Vietnam in October experiences both autumn and monsoon. Neither too hot nor too cold, the weather is fine for every traveller. It is one of the peak times to visit North Vietnam and Central Highlands for hiking and other recreational activities. Although Central Vietnam and some parts of South Vietnam are affected by monsoon and typhoons yet many alluring destinations in the North promise pleasant weather, especially the rural areas of Vietnam. Stay till the end of the article to know about the breathtaking attractions and beauty of Vietnam in October.
Weather in Vietnam in OctoberOctober marks an end to the monsoon and welcomes autumn in Vietnam. In October this South-Eastern Peninsula is moderately affected by Southeast Monsoon leading to wet weather in Central Vietnam and less amount of rainfall in South Vietnam. North Vietnam gets clear skies making highlands worth visiting. The average temperature of Vietnam remains around 25°C this autumn month and average humidity level is 90%.
Northern Mountain Region
October is the end of the wet month in the northern mountain region hence trekking is open once again in SaPa and Ha Giang. October marks a peak month to visit SaPa and areas around Mu Cang Chai. This is the month when golden rice crops sway under light showers of rain and are ready to be harvested. Occasional drizzling occur but Sun appears equally hence the weather is not bad. The average temperature remains around 26°C. By the end of the month, the temperature starts to drop.Northern Vietnam
By October, North Vietnam is at the end of the monsoon phase with an average temperature of 25°C. Outdoors have plenty of warmth which tends to decrease by the end of the month. All the major cities in North Vietnam are good-to-go in the fall season. Hanoi and Halong Bay are great to explore under the soothing weather.Central Vietnam
Central Vietnam experiences northeast monsoon in October at its peak. Central Vietnam has 24-27°C average temperatures with large amounts of rainfalls. Along with stormy weather, prolonged rains may cause floods in the coastal region. Dalat and Central Highlands become less affected by month’s end making outdoor sights possible while Hoi An, Phong Nha may get floods. Central Vietnam is prone to typhoons in autumn.Southern Vietnam
During October, rains affect South Vietnam less than the monsoon months, with an average temperature of 27°C. Southern beach resorts dazzle under the warm sun, visiting Phan Thiet & Mui Ne, and the islands of Phu Quoc & Con Dao will be fruitful. The end of the month is a good time to visit the Mekong Delta after a long wait of six months. October is also the month of Green Turtle's first hatchlings on Con Dao island.
Events and Festivals in Vietnam in October1. Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival)
Tet Trung Thu is the mid-autumn festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month every year. This festival is mainly for children to engage in various cultural dances and arts, and is also known as the festival of harvesting crops. The history of celebrating the festival is related to Emperor Duong Minh Hoang’s visit to the moon via Dien Phap Thien’s magic. The Emperor enjoyed the heavenly atmosphere and performances by the fairies on the moon. After he came back on Earth, he decided to celebrate the 15th day of the 8th lunar month under the moon and decorate houses and streets with lanterns.
Star-shaped and Carp-shaped lanterns, Vietnamese mooncakes, traditional dances, mini-contests for children, and their cackles adorn the atmosphere of Vietnam. The major activities of the festival include worshipping the God of Earth (farmers and their families thank God for a successful harvest), funny-mask making, glittering star-shaped lantern making and processions, traditional dragon and lion dances, family gathering and making offerings to their ancestors, enjoying mooncakes together. Travelers can visit Hoi An to have a spectacular view of the streets and around the Japanese Covered Bridge on full moon night to enjoy the lantern lighting.2. Cham Kate Festival
Cham Kate Festival is an important festival of the Cham ethnic group which is held in Ninh Thuan Province from the 30th day of the 6th month to the 2nd day of the 7th month according to the Cham calendar (around the end of September and the beginning of October). The festival comprises commemorative rites, remembrance of national heroes, offerings to deities, cultural art performances, processions, and prayers for health, happiness, and abundant crops.
The festival takes place in Po Inu Nagar Temple in Ninh Phuoc District. Visitors can witness the festive aura here by attending the second day of the Kate Festival. Traditional art performances include Apsara dance, Ginang, and Paranung drum-beat, Saranai triumph while there are numerous competitions like weaving contest, carrying water jar on one’s head, football, singing.3. Hoi An Lantern Festival
Spectacular night view on the 14th night of every month in Hoi An, Vietnam is worth experiencing as the city celebrates the festival of lights. Lighting lanterns are considered to be good luck and fortune charm in Vietnam. Hoi An lantern festival is considered to be an incredible moment to follow the rituals of worshipping the deceased relatives. The festival not just brings closeness and happiness but is a wise method to save electricity.
Visitors and locals gather at An Hoi Bridge and on the banks of Hoai River as the sunset begins, to enjoy the luring food of Vietnam. The view is the best at the ancient town area of Hoi An where natives light paper lanterns around 9 pm and hang on streets, bars, shops. Families give each other presents like flowers, foods, and fake money in the belief of future prosperity. The streets are sparkled with musicians, instrumentalists, poetry readings, and mini craft classes for kids too. Traffic is prohibited in the area allowing hassle-free movement. Not to worry if you are vegetarian as there are numerous vegetarian foods and mouth-watering snacks to grab.
Places to Visit in Vietnam in October
Why visit in October? What are the things to take care of?
- October almost marks an end to beach time and reopens the opportunity for hiking and other recreational activities in North Vietnam, especially in Hanoi, Sapa, Mu Cang Chai and Halong Bay. Overall, it is a picturesque month in rural areas of Vietnam.
- In Hanoi ‘milk flower’ blossoms and brims the streets with its unique scent. Tourists can plan to visit Hanoi around the Lantern festival to witness beautiful flower beds decorated on the streets along with colorful signboards.
- October attracts foreign tourists towards North Vietnam and some parts of South Vietnam still you can expect low airfares and cheap prices of hotels and accommodations but not in Hanoi.
Below is the list of the cities, places from North Vietnam to South Vietnam to visit in October.
Located in the Northwest Mountain region of Vietnam, this beautiful town SaPa has various small villages. SaPa is cool with an average temperature of 17°C but autumn winds make the surroundings more beautiful in October. There might occur drizzling but 4-5 hours of sunshine and fresh air make October the best month for trekking in Sapa.
Travelers must visit the ‘SaPa museum’ and ‘Cat Cat Village’ (one of the oldest villages of Sapa) to learn the history of people here and ‘Cloud Yard’ to compliment the beauty of clouds. SaPa gives an opportunity to hike Vietnam’s Highest Peak ‘Mt. Fansipan’ whose viewpoint is called Heaven's Gate. Not just this, visitors can do boating on SaPa Lake, have warm beverages, and taste the local cuisine or delicious desserts in restaurants. You can buy handicrafts from SaPa Market or visit ‘Ta Phin Village’ to witness Communal Church Singing - a marriage tradition. 3 or 4-star hotels are available at cheap rates in June, book your stay, and enjoy the beauty of hills.
- Other popular attractions include Fairy Cave, Silver Waterfalls, Tram Ton Pass, Muong Hoa Valley, Muong Khuong Bird Market.
2. Mai Chau
Mai Chau is a northwestern mountainous district in Hoa Binh Province. October is the peak tourist month in Mai Chau when the average temperature hovers around 28°C. Although there isn’t much to explore here yet, the peaceful and colorful environment of Mai Chau (home of Thai ethnic groups) is worth visiting in autumn. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is good for hiking and if you want to enjoy snow go for Deo Thung Khe. Stilt houses are the noteworthy architecture of the Mai Chau district.
- Other popular attractions include Go Lao Waterfall, Chieu Cave, Thung Ke Pass Flagpole.
3. Mu Cang Chai
Mu Cang Chai is a northwest mountainous rural district in Vietnam that creates jaw-dropping scenery in October which is a fall season here. You will see ready-to-harvest golden rice crops swaying proudly on the terraces. This is the high time to know the lifestyle of Mong Ethnic farmers.
Mu Cang Chai consists of many small villages having beautiful terraces and weather. Khau Pha Pass, called ‘Sky’s Horn’ develops magnificent scenery. There are other small villages in the city to visit to adore the beauty of paddy farming and to experience their local culture by the homestay. A visit to Mu Cang Chai is incomplete without visiting two of its breathtaking waterfalls - Mo and Phu Nu waterfalls. Mu Cang Chai has its market too.
- Other popular attractions include Ba Nha Bridge, Mam Xoi Hill, Kim Noi Village.
4. Ninh Binh
Located in North Vietnam, Ninh Binh Province is famous for its Karst Landscape in Tam Coc. October is one of the best seasons to visit Ninh Binh because it is the rice harvest season. Hire a boat to see the limestone cliffs in Tam Coc, this two-hour excursion takes you through three natural caves - Hang Ca, Hang Hai, Hang Ba. A journey of about five hundred steps to the ancient temple on the hilltop - Hang Mua will lead to a panoramic view from Tam Coc. Do not miss Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest pagoda in South East Asia. Van Long Nature Reserve is the place for keen birdwatchers and nature lovers as here you can spot local flora and fauna. Apart from all this, Ninh Binh offers a three-hour train ride “Reunification Express” (not an official name of a train) that takes you through the coastline of Vietnam from North to South.
- Other popular attractions include Hoa Lu, Trang An, Phat Diem Cathedral, Ken Gha.
5. Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh Province
In October, biodiversity is great in Cuc Phuong National Park located in Ninh Binh Province. You can trek through a grass jungle and observe ancient trees and a rich variety of flora and fauna. Vietnam’s oldest national park includes the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre where Monkeys, Langurs, and Gibbons were rescued and kept and the Turtle Conservation Centre. There is a Cave of Prehistoric Man where centuries-old skeletons, tools are preserved. Families must not miss a trip to the national park. Do not forget to apply mosquito repellent and wear good hiking shoes.
Hanoi is the only capital of a country that isn't its largest city. Capital of Vietnam - Hanoi, is a place for every traveler. Hanoi’s weather in October is warm with a cold breeze when you can witness autumn. October is a peak month to explore Hanoi and to witness the blooming of ‘Milk Flower’ or Alstonia scholaris. Definitely taste ‘Com’ - green colored rice flake which originates from Vong Village. People in Hanoi give tribute to Ly Cong Uan King (who chose Hanoi as Vietnam’s capital over ten centuries ago) on the 10th of October.
From several historical museums to underrated monuments to extravagant nightlife, Hanoi offers everything all together. There’s a lot to do in Hanoi, in the morning travelers can visit historical sites and enjoy markets to save the nights for the view of Old Quarter Hanoi at weekend and Hoan Kiem Lake for a boat ride. Where St. Joseph’s Cathedral and OnePillar Pagoda are major sites for worshipping, there are Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi Opera House, Thang Long water puppet Theatre, Temple of Literature, Tran Quoc Pagoda that reflects Vietnamese culture. If you love museums you should not miss the National Museum of History, Vietnamese Women’s Museum and Hanoi Museum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, and Thủy Cung Times City which is an aquarium. Families can visit Thu Le Zoo, Union Park, Hanoi Botanical Garden. To buy souvenirs, gifts, and to taste Vietnam’s cuisine, night markets are the best so hit Hanoi Night Market, Long Bien Market.
- Other popular attractions include Hanoi Train Street, Cau Giay Park, Dong Xuan Market, Rose Park, Smiley Ville, Lotte Observation Deck, Long Bien Bridge, Ba Vi National Park, Perfume Pagoda.
7. Ha Long Bay
Halong Bay located in North Vietnam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so there’s much to explore and spend a soothing October here. The weather starts to cool down with fewer sunshine hours yet no daily downpours, so it isn’t a great time to get tanned on beaches and islands. Near the end, nights become chilly. Nevertheless, travelers can go for a cruise, swimming, cooking classes. It is a good month for kayaking and snorkeling.
There are caves to explore and floating villages to visit. Halong City (divided into East HaLong - Hon Gai and West HaLong - Bai Chay) in the North part of Halong Bay has an artificial beach 'Bai Chay Beach’ and a Bai Chai Market to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, gifts, or souvenirs. Amongst islands, Dau Be Island is famous for diving and swimming, Dau Go Island for its large and colourful caves and Fighting Cocks Island for its sunset view when purple-red colour sets across the sky and two large rocks in water appear as two fighting cocks. You can enjoy the top view of islands from seaplane rides as well. To enjoy the quieter part of Halong Bay, visit Lan Ha Bay renounced for white sandy beaches. You can enjoy swimming, rock climbing, sea kayaking, and visit Cai Beo Floating Village.
- Other popular attractions include HaLong Queen Cable Car, Sun World Halong Complex, Stacking Rocks, Tuan Chau Island, Cannon Fort.
8. Cat Ba Island, Halong Bay
Cat Ba Island is one of the most amazing and highly visited Islands connected to HaLong Bay. October is one of the less crowded months in Cat Ba Island and the best to visit if you love monsoon; the average temperature is around 26˚C. Although there are frequent and short-lasting rains in October, cancellation of voyages is rare. Also, in October, tourists can enjoy the splendid scenery by booking accommodations at low prices.
There are three famous sand beaches- Cat Ba 1, 2, and 3, enjoy the time under the sun or swim in the water. If you want to explore caves, visit Surprise Caves to enjoy the colorful atmosphere, Hospital Cave to learn how this secret hospital functioned during the Vietnamese War, Trung Tran Cave. There’s Cat Ba Island Resort which offers a water park and spa centers. Cat Ba National Park is home to native Cat Ba Langur, 1500 plant species, and over 280 fauna species, commonly seen mammals include civet, deer, macaques, and squirrels. Apart from going on a cruise and enjoying the beach, visitors can take part in Yoga Classes which is a popular activity here. To experience the raw culture of Cat Ba visit Viet Hai Village.
- Other popular attractions include Dinh Lagu Lam, Cat Ba Archipelago, Monkey Island.
9. Da Lat
Da Lat, a city in Central Vietnam is recognized as a garland of flowers where the average temperature remains 23-degree celsius in October. Travelers get to enjoy the pleasant weather with light drizzling, adorning flowers everywhere.
Da Lat showcases French Colonial times which can be explored in Colonial Palaces - Da Lat Palace I, II, III. Truc Lam Temple - Zen Buddhist Temple and Linh Phuoc Pagoda are the best places to adore the art along with worshipping. Get crazy in the Crazy House, a guest house with weirdly interstitial architecture. Natural beauty can’t be skipped in Da Lat, route your tour towards Datanla Waterfall, Valley of Love, Clay Tunnel, Elephant Waterfalls, Xuan Huong Lake. Not just this, the city offers specialized gardens - Dalat Flowers Garden, Zoodoo Garden, Giant Pumpkin Garden, Lavender DaLat Garden, Maple Leaf Garden. There’s plentiful flowers, fruits, fruit candies, coffee beans, vegetables to buy from DaLat central market. DaLat is a magnet for photographers to capture the flowery surroundings and spectrum cloudy sky.
- Other popular attractions include Dalat Railway Station, Clay Tunnel of DaLat, Smurf Village, Dalat Heaven Gate, Prenn Waterfall.
10. Ho Chi Minh City
In the Southern part of Vietnam, Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in the country. Travellers visit here every year majorly for diverse cuisine, magnetic nightlife, french architecture, and fascinating skyscrapers. This major city offers spectacular enjoyment spots - Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon, Chu Chi Tunnel, and Buddhist Cultural Theme Park. Hit ‘Ban Than Market’, ‘Binh Tay Market’, ‘An Thong Market’ for shopping. The night is alive in Saigon through rooftop bars, lush nightclubs, casinos, music bars, and Ben Thanh Night Market.
- Other popular attractions include Artinus 3D Art Museum, September 23rd Park, Tao Dan Park, Ngoc Hoang Pagoda, Cao Dai Temple.
11. Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island lies in Southwest Vietnam apart from the mainland. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is the largest island of Vietnam with its international airport. October is the beginning of peak tourist season in Phu Quoc as rains fade away and the beaches dazzle in the sunlight.
There are four major beaches - Bai Sao (silky white sand beach with starfishes spotted in crystal water), Hon Xuong Beach (white sandy small beach, perfect for snorkeling), Starfish Beach (white sand beach with floating eateries, red sea starfish being a picturesque) and Bai Truong also known as Long Beach. Long Beach is the main stop-spot for visitors because of the yellow sand, sailing, swimming, snorkeling, and beach massage. Apart from this, there is Phu Quoc National Park and Suoi Trang Waterfall which offer the perfect time for camping, trekking.
The island is distributed in three different parts, out of which the downtown Duong Dong is highly visited for shopping. Duong Dong offers Duong Dong Market and Dinh Cau Night Market from where travelers can buy souvenirs, pearls, funky jewellery, and eat delicious seafood. Do not go back from Phu Quoc without buying the world's best fish sauce and Vietnam’s tastier black pepper.
- Other popular attractions include Vinpearl Safari, Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park, Trúc Lam Ho Quoc Zen Monastery.
12. Can Tho
Can Tho is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam. Famous for its floating market, Can Tho has a temperature around 31 degrees celsius in October when nights can be warm and sticky nevertheless it's a good month for travelling. Different-sized boats are adorned with vibrant flowers and fresh fruits in Cai Rang floating market. Some of the tropical fruits include dragon fruit, durian, jackfruit, pomelo. So, if you are a vegetarian or a botany lover, this is a place to visit in August.
Can Tho Bridge, Mai Khanh tourist village, Bang Lang Stork Garden are some of the outdoor attractions. The city also offers historic art displays at Binh Thuy ancient house and Can Tho Museum. Can Tho has tremendous sites of worshipping - Nam Nha Pagoda, Binh Thuy Temple, Quang Duc Pagoda.
- Other popular attractions include Kai Khe Market, Phong Dien Floating Market, Can Tho Cathedral, Ninh Kieu Park, Luu Huu Phuoc Park.