Vietnam in September: Everything You Need to Know

Weather & Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in September

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: June 3, 2020

Is Vietnam a good place to visit in September? Where to visit in Vietnam in September?

September is an average month to plan a visit to Vietnam, especially to the Central and Southern destinations. Weather conditions in the North, however, slowly improve towards the end of the month with less rainfall expected. There is still a high possibility of storms in the coastline of Vietnam in September.

In a nutshell:

  • North Vietnam: improving weather conditions, decreasing heat and humidity. Average temperature: 28°C.
  • Central Vietnam: increasing rainfall, high possibility of storms. Average temperature: 28°C.
  • South Vietnam: decreasing rainfall. Average temperature: 28°C.

I. Vietnam’s weather in September

Vietnam weather in September

1. In North Vietnam 

Summer approaches its end and improves weather conditions in North Vietnam in September. It might be hot and humid during the first half of September, while the second half is cooler and drier. As Sapa expects less rain, trekking is again possible in this magnificent mountainous area. Mu Cang Chai’s vast paddy fields will turn to a stunning bright golden color in late September.

2. In Central Vietnam

Rain will be increasing in all parts of Central Vietnam, while temperatures slightly drop to an average of 28°C. Hoi An, Hue and Nha Trang see an increase in rain towards the end of the month. The highlands of Dalat will be very wet, making trekking impossible, while Phong Nha caves might even close due to flooding.

3. In South Vietnam

Summer heat still lingers in the South, keeping temperatures around an average of 28°C. The region remains wet although rain will decrease towards the end of the month. 

II. Events and Festivals in Vietnam in September

Events and festivals in Vietnam in September

September the 2nd is Vietnamese Independence Day. The national holiday is celebrated with national flags hung on the streets and occasionally a fireworks display in the evening. The young generation will seize this opportunity to visit their family in the countryside or travel around the country. Some destinations might be overcrowded if the national holiday lasts a few days (when accompanied with weekends). 

Some other cultural festivals fall in September, including the Mid-Autumn Festival and Ghost Festival. Mid-Autumn Festival is most enjoyed by kids who look forward to joyful lion dances, sweet mooncakes and a feast of fruits. Ghost Festival, on the other hand, honors the ancestors and the dead by offering them food and flowers. Both festivals take place according to the lunar calendar; Mid-Autumn falls on the 15th of August and Ghost Festival the 15th of July.

III. Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in September

Area

Destination

Why you should visit

North Vietnam

Mu Cang Chai

Golden terraced paddy fields

Ha Giang

Golden terraced paddy fields, blooming buckwheat flowers

Hanoi

Lion dances and “com” in Mid-Autumn Festival 

Central Vietnam

Hue

Imperial city, tombs, gardens and Bach Ma National Park

Hoi An

Lantern-lit old houses

South Vietnam

Mekong Delta

Floating markets, orchards and cajeput forests

Phu Quoc island

Kayaking, snorkeling, diving, starfish watching

1. In North Vietnam

Places to visit in the north Vietnam in September - Ha Giang
  • Mu Cang Chai

Terraced paddy fields in Mu Cang Chai will be at their best during September. The vast paddy fields will turn to a bright golden color which glow under the sunbeams. This shows that the fields are ready to be harvested. You will also stumble upon H’Mong mothers working on the fields with a child held by a cloth on their backs. It’s the best place in Vietnam to snap some photos and get to know all about the H’Mong cultural identity.

  • Ha Giang

September is the start of buckwheat flower season, which ends in December. Come in late September to see beds of white-and-pink flowers, blooming to their fullest on the mountains of Ha Giang. Although the festival is celebrated in October, there are plenty of fun activities to do: checking out golden terraced fields, joining the photo exhibition in Dong Van Geopark or shopping at the old market in Dong Van Town.

  • Hanoi

It’s safe to say that Hanoi is beautiful all year round. In September, you will be joining one of the most joyful Vietnam’s festivals in the year, either Ghost Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival. Mid-Autumn Festival is much more fun with mooncake stalls erected all around the city and lion dances parading in the Old Quarter. Mooncakes are absolutely delightful, but make sure you try some “Com” (Cốm), a unique Hanoi’s cuisine. It is basically green rice flakes made from unripe sticky rice, which gives off a very pleasant fragrance.

What to wear in North Vietnam in September:

Summer shirts, loose-fitting clothes, sunglasses are recommended. At an average of 28°C, you can mostly wear any light clothes. Wear hiking shoes if you wish to trek in Mu Cang Chai or Ha Giang.

2. In Central Vietnam

Places to visit in the central Vietnam in September - Hue
  • Hue

As rain is inclined to increase and storms are expected, it’s not the most suitable time to visit Hue. Even though Hue is charming in the rain, it’s best to visit this ancient capital on sunny days. This imperial city is home to numerous palaces, tombs, parks and gardens built in the Nguyen Dynasty – the last feudal dynasty of Vietnam. Make sure you also check out Bach Ma National Park to see azaleas flowers blooming, and Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery for some quiet meditation time.

  • Hoi An

It might rain in the beautiful ancient town of Hoi An in September, so make sure you check the weather forecast in advance. This UNESCO-listed town perfectly preserves the relics of a busy trading history with Japanese, Chinese and even some Western countries. The mixed architecture, lantern-drifting river and mouth-watering Southern cuisines are the best Hoi An has to offer. Getting your clothes tailor-made is another must-try in Hoi An. 

What to wear in Central Vietnam in September:

Summer shirts, loose-fitting clothes and sunglasses are recommended. At an average of 28°C, you can mostly wear any summer outfit. However, a raincoat or travel umbrella is a must-pack!

3. In South Vietnam

Places to visit in the south Vietnam in September - Phu quoc island
  • Mekong Delta

The water level in rivers and swamps in the Mekong Delta will be rising during September, although rainfall decreases towards the end of the month. Lotuses will be blooming to their fullest on the beautiful field of Dong Thap Muoi. Tra Su Cajuput Forest is another sound choice too. Other fun activities in the “land of canals” include riding on the narrow rustic roads, visiting fishing villages, shopping at Mekong Delta’s floating markets and staying in local homes.

  • Phu Quoc island

September is the beginning of the peak season in Phu Quoc island, which ends in March. Phu Quoc will be most beautiful during these months, when rain is less frequent and the sun shines brightly. Apart from walking the white sandy beaches, you can also check out Ham Ninh fishing village and fish-sauce making villages. Scuba diving and snorkeling are all available for those seeking to see colorful coral reefs. Seafood restaurants come in all sizes and prices for your preference.

What to wear in Central Vietnam in September:

Summer shirts, loose-fitting clothes, sunglasses and sunscreens are recommended. A raincoat will come in handy some time.

III. Itinerary for a 12-day trip in Vietnam in September

Itinerary for a 12 day trip in Vietnam in September
Photo: vietnam.travel

The suggested itinerary will be a 12-day trip for a budget traveler moving from North to South. While it’s possible to cover most of the best places we mentioned, feel free to drop one or two to have some extra days in your favorite destinations.

Day

Activities

Day 1

Arrive in Hanoi, stay for one night.

Day 2-3

Visit either Mu Cang Chai or Ha Giang, go trekking, see the buckwheat flowers and terraced fields. Enjoy local cuisines.

Day 4-5

Fly to Hue. Go for a boat-ride, see the imperial city, tombs, and gardens. Visit Bach Ma National Park. Stay for two nights.

Day 6-7

Fly to Danang, travel to Hoi An by bus. Go for a boat-ride, have your clothes tailor-made and stay for two nights.

Day 8-9

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and travel to the Mekong Delta by bus. Go shopping at the floating market and visit cajeput forests. Stay for two nights.

Day 10-11

Fly to Phu Quoc island. Go diving, snorkeling and star-fish watching. Stay for two nights.

Day 12

Fly back home from either Phu Quoc or Ho Chi Minh City.

IV. Tips on Visiting Vietnam in September

1. What to pack:

There are no significant changes in temperatures when traveling north to south. Pack light, basic clothes for summer, a raincoat, insect repellent and sunscreen. Even if you don’t, clothes in Vietnam are pretty cheap and you will easily find some fits without breaking your bank.

2. Hotels and Accommodations:

September is an off-season; you don’t need to worry about hotels being fully booked and overpriced. However, be careful if your itinerary covers Vietnam’s Independence Day, which is on September the 2nd. The destinations will be pretty packed on that day. 

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