“We shouldn’t have come this month. Where is the promised sunshine?”
That’s a nightmare scenario for any travelers. But if you do a little research – and if you are also lucky, you can always be in the right place at the right time.
This new map created by American data expert Ryan Whitacker should offer some help.
The map, which was published last week, allows travel planners to see if the week they want to travel to a certain destination is actually the best time. Locations with a red dot means they are good for a visit.
According to data collected and processed by Whitacker, the period that gives you the best weather in Vietnam is between October and February. March and early April are only good for trips to northern Vietnam, the data suggested.
The only problem with this travel map is that it leaves out Ho Chi Minh City and other southern destinations, possibly due to a lack of data.
The southern region is generally known for its mild weather most of the year, even though April and May can be too hot for many and downpours in June and July may disrupt your journey.
For travelers, bad weather is not totally bad: if you choose to visit a place when everybody else avoids it, you are more likely to find good deals.
Travel site Lonely Planet suggests that the low seasons between April and June and between September and November are “perhaps the best time” to travel the whole season.
You should take that piece of advice with a grain of salt though. Last year, November was actually the month with the highest number of foreign arrivals, according to official data. The period between April and June was indeed a low season.
Whitacker, a traveler himself, said on DecisionData.org, a data site he cofounded, that he came up with the project after he realized that weather plays a big factor anytime he plans to go somewhere, and there’s not enough such information online.
The map was built based on 10 years of weather data from Maryland-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from more than 10,000 weather stations around the world.
“These maps are not supposed to replace local knowledge of events or seasonal attractions, but rather to supplement it with good data on where temperatures are ideal,” he wrote on the website.
Nhung Nguyen and Ha Phuong contributed.