Christmas Holiday in Vietnam

The last chapter of another year is very soon to come and with all the festivities around, everyone is eager to create lasting memories with their loved ones. Aside from all the white traditions at home, there is no better place to spend your winter break than a Christmas holiday in Vietnam. Travel to Vietnam this December to discover a unique culture, delicious cuisine and plenty of fun with charming scenery and beautiful weather. From snorkeling on the emerald water in Halong Bay to kayaking through majestic limestone karst, visiting the floating market, the adventures are endless and sure to be a once in a lifetime memorable trip.

Discover the Splendors of Vietnam and its appealing mix of stunning scenery and warmhearted people with Sens Asia, an expert and leading travel agent in Southeast Asia. The good news when travel to Vietnam in December is that you can enjoy excellent weather conditions with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. Leave the wintry, snowy country behind and start a new holiday tradition with your family. Although Christmas is not recognized as an official public holiday in Vietnam, you can still feel the festive spirit and street decoration ambient across the country. So if you are looking for a change of scenery and experience this December holiday, Vietnam won’t fail to impress you.

 

CHARMING NORTHERN KEY SITES

 

HANOI

The top destinations are located in the North of Vietnam, Hanoi – the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, where distinctive rich history and originality still preserve. As the capital of Vietnam, with more than 1000 years of history, Hanoi has many historic landmarks and monuments like the Temple of Literature which symbolizes Vietnam’s education. A vibrant Old Quarter with invaluable assets alleyways and streets which reflect the original layout and architecture that has remained for thousands of years. From Hanoi Old Quarter, tourists only need 15 minutes to walk to the Vietnam Military History Museum. Of all the museums in Vietnam, this one has the largest collection of war artifacts. The outdoor exhibition area displays many aircraft and vehicles used by the US military during the Second Indochina War. Conveniently located inside the museum, visitors can pay a quick visit to The Flag Tower of Hanoi and take in the view of a World Heritage Site. 

In Hanoi Old Quater, lies the city’s rowdiest nightlife street where the locals and travelers choose to entertain and relax when the sun goes down. The capital of Vietnam has a strong history of traditional cuisine with many famous dishes. One of the delicacies that any foodie must not miss when visiting Hanoi is Bun Cha. Introduced by Anthony Bourdain and was enjoyed by the Us President, Bun Cha is a simple dish but it represents the country’s rustic cuisine.

 

HALONG BAY

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site, Halong Bay must be on the bucket list of places you have to see. Thousands of majestic limestone islands and remarkable landscape, Halong Bay assuredly lives up to its expectation as one of the most astonishing destinations. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life for the relaxing atmosphere of Halong Bay this December. Come to the Western side of the Gulf of Tonkin and journey into the breath-taking scenery of heaven on Earth.

vietnam-halong-bay-by-valdy
Halong Bay in Winter (Photo: Valdy)

ANCIENT CENTRAL CITIES

 

HUE

Embark to the center of Vietnam and get to know the rich history of Vietnam’s Imperial City. During the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945, Hue was chosen as the royal capital where the climate is cool and occasional light rain in December. The UNESCO World Heritage site is just as famous as Halong Bay features hundreds of historic monuments, pavilions, and pagoda. As you first enter the Imperial Citadel, you will immediately notice the unique architecture and beauty of the ancient capital city. Although most were badly damaged amidst the Vietnam War, the historic site of Nguyen Kings is currently under restoration to its former glory.

Hue hosts more than hundreds of pagodas with unique gracefulness but the most popular one must be Thien Mu pagoda. The ancient pagoda is situated on Ha Khe hill, about 5km West of Hue city, and over four hundred years old. Besides the architecture value, Thien Mu pagoda also comes with a mysterious history which attracts a great number of visitors. 

vietnam-hue-forbidden-city-by-christopher-scheller
Hue's Forbidden City (Photo: Christopher Scheller)

Many generations of Nguyen Kings constructed and designed their tombs so it might take you two days to visit all of them. Tu Duc Imperial tomb is the most beautiful of all, for its construction is specially fused with the nature surrounding. The tomb finished when the Emperor Tu Duc was still alive and he used it as a Summer Palace and spiritual sanctuary. The tomb was completed after 4 years with nearly 50 constructions such as mounts, palaces, and altars. Contrary to the other tomb in Hue, the tomb of Tu Duc is bathed in a tranquil ambiance thanks to the beautiful lotus flowers covering the Khiem Luu Lake.

 

HOI AN

While you are in Vietnam, be sure not to miss out the Ancient Town in Hoi An. Stepping into Hoi An, visitors will immediately feel like they are taken back in time by many vivid old wooden houses. Every corner of the town is decorated with thousands of colorful lanterns, gardens, and hidden alleys. Being named as one of the most stunning nightlife in the world, the old town offers a mystical ambiance when all the lanterns lighten up the sidewalks and night markets. Many tourists flock to Hoi An Ancient Town to experience the charm and walk around these little streets filled with ancient homes and ravishing colonial buildings.

Hoi An - City of Lanterns (Photo: Brian Lee)

If given the chance, tourists should hire a small boat and sail along the Hoai River to witness the spectacular sparkling scene unfolds at night. Many candle-lit paper lanterns are released into the river which creates a magical scene that looks straight out of a fairy tale. Hoai River is most likely the spotlight of Hoi An at night and a wonderful place to enjoy Christmas.

 

ICONIC SOUTHERN ADVENTURES

 

HO CHI MINH CITY

Embrace the spirit of Christmas holiday in Vietnam through lively urban vibes of Ho Chi Minh City, where thousands of string lights and pretty Christmas decorations will make you fell in love with the holiday even more. The light shows are the brightest and most stunning in the downtown area. Not to mention the part surrounding the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883, where every visitor must get an Instagram shot in front of the majestic cathedral during the holy night. Unfortunately, the renowned church is currently under reconstruction until 2020 but visitors can still attend the Midnight Christmas Mass inside.

Another iconic architectural landmarks located just across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral is the Saigon Post Office. The office stays functioning till date and becomes one of the city’s most prominent attractions for its elegant structure of French style.

Ho Chi Minh City is lively and full of energy filled with crowded alley and bar even at night. A great way to explore Saigon nightlife is going to Bui Vien Street known as the backpacker area. On the weekend, cars and motorbikes are not allowed to drive through as of 2017, the road has become a walking street from 7 P.M to 2 A.M. Travelers can easily find a bar and party all night with the locals. 

 

MEKONG DELTA

Stretching from My Tho to Ha Tien, the Mekong Delta River is one of the most vibrant regions in Vietnam. Journey to the west of Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta is not only about floating market but it’s much more vital to the Vietnamese economy because most of the food supply comes from the delta region. Vietnam has quite a few floating markets to choose from and each market has its charm. For first-timer visitor in Vietnam, Cai Be is the most convenient floating market to reach with just a scenic road trip ride.

vietnam-mekong-delta-by-tautvaldas-tumenas
Captivating Mekong Delta (Photo: Tautvaldas Tumenas)

December till January is typically a peak selling season for retailers when every household stocking up for New Year. If you want to experience the floating market at its most hustle and colorful then you should board a small boat very early in the morning. The seller here has a distinctive way to advertise their products not necessary to shout or scream out loud. On each boat, the owner will tie whatever they are selling to the long poles right above so customers can easily notice from far away. If the seller has many products to offer, the fruits will be lined up in horizontal.

Another highlight of the Cai Be floating market must be the traditional food which is cooked and served right on the boat. Tourists can easily find lots of delicious and cheap Vietnamese traditional dishes like Hu Tieu, Bun Bo, or Bun Rieu. As a whole, Cai Be floating market is an incredible trip with lots of dishes and vibrant atmosphere.

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