is located between 9 and 23 degrees north. Eastern Vietnam
has a long coastline on the Gulf of Tonkin and the South
China Sea. It has a tropical monsoon type of climate; from
May-Sep the south monsoon sets in, and the country is
dominated by south to southeasterly winds. From Oct-April,
the north monsoon is dominant with northerly to
northeasterly winds affecting the country. There is a
transition period between each monsoon season when winds
are light and variable.
The country is mountainous in the northwest and in the
central highlands facing the South China Sea, with peaks
reaching up to 8000ft (2450m) In the north around Hanoi
and in the south around Ho Chi Minh City, there are
extensive low-lying regions in the Red River delta and the
Mekong delta respectively.
Vietnam has a single rainy season during the south monsoon
(May-Sep). Rainfall is infrequent and light during the
remainder of the year. Rainfall is abundant, with annual
rainfall exceeding 1000mm almost everywhere. Annual
rainfall is even higher in the hills, especially those
facing the sea, in the range of 2000-2500mm.
For coastal areas and the parts of the central highlands
facing northeast, the season of maximum rainfall is during
the south monsoon, from Sep-Jan. These regions receive
torrential rain from typhoons which move in from the South
China Sea at this time of the year. The weather at this
time is cloudy with frequent drizzle.
During the north monsoon, northern Vietnam has cloudy days
with occasional light rain, while southern Vietnam tends
to be dry and sunny.
Temperatures are high all year round for southern and
central Vietnam; but northern Vietnam has a definite
cooler season as the north monsoon occasionally advects
cold air in from China. Frost and some snow may occur on
the highest mountains in the north for a few days a year.
In the southern Vietnam, the lowlands are sheltered from
outbreaks of colder northerly air and the dry season is
warm to hot with much sunshine.