If you’re visiting Vietnam in December, expect fairly dry and hot weather in the south. In the north, it’s often considerably colder. December is one of the dry months in Vietnam, which makes it a popular destination for a sunny Christmas getaway.
Travelling to Vietnam in December may be a way to avoid the summer tourist crowds, but be prepared for things to get busy around the end of the month. Many celebrations and festivals take place in December. By planning your travel, you can join the locals for some of the year’s best events.
If you’re visiting Vietnam in December, here are some of the best things to do and places to see:
1. Head to the Beach
Vietnam’s beaches are popular destinations on a hot December day. Phu Quoc, described as a paradise island, is a favourite place for coastal breaks.
You can go snorkeling, dine at a floating restaurant or simply relax on the sand.
2. Enjoy the Ooc Om Boc Festival
You may be lucky enough to see the Ooc Om Boc boating festival in Soc Trang. This boat race is an extremely popular tourist attraction, and beloved by the locals, and takes place in November or December each year.
During this festival, the Khmer people celebrate the end of their year. The ghe ngo (timber boat) race is the festival highlight, with 40 boats and teams taking part.
3. Go Hiking
There are many spectacular mountain and hiking trails throughout Vietnam. These are best enjoyed in December, when temperatures are comfortably mild and rainfall is around its lowest.
If you’re an active traveller and like to walk and climb, then this is the perfect time to explore the beautiful landscapes of Vietnam.
4. Celebrate Christmas
The people of Vietnam certainly celebrate Christmas in style. If you’re around for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plan to join in their celebrations.
The best place to enjoy Christmas in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh city. Gather around the Catholic cathedral in the heart of the city, where Christmas decorations and colourful lights are displayed. People throw confetti on Christmas Eve and celebrate with friends and family. Few people are Christians, but there are well-attended Midnight Mass services for those that enjoy the festivities.
5. Visit the Moc Chau Plateau
The Moc Chau Plateau, with its heart-shaped tea hills, is a spectacular place to visit in December. This beautiful destination is filled with fragrant and colourful flowers, and it’s popular with tourists and photographers alike.
Whilst around the Moc Chau Plateau, sample delicious fresh Vietnamese dishes and listen to performers singing ancient folk songs. Many people choose to stay in traditional stilt houses around Moc Chau Plateau, as part of their visit to Vietnam.
6. Walk the Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills
The Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills is an impressive Vietnam attraction. In the winter months this long bridge, held by giant stone hands, is visited by thousands of tourists.
Many wait for a dry and sunny day to walk along the Golden Bridge, hoping for far-reaching views. But, arguably, the best time to visit is when it’s misty and a bit cooler. The fog and mist add a magical atmosphere that makes for an unforgettable visit.
7. Go to Da Lat
The colourful and romantic city of Da Lat is best visited in December.
By visiting Da Lat in December, you avoid most of the rain. Da Lat is bursting with colourful floral displays and picturesque parks, and is often quite warm during the day. At night, it’s cool but not cold.
Da Lat is a quieter place to celebrate December festivities, with lights and decorations for Christmas and New Year. You can walk around, or cycle, and take in the beautiful sights.
Visiting Vietnam in December does not mean that you’ll need to hide indoors, that you’ll have to wrap up warm or that you won’t see the country at its best. In fact, December is one of the best times to visit for beautiful flowers, warm, dry weather and some of Vietnam’s biggest celebrations.