Best time to visit Sapa & the rice fields

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Traveling during the best time to visit Sapa is crucial, because it can effect your experience immense. During some months there are no beautiful rice fields, other months it rains a lot and again another period it can get very cold. Researching about the weather in Sapa is for that reason important, to make sure you bring the proper clothing and know what to expect.

Best time to visit Sapa

The best time to visit Sapa is from March to May and September to November, with September as the absolute best month. This is the month the rice is ready for harvest and the terraced rice fields are the longest with stunning yellow and golden colors.

Sapa best time to visit infographic

Monthly weather in Sapa

Weather per month

January10 °C23 mm
Februari11 °C30 mm
March14 °C100 mm
April17 °C140 mm
May21 °C265 mm
June21 °C307 mm
July21 °C461 mm
August21 °C430 mm
September20 °C268 mm
October16 °C91 mm
November14 °C56 mm
December11 °C26 mm

Check the current weather reports via accuweather.

Sapa weather in Brief

  • March – May: Perfect weather – warm and dry – perfect for trekking and outdoors activities
  • June – August: Rainy weather and lot of Vietnamese tourists
  • September November: Cool and dry weather – perfect for photos and trekking
  • December – February: Cold winter but few tourists.

Spring in Sapa – March to May

Spring is from early March up to late May. The months are getting warmer and nice after a cold winter. The landscape looks greener than other seasons, making it a perfect time for a trekking. Enjoy amazing views while you are hiking in the mountains with perfect temperatures; not too hot and not too cold. Big change the sky is clear and you have great photo opportunities.

In additional to the nice weather and green landscapes, it is also cherry blossom season. Along the road, entire fields and gardens you can see lots of white and pink flowers that bloom.

Summer in Sapa – June to August

The summer month, June, July and August can get very hot. Temperatures can climb during the day time to 25 degrees. It can also rain a lot almost every day. While the rain only lasts for an hour our two, it is so heavy that it will quickly turn the paths and dirt roads into muddy trails. The heat and rain makes a trekking in Sapa not very pleasant.

Having that said, the landscape is very green and rice fields are growing during the summer months. Also during the rainy season and right after, the waterfalls in Sapa are at its best, with a high volume of water running down the mountains. So during summer you will still be able to enjoy stunning views.

Even though the summer is not the best time to visit Sapa, there are curtain days that the town gets more busy, especially during the weekends. Many Vietnamese travel during in the summer period as their children are off from school.

Autumn in Sapa – September to November

With the rain getting less and less in September, trekking as well as getting around becomes easier and more fun. During the day time is can still get quite warm, but the heat during the summer months will be over. September and October are also the months of the harvest season. This is the time that the rice fields in Sapa are at their best. You will be able to see the golden rice fields wind through the mountains like golden ribbons making the scenery breathaking. This makes autumn the best time to visit Sapa.

harvest time is the best time to visit Sapa
Harvest time is the best time to visit Sapa

Later in the month October and November the temperature drops gradually, making it milder during the day time and cool at night. This is again great weather for a trekking. In addition the roads are more passable and safer for a motorbike tour.

Winter in Sapa – December to February

From November the days get colder and winter starts until the end of February. November is still a nice month to visit Sapa, but December and January are the coldest months of the year. This is the time when temperatures can drop to freezing and there is even a chance of snow. The cold weather and the rice fields that are gone ensures that it is not the best time to visit Sapa for a trekking. If you do plan to go out for a hike, make sure you bring the right clothes with you. Keep in mind that not all the accommodations in Sapa, especially the more basic homestays, don’t have proper heating, so it can get very cold.

snow during the winter in Sapa
Snow during the winter in Sapa

if it not going to snow, you still have change for rain, making the trekking paths muddy and difficult to pass. There is also more change that the mountains are wrapped around with clouds, as winter is the time of heavy fog. It can also create some beautiful scenery, but changes are your views of the unique landscape will be blocked. From February the weather is slowly clearing up and the temperatures are rising a bit.

Harvest season in Sapa

The harvest season is from September until early October. This is the best time to visit Sapa, because at harvest the rice fields are turned gold and wind like a ribbon along the mountains. The best way to see them is by making a trekking tour from village to village.

Sapa rice fields during harvest season
Sapa rice fields during harvest season turn yellow

Watering season in Sapa

April to early May is the watering season in Sapa. This means that the terraced rice fields are being flooded to prepare them for sowing. Rice fields during this time are turned into giant mirrors that reflect the mountains and sky. It is after the harvest season, the best time to visit Sapa for photographers.

best time to visit Sapa
Watering season Sapa
Watering season in Sapa turns the rice fields into giant mirrors.

Best time to visit Fansipan in Sapa

If you are traveling to Sapa, there is a good change you want to visit Fansipan, the highest mountain in Vietnam. If you are planning to climb it, it is best to do this during spring or autumn. These are the seasons where you have the least change of rain and the temperatures are not too cold or hot. If you don’t want to climb it you can always take the cable car up. During the winter time Fansipan is the place where you have the most change at snow.

Frequently asked questions about the best time to visit Sapa

When is harvest season in Vietnam

Harvest season is from September until early October.

What is the best time to visit Sapa?

The best time to visit Sapa is in spring (from March to May) and in autumn (from September to November).

When is rainy season in Sapa?

Rainy season in Sapa is from May until September, with the heaviest rain in the summer months of June, July and August.

What is the best time to visit Fansipan?

Fansipan can be visited all year round, only during the winter it can be cold and the most change of clouds.

When is there snow in Sapa?

Sapa is one of the only places in Vietnam that sees snow. It is very rare, but the biggest change on snow is during the winter months of December and January.

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