What is The Weather Like During Christmas in Vietnam?
Chrismas and New Year are ideal times for a tour to Vietnam since the whole country is endowed with pleasant weather with the average temperature of 16 degrees Celsius in the north and 26 to 28 degrees Celsius in Central and Southern Vietnam. You will not experience the scorching sun or heavy downpours like in summers. Bear in mind that there is a considerable variation in the weather between different regions, thus each region including North, Centre, and South will bring different experiences for your trip in Christmas.
Mountainous northern Vietnam such as Sapa, Ha Giang and Mu Cang Chai has a chily winter from December to February and the temperature may drop to 0 degree Celsius. You can see the romantic scenery of snow covering all mountains, hills, and stilt houses. Meanwhile, the weather is more tolerable in the Red Delta region (Hanoi, Ninh Binh, and Mai Chau) where the lowest temperature ranges from 8 to 10 degrees Celsius.
If you are thingking of a tour to Central or Southern Vietnam, you will be rewarded with a pleasant dry season in December. There may be some drizzle in Hue, Da Nang, and Hoi An, but overall it is sunny and warm all day. You can enjoy sunny days with a touch of breeze in attractive beaches in Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Mui Ne and participate in some water sports in Vietnam such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kite surfing.
How is Christmas Celebrated in Vietnam?
Since our country is more influenced by Buddhism and Taoism than Christianity , Christmas is not a public holiday in Vietnam. Today, Christmas in Vietnam is greeted by both Christian community and the locals, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Christmas celebration lasts 2 days: the Christmas Eve on 24th December and fllowing day.
A few weeks before the occasion, many hotels, office building, and stores are decorated with Christmas trees and sparkling ornaments, which makes foreign tourists feel like they are at home. Some shopping malls offer special promotion campaigns to boost sales.
On Christmas' Eve, Christian people gather at a local church, pray for peace and happiness, and listen to Christian Hysmn. Two most beautiful and crowded and churches in Vietnam on thí occasion are St.Joseph's Cathedral in in Hanoi Old Quarter and Notre-Dame Cathedral in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. For non-Christian people, they dress up nicely to go out. The locals often spend time together with their family and lovers, hold hands while strolling colorful streets or enjoy Christmas dishes at a restaurant.
Best Places to Enjoy Your Christmas in Vietnam
As Christmas fall in the middle of the peak tourism season, there are numerous places you can spend time during Christmas in Vietnam
Sapa will undoubtedly dazzle your eyes with magnificent landscapes including unusual rice terraces, imposing Fan Si Pan Mountain, and peaceful ethic villages. Sapa Church, the iconic feature in town, is absolutely worth checking out. Constructed in 1895, Sapa Church still remains its gothic French architecture up to now. In front of the church, there is a square where local people gather to sing and dance, as well as sell traditional brocade. Do not forget to explore ethnic culture, tradition, and handicrafts in some villages such as Cat Cat, Ta Phin, Lao Chai, and Ta Van.
2. Ninh Binh
A trip to Ninh Binh is very suitable in December since the high domestic tourism season has not arrived yet. Tourists can have a chance to discover quintessentially limestone sceneries in Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, the UNESCO World Heritage site and visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest pagoda in Vietnam. A boat trip around Tam Coc, the 'Halong Bay on land' is recommended. If you are looking for a church, Phat Diem Cathedral in Ninh Binh is one of the most spectacular churches in Vietnam. Constructed from 1875 to 1898, it was built totally by stone and wood which were available in karst mountains around Ninh Binh.
3. Halong Bay
December is a great time for a cruise to Halong Bay as the weather is drier than it in the summertime. The Bay could get foggy sometimes, which creates mysterious and majestic scenery. Celebrating Christmas on the bay, you can immerse in capivating landscapes with stalagmites and stalactites of various shapes and sizes, as well as emerald beaches. Sumptuous meal and cocktails are served on board as part of the celebration. Also, there are several exhilarating activities, from kayaking, rowing boat and sighseeing to cooking demostration class. It is a little bit cold for swimming, but you can experience the comfort with state-of-the art facilities such as Jacuzzi, spa, bar, and gym.
Hanoi is where you can entirely enjoy the Christmas atmosphere thanks to its cold weather. From the beginning of December, the whole city is decorated with sparkling Christmas' patterns which make you feel like home. Here are our suggestions for places you can come around on Christmas in capital city:
-Hanoi Walking Streets
The walking streets which contain the route around Hoan Kiem Lake attract tourists for numerous folk performances. You can understand Vietnamese culture and relax from the stressful workplace when coming to this area. On Christmas, the festive environment around the lake with glittering lights and twinkling ormanments will delight all travelers.
-Hang Ma Street
Hang Ma Street contains several local vendors which sell ornaments for special occasions such as international Children's Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, Halloween Day, Christmas and Tet holiday. This street becomes really colorful at Christmas'Eve with Santa Claus' costumes, Christmas trees, as well as numerous gifts and postcards.
-St. Joseph's Cathedral
Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, west of Hoan Kiem Lake, St Joseph's Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon) is one of the oldest colonial building in Hanoi. You can see thousands of Christian people and the locals gather here to celebrate Christmas.
5. Hoi An
Originally a seaport from the ancient kingdom of Champa, Hoi An then became one of Southeast Asia's major international ports from the 17th to 19th century. The architecture of the town is a combination of Vietnamese, Japanese, and French culture. You can walk around the town, take a picture of the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, stop at a cloting store and have clothes tailor-made to you. Especially, It is really memorable to spend time with your beloved ones along Thu Bon River which is decorated with thousands of lanterns on Christmas. Hoi An is also a heaven for gastronomy in Central Vietnam with the signature Chicken Rice and Cao Lau (a kind of local noodles).
6. Nha Trang
When it comes to a beach vacation in Vietnam, Nha Trang should be on your bucket list. Praised as the beach city of Vietnam, Nha Trang ofers a variety of beautiful landscapes as well as numerous dining options, bar, pubs, and clubs. Along with the famous Dai Beach in the city centre, you can take a boat trip to some island such as Hon Mun, Hon Mot, Hon Tam, and Hon Tre to enjoy a tranquil atmosphere and take part in water activities such as diving and snorkeling. Other attractions in the city centre are Po Nagar Cham Tower, National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam, Nha Trang Cathedral, and Alexandre Yersin Museum.
7. Da Lat
Considered as the best place to spend a honeymoon vacation in Vietnam, Da Lat has never become boring for couples. Admiring the landscapes associated with faithful and loyal love, sipping morning coffee at dreamy Ho Xuan Huong Lake, and holding hands on the quiet street in Da Lat when night falls in the colder air will make your love more sublimated. Other attractions include the Da Lat flower garden, the Crazy House, Bao Dai's Summer Palace, the Railway Station and the Valley of Love. Coming to Da Lat on Christmas, you can have a chance to see thousands of colorful flowers at the Flower Festival organized in December in the city. Da Lat will be a little bit cold in the evening, so make sure you bring warm clothes.
8. Ho Chi Minh City
Although it is warm in Ho Chi Minh City in Christmas, you can still fully enjoy the festive season here since there are many places for celebrate Christmas in Ho Chi Minh City:
- Notre-Dame Cathedral
One of the must-visit attractions in Saigon that you have to visit this Christmas is the splendid Notre-Dame Cathedral . Located in the city centre, the cathdral is surrounded by various restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, and clubs.
- Nguyen Hue Walking Street
On Christmas, the local often gather at Nguyen Hue Walking Street to immerse in the cozy atmosphere of this occasion as well dancing, singing and light water music performances, and cultural exhibitions. Along both sides of the road, there are food stalls, bubble tea shops, fast food, restaurants, and convenient stores.
- Bui Vien Street
Praised as 'the street that never sleeps', there is no kind of entertainment that you cannot find at Bui Vien Street. This is where the locals, expats, and tourists can meet each other. This street is filled with cafes, restaurants, sport bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Besides, you can tantalize your taste buds local Vietnamese food such as snails and grilled meat or just grab some craft beer when coming to this street.
- Takashimaya Centre
Inaugurated in 2016, Takashimaya Centre has soon become one of the best shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City where you can find products from luxury brands and try some delicious food. Remember to take a selfie in some elegantly ornamented stores here.
9. Mui Ne
If you are seeking for something extraordinary this December, come to Mui Ne for tranquil beaches and spectacular sand dunes. Compared to Hue and Da Nang, Mui Ne is sunny all year-around and less stormy, so you can travel here any time. Besides tourism, fishing and producing fish sauce are other main industries of this city. Phan Thiet hosts numerous international and local restaurants, luxury beach resorts, affordable guest house and amazing activities such as sand boarding and kite surfing.
10. Phu Quoc
Belonging to Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc, nicknamed as 'Peal Island' (Dao Ngoc) or '99-mountain Island', is the largest island in Vietnam. Visiting this island on Christmas, you can escape from the chilly weather of Northern Vietnam, enjoy the warm sunshine, sample delicious seafood, and participaate in fishing, snorkeling, surfing, and diving the coral reefs. Besides the beaches, Phu Quoc National Park is where you can explore a rich and diverse ecosystem a large number of natural resources.