This study characterizes rainfall and temperature variability for the whole of Vietnam and for climate sub-regions over 40 years from 1971 to 2010. Vietnam's average temperature has increased at a rate of 0.26 ± 0.10 °C per decade since the 1970s, approximately twice the rate of global warming over the same period. The rate of increase is greater in winter than in summer. Except for the Central Highland, annual average temperatures in southern regions are increasing more rapidly than in the North. The increases in temperatures are statistically significant in most sub-regions; however this is not the case for rainfall. The locations of climate boundaries between sub-regions are also discussed and suggestions for repositioning of these are made. Temperature and rainfall variability are shown to be linked to El Niño-Southern Oscillation on both national and sub-regional scale. This relationship is stronger in lower latitudes and in winter.