The best times to visit Hoi An

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Last Updated on 3 years by Tam Le Van

Vietnam has a variety in climate because of its thousand kilometers stretch. Interestingly, while somewhere up the North it’s coldy and cloudy, other parts are with lots of sun at the same time. This diversity makes your trip have differences but it causes several problems on the other side, especially the itenerary if travel from region to region. Coming into a destination at right time or not is important due to it decides partly how much you enjoy that place. Balance your length of stay in each city is another thing to deal with too.

Geographically, Hoi An locates in Central Vietnam where the climate has some charateristic unlike two heads of the country: not low-temperatured in last months similar to Hanoi’s surroundings or without tropical storms as same as Saigon. Therefore, that’s wonderful if know what are the nicest periods of the year for planning as resonable as possible.

In order to help you design your Central Vietnam holiday easier, HOI AN LIFE informs of the best times to visit Hoi An as well as noticeable activities during them in this article.

Hoi An weather’s general scene

Hoi An city locates in the tropical monsoon climate area featuring two distinct seasons, the dry and the wet. In other words, general characteristics of the dry season (or hot season) are plenty of high-temperatured days coupled with many sunny hours and high level of humidity. The wet season’s temperature base is lower that previous months and decreases gradually until end of the year. Not like Hanoi capital, Hoi An does not own a cold winter (because dramatic Hai Van mountain pass fences the cold atmosphere from the North). There are numerous strong storms occuring in this period that cause heavy rains and flooding.

The dry season

The dry season in Hoi An stretches from February until late August. The hottest time is often between May and July whose the average number of sunshine-hours is 230. The outside temperature may reach to 39oC  (even higher at sometimes) correspondingly. Because of intense heat, the bulk of holiday makers traditionally avoid traveling to Hoi An this period. If make a trip, people often try to departure in the early morning or when it gets cooler after the sundown.

Regular temperature from February to April is lower and keeps moderately around 30oC. Moreover, sudden natural disasters also rarely happen. As a result, much travel-lovers (especially Vietnamese) make up their mind for a holiday to enjoy atmospheric Hoi An ancient town, charming Cham islands or lounging on the beaches as well as venture into the world of tasty foods.

The wet season

Characteristics of the wet season in Hoi An

The wet season (rainy season) lasts from September to January of the next year. Its temperature downs steadily and at bottom in final months. The average hotness of whole season is 25oC.

The wettest days mostly concentrate in the middle of October and November. During this time, tropical storms cause a super high rate of the rainfall that up to 1.000 mm per month. For that reason, Hoi An gets floood by river water and of course, not much tourists come to visit. The scene is improved in the course of Christmas and New year later.

Throughout ‘break time’ between storms, we still have a couple of bright sunshine days. September contains the largest number making it become one of the best times to visit Hoi An. After November, medium amount of sunny hours downs to 110 hours monthly. There are many no-rainy dates great to hang out but windy. In reality, local people wear winter coach to keep warm when on the streets.

Floods-the special phenomenon of Hoi An wet season

Not every years, we see flooding occuring in Hoi An but the fact remains that it comes many times continously in a single rainy season. When it pours within hours, the city may be widely inundated with a different depth of water. While the flood in city center often is ankle-deep or under that vehicles move free from challenge, countryside lands are covered by water during quite long time. The Old town stands as an exception when its streets get deluged enough for smooth boat trips occasionally. Over here, local authorities made the flooding marks on the house wall to memorize as a part of the history. You may see at Tan Ky old house with several pictures about too.

As inhabitants living near the river, Hoianese knows how to deal with this familiar friend. Depending on how much water moves upwards, riverfront restaurants and stores will plan to stop their business on the ground floor as well as lift things up to second storey. On the other hand, they reserve foods prior to the wet season starts yearly such as sun-dried fishes, rice, dried noodles to cook Pho and Cao lau, etc. Over time, it turns into ‘a tradition’ in cuisine. That is reason why local people do not use fresh noodles for their daily meals and previously-mentioned dishes are unque, representive to Hoi An. 

Hoi An Life advises planning your holiday carefully in ‘flood season’ (October and November), particularly the accommodation. That’s good if pick somewhere positioning not in the ancient town, near the riverside and near rice fields. Taking note of main roads like Hai Ba Trung, Cua Dai streets, the coastal road due to they are usually dry, rich in eating places and well-connected with Da Nang international airport.

The best times to visit Hoi An

February to April

Why period between February and April is awesome?

You may expect for lovely-sunny days, moderate temperature and minimum negative impacts of natural disasters in the course of February to April. That’s reason why it becomes one of the first choices to visit Hoi An. At the time, the city gets completely vibrant by various entertaining outdoor activities and impressive festivals ranging from white sandy beaches to lively ancient town, at both daytime and nighttime. In addition to, neighbour Da Nang city arranges fantastic events worth-to-participate as well.

Not only weather advantages, this period of time brings us other awesome aspects. First of all, general pricing is cheaper and restaurant (especially Western-styled one) plus shop houses are more available than previous phase, span from end of January to early February. It corresponds to Tet Nguyen dan (Vietnamese lunar new year)-the biggest celebration in the year. During its weeks, the cost of nearly everything will be more expensive and the lion’s share of local businesses close. Tourist attractions are also populated by both people from different parts of Vietnam and foreigners. Design your vacation carefully when travel, specifically the budget-related things.

On the other hand, you have the good chance to know more local culture such as special foods served only in Tet, traditional costumes, etc. Secondly, the temperature of time between February and April is not hot like an oven as same as  later period (May to July). It seems that easier to enjoy open-air things to do in Hoi An. 

What to do in Hoi An during February to April

Spend time at beautiful Hoi An’s beaches

Period of time from February to April is the best time to visit Hoi An’s beaches. The city boasts about its fine powdery coastline stretching dozens of kilometers uninterruptedly and an abundance of selections in restaurants, nightlight spots, outdoor activities, etc. An Bang and Cua Dai are two most-visited places for sun-seekers and sea lovers. Notably, they also draw much more Vietnamese tourists during April. Because it is the school break of students, so every family tries their best to arrange a holiday for all members. As a result, such entertainments will be taken place and await you to take part in. See all information about Hoi An’s beaches in our article through http://hoianlife.net/an-ultimate-travel-guide-for-hoi-ans-beaches/.

Explore Cham islands-the best Hoi An’s diving and snorkeling spot

Off the coast, delightful Cham islands is famous for its high-valued sandy beaches edged by rocky cliffs and wonderful marine life under the sea that praised as one of the most ideal spots for snorkeling/diving in Vietnam. If like to reach the archipelago by yourself, you need to get the speedboat boarding from Cua Dai harbour or daily boat ferry for locals. Most tour operators and hotels are able to provide packagaed journeys (commonly with one-day duration). Due to very stable weather during February to April, there is no reason to miss out this paradise on your travel plan. We have an article about Cham islands to help you into the bargain.

A day out in sacred My Son sanctuary

45 kilometers away from Hoi An center, this UNESCO heritage is a complex of plentiful glorious Hindu temples built from 4th to 13rd centuries. Here, you have the opportunity to deepen your understanding about a past state what disappeared and its culture. Buildings in My Son sanctuary showcase the most sophisticated works of art, the most lengthy remnants of Champa kingdom and secrets without certain answer to our modern world. In the dry season (particularly February to April), it becomes the perfect destination for a day out. Read Hoi An Life’s article via http://hoianlife.net/everything-you-need-to-know-about-my-son-sanctuary/ to get everything you need to know about My Son.

Join in featured cultural and culinary festivals
Full-moon festival

Every single month, Le hoi dem ram pho co (Hoi An’s full-moon festival) is arranged on 14th date of Vietnamese lunar calendar. After the sundown, when electric-lights turned off, it’s time for lanterns become the main figure. Pedestrian streets plus old buildings are transformed into a stupendous fashion.

More impressive, the river also is dressed by hundreds of colorful floating lanterns that draw a picture capturing anybody’s heart from the first sights. Plenty of global magazines praised this stunning night scene as one worth-it-admire experience all over the country. Therefore, if travel here for a while, the duration of full-moon festival is the best time to visit Hoi An. We highly recommend taking a night boat ride on the river for the most enjoyable vibes.  

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Hoi An’s full-moon festival date each month in 2020
Hoi An International Food Festival

Organized annually from 2016, the International food festival is another highlight. Last year, it was taken place from 12th to 14th April in Cong vien An Hoi (An Hoi riverside park) and ten leading chefs coming from European and Asian countries in attendance with their talented performances. In three days of this event, you have a chance to taste the bulk of appetizing dishes and take pleasure from Vietnamese music instrument shows at night. Browse its official Facebook page to know lastest information.

Fisherman festival in Hoi An

In sight of local fishermans living in Cua Dai and An Bang beaches area, Le hoi Cau Ngu (Cau Ngu ceremony) in March plays a very crucial role for paying homage to the God of sea (the whale) who saves people from sea accidents. Not only show the gratefullness, they faithfully believe that will have good fish harvests ahead under his patrol. This social custom give us the authentic slices of fisherman life. Take advantage if you are a culture explorer or photograph lover.

Around September

Reasons make September being great time to visit Hoi An

Next best time to visit Hoi An belongs to around September. Its weather gives us wonderful conditions for a holiday because it stands in between when the hottest time phases out and the beginning of rainy season when tropical storms are often not formed or come to the city. Meaning that you will not travel in super hot days like the earlier time as well as windy-rainy like the later period.

September also differentiates to the span from February to April previously. There is much less crowded at any places because the amount of tourist decreases. Specially, various local celebrations are taken place during this including Tet trung thu (Mid-Autumn festival) which is very sought by travellers worldwide. The cultural event provides us interesting things, even more than Hoi An’s full-moon festival monthly or splendid scene looking from must-do boat ride at night.

However, you should take note of its second date (Vietnam’s independence day). Depend on each year, people have one or more days to relax and travel with family making well-known tourism centers bustling again. Among the most famed one, Hoi An is not exception.

Things to do in Hoi An in September

Cycling around Hoi An countryside

Hoi An countryside stands out by vast-windy rice fields, peaceful rural settlements, a bunch of scenic beauty spots, abundance of handicraftsand welcoming people. Is is no wonder when this wonderland has been a popular choice of many adventurers. Its stars are Tra Que vegetable growing village, primative coconut forests and unique basket boat trip in Cam Thanh or tranquil sceneries and traditional crafts in Cam Kim island. During September, the temperature is stable, not too much burning sunshine, satisfying rate of humidity that appropriate to outdoor ventures. Consequently, the month becomes one of the best time to visit Hoi An’s countryside.

At the moment, Hoi An’s cycling tours cover all highlights and more than rides, you have the chance to interact with locals in which too. See our article http://hoianlife.net/the-best-hoi-ans-cycling-tours/ about to know what is the best cycling trip and futher details. 

Watching sunset

It will be a mistake if do not mention the sunset in the list of things to do in Hoi An during September (should combine with others). Come to rice paddies nearby Tra Que village, Cua Dai bridge or anywhere on Bach Dang street or to catch up this special moment during the day.

If looking for a ‘no cover’ place to take photos with brilliant sunrise, Cua Dai bridge offers you wonderful vistas from golden sun reflecting on majestic Thu Bon river. Fisherman boats moving, fishing nets or distant mountains are additional factors to create a fabulous totality. Fascinatingly, it is a good point to witness sunrise too. Make sure you browse Hoi An Life’s article via http://hoianlife.net/the-best-spots-for-watching-sunset-in-hoi-an/ to find out the secrets of the best sunset watching spots.

Hoi An’s Mid-Autumn Festival

In the course of Mid-Autumn Festival, all streets are decorated by colorful lanterns and also the stage for thrilling performances of traditional lion dance. More than that, many houses hang the lucky envelop with money inside at high positions where dancers have challenges if want to take it. The game makes lots of fun, especially to kids and childrens. In common days, it appears within the grand opening of shops due to people believe that will have good luck for their business. Thus, the Mid-Autumn Festival is amid the best times to visit Hoi An.

Traditionally, Vietnamese prepares some kind of cake (all them called as Banh trung thu) varying in the ingredient and must-have five fruits (Mam ngu qua) to invite the ancestors from heaven enjoying the festival with living people. Up to each region, these offsprings may be changed to adapt local natural conditions. If like to try ‘Full-moon cake’, come to Hoi An central market.

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Vietnamese Mid-Autumn festival date each year

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Tam Le Van

Tam is a tour leader and passionate traveler who has beautiful memories over 50 provinces of Vietnam. During the time Corona virus spreads out globally, he decides to become a blogger to share his experiences.
Contacts for work: Levantam0906@gmail.com or (+84) 968009827

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