Vietnam in September - Too Hot?

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam in September - Too Hot?

1. Posted by kevlarcardhouse (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

So, as a naïve Canadian who gets lost easy and sticks to North America and Europe usually, I went out of my comfort zone last year and took my first solo trip to Asia in the form of Japan and Taiwan . Now that I had a ball last year, I feel more confident about the unknown and am willing to try a developing nation in South-East Asia. Gravitating towards Vietnam because it seems to have the most that interests me (love Asian food, cool hiking spots or signs of nature, and cultural centres, way less interested in nightlife, beaches or ruins). I have two questions about Vietnam.

- How much is the heat and humidity going to effect my pasty white and overly sweaty ability to function in September? At this point it has become clear that I'm never going to get to go on vacation in the Spring in this region of the world so I was originally considering late October. However, I also would really like to see Sapa when there are still either green or yellow rice terraces and I also would like to hang out in Hue and Hoi An and am aware that the further into the Fall we go, the more likely a typhoon would ruin those plans. If I'm someone who definitely prefers things on the cooler side, anyone have any experience and can tell me to just suck it up and bear it or will I spend the whole time begging for mid-October weather? I'm aware that it will be rainy season and I can live with that since, as I said, the alternative isn't dry season, the alternative is never going at all.

- Maybe a dumb question but how easy it is to find transportation on the outskirts? I have a weird knee issue that makes riding a bike a struggle and I am not 100% certain I can handle a scooter in Asia. If I wanted to hang out in a more rural region like Ninh Binh for a couple days, would I find myself stranded if I can't ride a bike to sites that are kilometres apart or is there always another transit option? I can live with an overpriced taxi or ride option, just don't want to find myself unable to go to a place like Trang An unless I bike or walk all the way there.

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

September is the end of the wet season (IIRC it's possible a little longer in the north) so although it's hot, it's not bad by the usual standards for Vietnam.

3. Posted by king_golo (Respected Member 129 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I lived in Vietnam for half a year and arrived in September. I'd say it depends a lot on what you consider terribly hot. For me, it was close to "too much", and I was 24 when I moved there. Then again, adapting to temperatures in the mid 30s (Celsius) and humidity close to 100% is possible and shouldn't take much longer than 2-3 days. If it's too hot, you can always escape to some air-conditioned place like a restaurant or shopping mall. In the evenings, it'll be much more pleasant. With regard to the thunderstorms of the wet season, it's a bit tricky to give you a clear answer. On my first trip, the wet season was over quite soon, thus making the humidity more bearable. On my second trip (also in September), it lasted longer, but there were also some rain-less days. The best is to always drink lots of water and escape the heat if you, personally, feel it's unbearable. Be aware that water should ALWAYS be bought in closed bottles. Don't drink anything with ice in it, as this isn't always bacteria-free. It gave me two days of terrible food poisoning when I was there.

Concerning your second question, you will always find a taxi or a minibus somewhere. As a western traveler, you're likely to be ripped off, though. Ninh Binh isn't exactly a rural area, so there's more than enough tourist infrastructure. It's nowadays forbidden to rent out scooters to foreigners in Vietnam, but as far as I know it still happens now and then. If you don't want to try it out yourself, but prefer a scooter to a taxi, there will be countless motorbike taxi drivers (so-called Xe Om, pronounced "say owm") to take you anywhere you want. Getting a good price will require some bargaining, but it's a fun way to get to know the country. In some touristy areas you will also be able to find tuk-tuks. In any case, as long as a site sees the odd tourist there's always somebody who wants to make money, and the best way to do that is to give people (including Vietnamese tourists) a ride. So don't worry too much, you'll definitely be fine.

By the way, I went to Sapa in late September and saw the yellow rice terraces as you want to, too. It's a majestic sight. In order to fully enjoy it, though, you'll need to do some trekking.

4. Posted by dinhoecotour (Budding Member 53 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Hot and wet. However, it is a good time for Northern VN.

5. Posted by maifootsteps (Budding Member 3 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

when coming to the North of Viet nam, i recommend you visiting ha long bay, Ha giang, trang an-ninh binh besides Sa pa. Those place are really fascinating . You can search for more photos in Instagram. About wheather, i think its all fine. If you cant manage with a scooter there, it will not so convenient while moving. However i think motorbike taxi is available in outskirt or you even can ask help from local. They are really friendly.

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