When is the best time to visit Saigon?
Saigon (also formally known as Ho Chi Minh City) is the largest city in Vietnam according to its population. It was also once called the Pearl of the Orient. Saigon has a delightful climate and almost never has any natural disasters that other cities in Vietnam have.
Besides the pleasant weather, Saigon offers many different attractions to offer. From beautiful scenery to breathtaking monuments. The city embraces a unique atmosphere and dynamic city life.
If you are thinking of visiting Saigon, you should know when the best time to visit is. Of course, there is no “right” answer on when it is better or not to travel. However, there are a few tips on when you will have the most fun experience.
According to the weather
The climate in Saigon is pretty much built around two seasons: the dry and wet.
Most travelers suggest that the best time to visit Saigon, according to this climate, is the dry season. This season starts from December and lasts until April. During this period, the weather in Saigon is the hottest. The average temperature is 28°C (82 °F).
It is advised to travel during this time since the climate is more agreeable during the dry season. The lowest temperatures reach to 16°C (61 °F) in late December. So it isn’t that cold to have fun. During this time you can celebrate the end-of-year occasions such as Christmas and New Year, which are spectacular events to take part in when in Saigon.
The wet season isn’t that bad either, although travelers do prefer the dry season more. If you are a person who enjoys a little rain now and then, then the wet season would be a great option for you. It begins from May and lasts until November and has a lot of humidity and rain. There are also a lot of other celebrations that you can take part in during this time.
To put it shortly, travel between December and April to enjoy the climate better. If you are traveling on a budget and don’t mind the rain, then the best time would be to visit Saigon from May to November.
According to events
Of course, sometimes you can’t decide solely on the weather. Saigon offers some fantastic events throughout the year. Here are some of the best celebrations to help you choose when to visit Saigon.
Tet Doan Ngo
This event is a beautiful festival which usually happens in June.
During the holiday, locals make different offerings to prevent diseases and avoid evil spirits. The Vietnamese believe that when the season change from spring to summer, you can easily get sick.
During the festival, there is a day of “killing insects.” On this day, everyone needs to get up early in the morning and eat fermented sticky rice accompanied with some fruits.
Like many other festivals, there is also worshiping, the main one happening at noon. What many travelers find interesting is that the Southern Fruit Festival coincides with this celebration.
King Hung’s Commemoration
This event is dedicated to the 18 Hung kings who served throughout the history of Vietnam.
On the 10th day of the 3rd Lunar month, locals in Vietnam celebrate the day by remembering them and paying tribute to all of the kings.
Although it is mostly celebrated in the northern part of Vietnam, you can also visit a temple at Suoi Tien Park in District 9 to see locals pray and offer food. What’s interesting is that this temple is also an amusement park. You can take part in a lot of activities during the day instead of just focusing on the purpose of the celebration.
Being a religious holiday, the birthday of Buddha is celebrated on the 15th day of the fourth Lunar month. Locals in all of Vietnam celebrate this occasion quietly and by praying in various temples. In Saigon, the Nghia An Hoi Quan Pagoda in Cho Lon (District 5) is the best temple where you can observe how people celebrate this day.
Just like many countries, Vietnam also has an independence day.
Locals in all of Vietnam celebrate this occasion on the 2nd of September. Vietnam declared its independence from France in 1945.
You can still see many monuments which have a French influence in Saigon since it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina. In 1976 Saigon changed its name to Ho Chi Minh City in memory of the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.
In Saigon, locals put up flags, shut off roads and more. They put on a small but beautiful fireworks display and have a street party.
Christmas and New Year’s Day
Even though Christmas isn’t a public holiday in Vietnam, you can still feel the festive spirit in the streets. Shops put up Christmas decorations, and the Opera House’s main area is covered in bright luminescent lights. New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st and has a lot of holiday spirit as well.
This is also known as Tet Nguyen Tieu and is help on the 15th day of the first Lunar month. The Chinese community mainly celebrates this occasion, but it is nevertheless a spectacular event. You can see lanterns of many colors, drums, art displays, street performances and much more. Local families also create their beautiful lanterns and put them on display outside. It is indeed a very magical festival to be part of.
It all depends on which time of the year you feel most comfortable visiting Saigon. You might like visiting during a particular event or only when the weather suits you. Whichever choice you make, we can guarantee it won’t be a wrong one. One thing to have in mind is some risks that are related to your visit. One of these risks being any medical issues. It is important to have insurance that can cover any unexpected medical emergencies.
None the less, your stay in Saigon is sure to be an enjoyable and exciting one. So plan, pack your bags and start your journey to Saigon.