you’re staying on the country’s coast.
The average water temperature in Vietnam in March is 26°C, which will feel very warm when combined with the hot weather along the coast.
Clouds and Rainfall
Rainfall varies across the different regions of Vietnam in March, but nowhere sees too much wet weather. Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam usually has only 2 days of rain all month, whilst the north of the country can see over 10 days on average.
There is plenty of sunshine in Vietnam in March, with around 8 hours of bright sunlight each day in the south and central regions of the country. The north will be much more overcast in March, but still experiences between 3 and 4 hours of bright sunshine each day on average.
Where to Go in Vietnam in March
Bai Tu Long Bay
If you’re after some beach time during your visit to Vietnam then your first thought may be the famous Ha Long Bay, but even in March this part of the country can be incredibly busy and crowded as temperatures rise and the weather gets better and better. A great alternative is the nearby Bai Tu Long Bay, which is just as beautiful but far quieter and wilder.
Making up almost three-quarters of the Halong Bay World Heritage Site, Bai Tu Long Bay presents visitors with a range of different islands edged with beautiful beaches and covered in lush scenery. Boat trips, sunbathing and picnics are popular activities in the area, but you can also enjoy snorkelling or kayaking in the water or visit one of the local villages and fishing communities.
The region of Tay Nguyen in central Vietnam is an excellent part of the country to visit in March if you don’t want to frequent the typical tourist traps and are looking to get out and enjoy the warm weather. The area is also often known as the Central Highlands of Vietnam and is famous for its coffee production, and in March the white flowers on the bushes have flowered and look incredibly beautiful.
The city of Buon Ma Thuot is the capital of the region and a great place to base yourself if you want to explore, particularly if you are a fan of coffee as the city is known as Vietnams ‘coffee capital’. Other attractions in the region include the Yok Don National Park, Dray Sap waterfall and numerous villages that are home to a range of different native tribes.
What to Do in Vietnam in March
Visit the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003 because it contains the oldest mountain in all of Asia, which are thought to have been formed 400 million years ago. It’s a brilliant place to enjoy hiking, but the real highlight is the numerous cave systems which formed along with the mountain and provide an absolutely incredible setting to explore.
Hike on Cat Ba Island
If you’re a hiking enthusiast visiting Vietnam then March is the best time of the year to get out and explore the country on foot, and Cat Ba Island is the perfect place to enjoy a walk. Found in the famous Halong Bay, the island is wild and mountainous and has both easy walking trails available and more challenging routes that will require a guide.
Eat Pho Wherever you Go
Pho is an absolute staple of Vietnamese cuisine, and you are sure to try this dish more than once when you are visiting the country and dining out. Consisting of only four ingredients – clear stock, boiled beef, rice noodles and herbs or green onions – it’s nutritious, filling and a little different wherever you go, which makes sampling it more than once a necessity!
Crowds & costs
The start of the high season for tourism in Vietnam is March, so if you are wanting to visit the country without lots of other tourists then you’ll want to plan your trip right at the start of the month to get the best chance of seeing Vietnam in peace. It’s also one of the best months for good weather across the country, meaning that everywhere will get busier as March progresses.
The high season for tourism means an increase in prices for accommodation and travel, so it’s a good idea to book your trip in advance if you want to save some money. March is only the start of the high season however, so most places shouldn’t be too expensive yet.
March festivals & events
Elephant Racing Festival
Vietnam’s elephant racing festival is held in the 3rd lunar year of the country’s calendar and takes place in Ban Don village in the Tay Nguyen region. The elephant is a very precious animal to the people in this region, and the Elephant Racing Festival is a celebration of the creature and its role in Vietnamese history and folklore.
Elephants are raced in groups of 10 as villagers from the surrounding area come to cheer them on and feed the winners of each race. There are also elephant swimming competitions and games of football or tug of war, and the whole event ends with feasting, music and dance.
Phu Giay Festival
The Phu Giay Festival is a celebration dedicated to the famous figure Lieu Hanh, who is one of the Four Immortals in Vietnamese folk religion. Taking place in the first 10 days of the 3rd lunar month, the festival is held in the Phu Giay Temple in the Vu Ban district of the Nam Dinh province and attracts many devotees of the goddess from across the region.
A range of traditional events take place as part of the festival, including a process, praying and offerings, and activities such as cock-fighting, wrestling, folk singing and dancing.
Frequently asked questions about Vietnam in March
What season is it in Vietnam in March?
Vietnam is a country that experiences vastly different weather depending on which part of it you are visiting, so you can expect different seasonal weather in March dictated by your location. In the north of the country, you’ll get typical winter/spring weather during the month, whereas central and southern Vietnam will be hotter and warmer.
Is it OK to wear shorts in Vietnam?
When visiting Vietnam it is important to remember that the country is quite a conservative place, so dressing appropriately is encouraged. Attitudes are more relaxed in larger cities, but you should avoid wearing very short shorts and any other revealing clothing when you’re out and about, particularly in more rural areas.
No matter the length or purpose of your trip, Vietnam is a fantastic destination to explore if you’re looking for a unique experience of a country that has an incredibly rich history and culture. Many people are surprised at the variety of different locations and experiences that are found across the country, and it’s rapidly growing in popularity as a holiday destination every year.
To avoid the monsoons that hit the country in the rainy season and the muggy humidity that descends in the summer, March is a brilliant time of the year to visit Vietnam and enjoy its scenery, history, culture and atmosphere.