Everything you need to know about traveling Vietnam in December

Traveling in December (considered the best time to visit Vietnam), especially to a destination as diverse as Vietnam, offers a unique and rewarding experience. Whether you’re seeking adventures with friends or quality time with family during the long holiday season, Vietnam in December has something for everyone. From its stunning natural landscapes to its rich cultural tapestry, Vietnam caters to a wide range of travelers.

But what can you expect from Vietnam in December? Where are the best places to explore during this time? This comprehensive guide has all the answers. Discover the ideal destinations, weather conditions, cultural experiences, and more to make your December trip to Vietnam unforgettable. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling cities, tranquil beaches, or lush mountains, Vietnam has the perfect December adventure waiting for you.

Vietnam weather in December – What to expect?

Vietnam weather in December is one of the aspects that makes it one of the most delightful months for travelers. It offers a stable climate with pleasant temperatures and minimal rainfall. Let’s break it down to each regions of Vietnam for a clearer picture:

  • Northern Vietnam: In December, the north experiences cooler weather, with an average temperature of around 17°C. Seasonal winds from the North-East bring colder air, particularly in the Red River Delta, where temperatures can drop below 10°C. The weather is predominantly dry with minimal rainfall. In mountainous regions, temperatures can be 5-10°C lower, sometimes resulting in frost and even snow in places like Fansipan or Mau Son.
  • Central Vietnam: This region experiences its rainy season during December, but by the end of the month, precipitation and rainfall durations begin to decrease. Coastal areas like Hoi An and Da Nang typically receive less rainfall than Hue.
  • Southern Vietnam: December is the best time to explore the south. The climate is sunny with a moderate 30°C temperature, perfect for outdoor activities such as boat trips, cycling, or relaxing on the beaches.

*Pro tip: If you are planning to travel in Vietnam from North to South, make sure to bring clothes that allow you to dress in layers, as temperatures can vary significantly, so that you can adapt to the changing climate easily.

Things to keep in mind while planning for your trip in Vietnam in December

Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi/Credit: Hội Nguyễn/pexels
Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi/Credit: Hội Nguyễn/pexels

Planning a trip to Vietnam in December comes with some unique considerations. It’s the peak tourism season as the year draws to a close, leading to a surge in visitors throughout the month. Below are some of the points you should keep in mind while planning for the trip:

  1. Peak Season Alert: December is one of the busiest months for tourism in Vietnam. Expect large crowds and increased demand for accommodations and transportation throughout the month.
  2. Festive Celebrations: Christmas and New Year’s Eve are important holidays in Vietnam. Many hotels, night cruises, and 4-5 star resorts impose additional charges during these festive times, especially for Gala dinners on December 24th and December 31st.
  3. Early Booking: High-quality accommodations fill up quickly, so it’s advisable to book well in advance if you can confirm your travel plans early. This ensures you secure your preferred lodging.
  4. Travel Flexibility: Given the high volume of visitors, it’s essential to be flexible with your travel dates and plans. Consider adjusting your schedule to avoid peak days and times.
  5. Transportation Priority: Secure your flights as early as possible to obtain the best prices. With the growing demand for transportation, early booking ensures availability and cost-effectiveness.
  6. Cultural Experiences: Embrace the festive spirit by participating in local Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, which often include beautiful light displays and special events.

Remember that December in Vietnam is a magical time for travelers, and with thoughtful planning, you can make the most of your visit during this festive season.

Unique places to see in Vietnam in December

Vietnam in December offers a variation of unique places to explore, from the cooler North to the warmer South, making it a diverse and vibrant destination. Here are some unique places to visit during this time of the year:

Sapa

Sapa, nestled in Northern Vietnam, is a unique and captivating destination to explore in December. This time of year transforms the region’s terraced rice fields into vibrant, lush landscapes of green. Sapa is a hiker’s paradise during December, offering excellent trekking opportunities through this picturesque terrain. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, as the area is home to various ethnic minority groups, each with their own traditions and way of life. Beyond the stunning natural beauty, the warmth of the local communities and the authentic experiences they offer make Sapa an exceptional place to visit, ensuring a memorable and enriching adventure.

Ha Long Bay

 

Halong Bay at sunset/ Credit to Lewis J Goetz at Unplash unsplash.com/@lgoetz
Halong Bay at sunset/ Credit to Lewis J Goetz at Unplash unsplash.com/@lgoetz

Halong Bay is a must-see destination in Vietnam, and visiting in December brings its own charm. The cool, dry weather of this season makes it an ideal time to explore the breathtaking limestone karsts and emerald waters. Adventuring through the mystical caves, kayaking in secluded lagoons, and soaking in the serene beauty of the bay’s thousands of islands are some of the unforgettable experiences to be had. A cruise in Halong Bay is enhanced by the crisp December air and the ability to truly appreciate the bay’s mesmerizing landscapes. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Halong Bay in December offers a unique and tranquil escape.

Da Nang

Da Nang in December is a delightful blend of mild weather and festive charm. This coastal city along the South Central Coast of Vietnam enjoys a comfortable climate with pleasant temperatures, making it perfect for outdoor adventures. While the sea waters may be cooler, the inviting beaches are ideal for tranquil walks and relaxation. December is a quieter month for tourism, providing more intimate experiences when visiting attractions such as the Marble Mountains and Dragon Bridge. Plus, Da Nang’s captivating night market and illuminated bridges create a magical atmosphere. No matter if you’re interested in cultural exploration, beachfront relaxation, or simply enjoying the local cuisine, Da Nang in December offers a wonderful travel experience.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh city landscape

Ho Chi Minh City in December is a delightful fusion of festive cheer and warm tropical vibes. As the year winds down, the city comes alive with vibrant holiday decorations and a palpable sense of celebration. You’ll encounter pleasant weather, with cooler, less humid days, making it perfect for exploring popular attractions like the War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, and the bustling streets adorned in sparkling lights. Plus, December brings the joy of Christmas and New Year’s festivities, where you can witness the city’s unique way of embracing these global holidays. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a foodie, or a history buff, Saigon in December has something special to offer.

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island, situated in the southern reaches of Vietnam, is a fantastic destination to explore in December. The island boasts inviting weather with warm sunshine, providing the perfect backdrop for your vacation. Phu Quoc’s pristine beaches beckon travelers to unwind on their soft sands and bask in the tropical tranquility. For those with a penchant for adventure, the island’s lush forests and serene landscapes offer ample opportunities for exploration and outdoor activities. Whether you prefer beachfront relaxation or immersive nature adventures, Phu Quoc has something for every traveler seeking a memorable December getaway.

Celebrations in Vietnam in December

vietnam in december

Christmas and New Year celebrations in Vietnam have evolved into popular and widely embraced holidays, transcending religious boundaries to become a part of the cultural fabric.

While Christmas Day, falling on December 24th, isn’t a national holiday, many people celebrate it by adorning their homes and exchanging gifts. This festive spirit is most pronounced in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where the urban landscape comes alive with holiday decorations and celebrations.

New Year’s Eve on December 31st is also a significant occasion, with both December 31st and the Lunar New Year (Tet) celebrated nationwide. December 31st is a public holiday in Vietnam, allowing people to enjoy a day off work. The evening sees lively countdown parties and fireworks in various locations, bringing communities together to welcome the upcoming year with joy and enthusiasm. For travelers looking to join in the festivities and experience a vibrant New Year’s celebration, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the places to be.

Final thoughts

Traveling in Vietnam in December is a splendid choice. The cool, dry weather and vibrant holiday atmosphere make it a fantastic time to explore this diverse country. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the lush landscapes of Sapa and the stunning coastal beauty of Halong Bay, Vietnam in December offers something for every traveler. 

Viland Travel’s customized tours are your key to unlocking the full potential of your December journey. Their expertise in tailoring experiences to your desires ensures a memorable, hassle-free exploration of this enchanting nation, making your visit truly special. Whether you seek cultural immersion, outdoor adventures, or tranquil escapes, Vietnam in December has it all. 

Book now for an unforgettable experience!