The effects of climate change are becoming more and more apparent in Vietnam and are threatening the livelihood of people in both its coastal areas and mountainous regions. However, there is a dearth of knowledge of the adaptive capacity of the minority ethnic groups who depend on forest resources for their livelihood. We interviewed and held group discussions to investigate the climate change adaptability of the local Katu ethnic people in Huong Son commune, Nam Dong District of Thua Thien Hue Province of Vietnam. The data were analysed in descriptive and quantitative manner. Regression analysis was applied to figure out the factors affecting vulnerability of the local people. We found that climate change has negative impacts on the life of the local people and that degradation of natural resources worsens their life conditions and make the poor, low-income and forest-dependent households more vulnerable. We also found that the local people adopt autonomous adaptation, primarily through change in seasonal calendar, cultivation techniques, vaccination, pest and disease prevention, and application of new techniques in daily production activities. We suggest a number of measures for enhancing the adaptive capacity of ethnic groups in mountainous Vietnam.