Purpose – The purpose of this study is to first examine the factors affecting the intra-household perception of climate change. Second, the study investigates the impact of the perception of climatic stress on the operators’ and spouses’ intra-household adaptation strategies (farm and household financial strategies). Design/methodology/approach – The study uses household survey data from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The study uses probit and negative binomial count data approaches to evaluate the empirical model. Findings – Results confirm the existence of intra-household gender differences in the adaptation strategies. The authors found that although spouses perceive climatic stress, they are less likely to adapt to such stresses when it comes farming enterprise, but more likely to adapt to household financial strategies. In contrast, farm operators, in the presence of climatic stresses, undertake both farm and household finance adaptation strategies. Practical implications – Investment in climate smart agriculture can help households in managing climatic stresses. Originality/value – A farmer in Asia, and Vietnam in particular, faces significant risks from climatic changes. In Vietnam, agriculture is easily affected by natural disasters and climatic changes. This study provides insights into the perception of climatic changes by operators and spouses in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Perceived changes in the climate have a greater impact on women because they typically lack the necessary tools to adapt to climate change. The current findings could be useful in managing climatic risk in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and be helpful to policymakers in designing risk management strategies in response to climatic changes.