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Vietnam December: Travel, Climate, and Festivals

Posted By: Richard Roeffen / Vietnam Travel Guides
Vietnam in December refers to the experience of visiting Vietnam during the month of December. This description can encompass the weather, attractions, festivals, and overall atmosphere of the country during this time, as well as any specific considerations or recommendations for travelers visiting during the month of December.

Why Vietnam is a Great Choice for December

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter - (Source: Collected)

December is a wonderful time to visit Vietnam as the weather is generally pleasant, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a warm getaway during the winter season. The country offers a plethora of stunning landscapes, rich cultural experiences, and delicious cuisine, making it a top choice for tourists from around the world. Whether you're looking to explore bustling cities, relax on pristine beaches, or immerse yourself in historical sites, Vietnam has something to offer to every type of traveler.

Vietnam Weather in December

December falls within Vietnam's dry season, which means you can expect sunny and mild weather during this time. Temperatures vary across different regions, with northern Vietnam being cooler than the southern parts. In cities like Hanoi and Halong Bay, temperatures range from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F), providing pleasant conditions for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Moving down to central Vietnam, cities like Hoi An and Hue experience slightly warmer temperatures, ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F). Southern Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, enjoys even warmer weather, with temperatures ranging from 25°C (77°F) to 35°C (95°F).

What are the Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in December?

Vietnam offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to all types of travelers. Here are some of the best places to visit in Vietnam during December:

Hanoi

The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi, is a must-visit destination known for its rich history and unique blend of Eastern and Western influences. Explore the Old Quarter, visit the iconic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and indulge in delicious street food like pho and banh mi.

Halong Bay

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is famous for its breathtaking limestone islands and emerald waters. Take a cruise around the bay, go kayaking, and witness stunning sunsets that will leave you in awe.

Halong Bay, Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

Sapa

For those seeking a mountainous escape, Sapa is the perfect destination. Enjoy trekking through terraced rice fields, visit local ethnic minority villages, and be surrounded by stunning views of the Hoang Lien Son Mountains.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a charming ancient town that will transport you back in time with its well-preserved architecture and lantern-filled streets. Explore the colorful markets, take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River, and get custom-made clothing from talented local tailors.

Ho Chi Minh City

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant metropolis that offers a blend of modern skyscrapers and historical landmarks. Explore the bustling Ben Thanh Market, visit the War Remnants Museum, and indulge in the city's vibrant nightlife.

How To Get Around Vietnam

Getting around Vietnam is relatively easy, thanks to its well-connected transportation system. Here are some common modes of transportation you can use to explore the country:

Domestic Flights

Vietnam has several domestic airlines that offer flights between major cities. This is the fastest way to travel long distances within the country, especially if you want to cover the vast geographic spread of Vietnam.

Trains

Vietnam's railway system is extensive and provides a scenic way to travel from one city to another. Trains offer different classes, including sleeper options, allowing you to have a comfortable journey while enjoying the countryside views.

Buses

Buses are a popular mode of transportation for both locals and tourists. They are cost-effective, and you can find buses that connect various cities and towns across Vietnam. However, be prepared for longer travel times due to traffic conditions.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services

In major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, taxis and ride-sharing services like Grab are readily available. These are convenient options for shorter journeys or when you want the comfort of a private vehicle.

Motorbikes

For the adventurous traveler, renting a motorbike can be a thrilling way to explore Vietnam. However, it's important to have a valid license, wear a helmet, and be mindful of traffic rules and road conditions.

In conclusion, Vietnam is an ideal destination to visit in December, offering pleasant weather, diverse attractions, and an excellent transportation system. Whether you choose to explore the bustling cities, relax on pristine beaches, or venture into the picturesque countryside, Vietnam has everything you need for an unforgettable holiday. Make sure to plan your itinerary in advance and consider the weather conditions of each region you wish to visit. Enjoy your trip, and may your journey in Vietnam be filled with incredible experiences!

Travel Insurance for Vietnam

Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town - (Source: Collected)

When planning a trip to Vietnam, it is important to consider travel insurance. Travel insurance provides financial protection in case of unexpected events or emergencies during your trip. Here are some key factors to consider when purchasing travel insurance for Vietnam.

Coverage Options

There are several types of coverage options available for travel insurance in Vietnam. These may include medical coverage, trip cancellation/interruption coverage, emergency medical transportation coverage, and baggage loss/delay coverage. It is important to review the policy details and choose the coverage options that are most suitable for your needs.

Medical Coverage

One of the most crucial aspects of travel insurance is medical coverage. Ensure that your policy provides adequate coverage for medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and emergency medical evacuation. Vietnam has good healthcare facilities, but having insurance can provide peace of mind in case of unexpected illness or injury.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption Coverage

In the event that your trip to Vietnam gets canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances, having trip cancellation/interruption coverage can help you recover non-refundable expenses. This coverage may apply to situations such as illness, family emergencies, or travel advisories.

Emergency Medical Transportation Coverage

In case of a medical emergency that requires transportation to a different location or back to your home country, emergency medical transportation coverage can be beneficial. This coverage can provide for the costs associated with medical evacuations or repatriation.

Baggage Loss/Delay Coverage

Baggage loss or delay is a common concern when traveling. Having baggage loss/delay coverage can provide reimbursement for essential items or compensate for the loss of personal belongings due to theft, damage, or delay.

FAQs About the Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in December

Visiting Vietnam in December: Weather + Where to Go + Itinerary

Visiting Vietnam in December: Weather + Where to Go + Itinerary - (Source: Collected)

Vietnam is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes and cultural attractions. December is a popular month to visit as the weather is generally mild and pleasant. Here are some frequently asked questions about the best places to visit in Vietnam in December.

What are some must-visit destinations in Vietnam?

Vietnam offers a wide range of attractions, from bustling cities to stunning natural landscapes. Some must-visit destinations include Hanoi, the capital city known for its rich history and vibrant street life; Ho Chi Minh City, the economic hub of the country; Halong Bay, famous for its limestone karsts and emerald waters; Hoi An, a charming ancient town with well-preserved architecture; and Sapa, a mountainous area known for its rice terraces and ethnic diversity.

Is December a good time to visit Vietnam?

Yes, December is generally considered a good time to visit Vietnam. The weather is mild and pleasant, with cooler temperatures in the north and warmer temperatures in the south. It is not the peak tourist season, so you can enjoy popular attractions without large crowds.

What outdoor activities are popular in Vietnam in December?

In December, the weather is ideal for outdoor activities in Vietnam. Some popular activities include cruising through Halong Bay, trekking in Sapa, exploring the caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, biking in the Mekong Delta, and enjoying water sports in the coastal regions.

Are there any cultural festivals or events in December?

December is a festive month in Vietnam, with various cultural festivals and events taking place. One of the most significant festivals is Christmas, celebrated primarily in larger cities with decorations, lively markets, and festive atmosphere. Additionally, the New Year's celebrations are also widely observed, with fireworks and countdown parties.

Overview of Vietnam Weather in December

December marks the beginning of winter in Vietnam, with varying weather conditions across the country. Here is an overview of the weather in different regions of Vietnam during December.

Northern Vietnam

In Northern Vietnam, including Hanoi and Halong Bay, December is generally cool and dry. Temperatures range from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). It is advisable to bring layering clothing as temperatures can drop in the evening.

Central Vietnam

Central Vietnam, including Hoi An and Danang, experiences pleasant weather in December. Temperatures range from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). It is a great time to explore the ancient towns, beaches, and national parks in the region.

Southern Vietnam

Southern Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, enjoys warm and tropical weather in December. Temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). It is a perfect time to explore the vibrant city life and cruise along the Mekong River.

Tips for Travel to Vietnam in December

Tam Coc, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Tam Coc, Ninh Binh, Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

Traveling to Vietnam in December can be a wonderful experience. Here are some tips to make your trip more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Pack Appropriately

As December brings varying weather conditions, it is advisable to pack clothing suitable for both cooler and warmer temperatures. Layering clothing will allow you to adjust to different climates throughout your trip. Don't forget essential items such as sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable walking shoes, and a travel adaptor for electrical outlets.

Book Accommodations and Tours in Advance

December is a popular month for tourists visiting Vietnam. It is recommended to book your accommodations and tours in advance to secure the best options and avoid any last-minute hassles. This is especially important if you plan to visit popular destinations such as Halong Bay or Sapa.

Be Aware of Vietnamese Customs and Traditions

Before traveling to Vietnam, take some time to familiarize yourself with Vietnamese customs and traditions. Local etiquette, such as removing shoes before entering someone's house or dressing modestly when visiting religious sites, should be respected. Learning a few basic Vietnamese phrases such as "hello" and "thank you" can also go a long way in creating a positive impression.

Events in December

Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi

Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi - (Source: Collected)

December is a festive month in Vietnam, with several events and celebrations taking place.

Christmas

Christmas is celebrated in Vietnam, especially in larger cities with a significant Christian population. People decorate their homes, exchange gifts, and attend church services. The streets come alive with colorful decorations and vibrant markets selling festive treats.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is a widely celebrated event across Vietnam. Fireworks displays light up the night sky, and many cities host countdown parties and live performances. It is a great time to join in the celebrations and welcome the arrival of the new year with locals and fellow travelers.

Final Thoughts

December is a fantastic time to visit Vietnam, with pleasant weather and a festive atmosphere. Whether you explore the bustling cities, cruise through the breathtaking natural landscapes, or immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, Vietnam offers a memorable travel experience. Remember to plan ahead, pack accordingly, and be respectful of local customs to make the most of your trip to Vietnam.

Know before you go/ what to expect

Weather in Vietnam in December - Trakking in Sapa

Weather in Vietnam in December - Trakking in Sapa - (Source: Collected)

Before planning a trip to Vietnam, it's important to have a basic understanding of the country's culture, customs, and travel requirements. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Cultural and Etiquette Considerations

Vietnam is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and it's important to respect local customs and traditions. For example, when visiting temples or pagodas, it's customary to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. It's also polite to greet locals with a simple "hello" or "xin chao" and show respect to elders.

Visa Requirements

Most visitors to Vietnam will need a visa to enter the country, unless they come from a visa-exempt country. It's important to check the visa requirements and apply in advance before your trip. There are different types of visas available, ranging from single-entry to multiple-entry, so make sure to choose the one that suits your travel plans.

Transportation and Getting Around

Travelling within Vietnam is relatively easy, thanks to a well-connected transportation network. Domestic flights, trains, and buses are commonly used to travel between cities, while taxis and motorbike taxis are convenient options for getting around within the cities. It's important to be cautious when crossing roads, as traffic can be chaotic in some areas.

Weather and Clothing

December is one of the best times to visit Vietnam, as the weather is generally pleasant and comfortable. However, it's important to note that the climate can vary greatly between different regions. Northern Vietnam experiences cooler temperatures, while the south tends to be warmer. Packing lightweight and breathable clothing, as well as a light jacket or sweater, is recommended to accommodate varying temperatures.

Best destinations to travel

Vietnam Tourist Map

Vietnam Tourist Map - (Source: Collected)

Vietnam offers a diverse range of destinations, each with its own unique attractions and experiences. Here are some of the top places to visit in Vietnam:

Hanoi

The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi, is known for its rich history, vibrant Old Quarter, and beautiful lakes. Visitors can explore iconic attractions such as the Hoan Kiem Lake, visit historic sites like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, or indulge in street food delights at the famous Dong Xuan Market.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a charming ancient town that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its picturesque streets, preserved architecture, and lantern-lit nights make it a must-visit destination. Visitors can explore the historic Japanese Covered Bridge, take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the town.

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is a breathtaking natural wonder that is famous for its limestone karsts and emerald green waters. Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a cruise is a popular choice, offering visitors the opportunity to witness stunning scenery, visit hidden caves, and enjoy various water activities.

Ho Chi Minh City

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling metropolis that offers a mix of modern skyscrapers and colonial landmarks. Visitors can explore historical sites such as the War Remnants Museum, shop at the vibrant Ben Thanh Market, or take a stroll along the lively Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

Things to do in Vietnam in December

December is a great time to visit Vietnam as it offers pleasant weather and various activities for travelers to enjoy. Here are some popular things to do in Vietnam during December:

Explore the Ancient City of Hoi An

In December, Hoi An is beautifully adorned with colorful lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere. Take a leisurely walk through the narrow streets of the Old Town, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy delicious local cuisine. Don't miss the chance to participate in the Lantern Festival held on the 14th day of each lunar month.

Visit the Floating Markets in the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is a fascinating region of Vietnam, known for its intricate system of canals and vibrant floating markets. Take a boat tour to explore the markets, observe the local way of life, and sample fresh fruits and other local products. It's a unique and immersive experience that shouldn't be missed.

Experience the Festive Spirit in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City comes alive during December with a festive atmosphere. The streets are decorated with colorful lights, and there are various events and activities taking place throughout the city. Enjoy shopping at the Christmas markets, attend cultural performances, and indulge in delicious holiday treats.

Festivals in Vietnam in December

Vietnamese New Year

Vietnamese New Year - (Source: Collected)

Vietnam celebrates several festivals in December, offering visitors a chance to experience the country's vibrant culture and traditions. Here are a few festivals to look out for:

Dong Da Festival

The Dong Da Festival is held in Hanoi to commemorate the victory of Emperor Quang Trung over the Chinese invaders in the 18th century. The festival features colorful processions, traditional music performances, and martial arts demonstrations. It's a great opportunity to learn about Vietnamese history and witness traditional celebrations.

Christmas Celebrations

Although Christmas is not a traditional Vietnamese holiday, it is widely celebrated in major cities, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Churches are beautifully decorated, and there are festive activities such as Christmas markets, concerts, and special religious services. It's a delightful time to experience the blend of Western and Vietnamese traditions.

Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese New Year)

Tet Nguyen Dan, or the Vietnamese New Year, is one of the most important celebrations in Vietnam. While the exact dates vary each year, it typically falls in late January or early February. During this time, the country experiences a festive atmosphere with colorful decorations, traditional music, fireworks, and special food preparations. It's an ideal time to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and witness the joyous festivities.

In conclusion, Vietnam offers a wide range of attractions, cultural experiences, and festivals for travelers to enjoy. Whether it's exploring the ancient city of Hoi An, visiting the vibrant markets in Ho Chi Minh City, or participating in traditional festivals, Vietnam has something to offer for every type of traveler. Before embarking on your journey, make sure to familiarize yourself with the local customs and requirements to ensure a smooth and memorable vacation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, December is a great time to visit Vietnam for a memorable vacation. With pleasant weather and festive celebrations, this month provides an ideal opportunity to explore the beautiful country. Vietnam travel companies offer various tour packages that cater to different interests and preferences of travelers. From the bustling cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to breathtaking natural wonders like Ha Long Bay and Hoi An, there are plenty of amazing places to visit in Vietnam.

A tourist guide to Vietnam can provide valuable insights and recommendations for a fulfilling experience. Whether you are interested in history, culture, outdoor adventures, or culinary delights, Vietnam has something to offer for everyone. The rich heritage, vibrant markets, and delicious street food are sure to captivate your senses.

If you have more time, you can also consider extending your trip from Vietnam to Cambodia. This allows you to explore the famous Angkor Wat temple complex and immerse yourself in the unique Khmer culture. The journey between Vietnam and Cambodia can be conveniently arranged through organized tours or independent travel.

Overall, December promises an unforgettable travel experience in Vietnam, where you can create lasting memories and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this captivating Southeast Asian country.

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