This study examines the climatic shift of the tropical cyclone (TC) frequency affecting Vietnam’s coastal region during 1975–2014. By separating TC databases into two different 20-yr epochs, it is found that there is a consistent increase in both the number of strong TCs and the number of TC occurrences during the recent epoch (1995–2014) as compared with the reference epoch (1975–94) across different TC databases. This finding suggests that not only the number of strong TCs but also the lifetime of strong TCs affecting Vietnam’s coastal region has been recently increasing as compared with the reference epoch from 1975 to 1994. To understand the physical connection of these shifts in the TC frequency and duration, large-scale conditions obtained from reanalysis data are analyzed. Results show that meridional surface temperature gradient (STG) during the recent epoch is substantially larger than that during 1975–94. Such an increase in the meridional STG is important because it is potentially linked to the increase in large-scale vertical wind shear as well as the reduced intensity of summer monsoon in the South China Sea between the two epochs.