As a long narrow country, Vietnam’s climate varies depending on if you are in the north, central areas, or south, which is great for travelers as the weather is always perfect somewhere.
In the north, November to April is winter and despite being in South East Asia it has a cool (mainly dry) winter as it is close to the Tropic of Cancer. The temperatures can drop to 10 °C (50 °F), though it usually hovers somewhere between 15 and 20 °C (59-68°F), with rainfall of about 25 mm per month. There are sometimes monsoons in the north east in January, so an umbrella can prove useful.
While in central Vietnam, September to December is rainy season, and it is the wettest in October when rainfall is over 200 mm per month and temperatures a warm 22 to 28 °C (72-82°F). Many avoid the rains by taking time to visit the famed Phong Nha caves in the central coast region, a complex underground cave and river system that is also a Unesco world heritage site. For those who prefer clothes shopping, Hoi An is a beautifully preserved town famed for its innovative tailoring, where you can find unusual pieces you cannot find anywhere else.
In southern Vietnam, November through April is hot and very humid, with temperatures generally between 22 and 32 °C (72-90°F) and limited rainfall. Late January or early February sees Tet Nguyen Dan, the lunar New Year. People clean their homes, cook special dishes and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Tet festivities last up to a month, and include firecrackers, fireworks and masked dances, not to mention vast arrays of flowers used to decorate prey much anything. The hot weather the perfect season to take in the breeze and enjoy a lazy sail in and around the Mekong delta in a classic wooden junk boat
Set in the spectacular surrounds of Bo Lu field in Bac Kan province, Long Tong is one of the largest agricultural festivals in northern Vietnam. Literally meaning ‘going to the field’, the daylong festival includes various religious rituals alongside stilt walking, archery, ball games and all the usual farm animals.
Location: Hue, Vietnam
H'Mong Village Festival
One noteworthy festival of the remote H’Mong ethnic group is Gau Tao or San Sai Festival, which roughly translates to ‘walking on the mountain’. This is a chance for all the villagers to dress up, showing off their best clothes and new costumes over the course of three days. Elsewhere, you'll see games, singing and traditional ceremonies.
Location: Various, Vietnam
Huong Pagoda Festival
February - May
One of the most spectacular Buddhist festivals in northern Vietnam, this epic three-month event in My Duc District is split into two parts: ceremonial rituals and entertaining activities. Expect monks giving blessings, alongside beautiful dances and flower shows. Pilgrims also take boat trips and go mountain climbing.
Location: My Duc, Vietnam
Tet Holiday Rice Cooking Competitions
As part of the Tet New Year celebrations, villages hold rice cooking contests on the first day of the lunar year. You won’t find any electric rice cookers here; contestants must use dried sugar cane for fire whilst floating in bamboo boat. Expect the action to start at sunrise, with over 200 people all cooking to the sound of a drum.
Location: Hoi An, Vietnam
Yen Tu Festival
The three-month Yen Tu Festival, held within a majestic mountain range in north-eastern Vietnam, starts on the 10th day of the first lunar month. After holding a small ritual at the base of Yen Tu Mountain, tens of thousands of pilgrims journey to a shrine at the summit in an effort to realize personal dreams or get rid of sorrow.
Location: Yen Tu, Vietnam
Tet Dancing Festival
January - February
This lively two-day dance festival in Sapa District (Lao Cai Province) is held as part of Vietnamese New Year (Tet). The elaborate dance styles on show represent heavenly figures who are supposed to come down to earth to join in the Tet celebrations. Vibrant colors and statue bathing are also on display throughout the village.
Location: Sapa, Vietnam
Theroux in Southeast Asia: Revisiting The Great Railway Bazaar
Author : John McMahon
When Paul Theroux set out from his local stop on the London underground to the farthest reaches of Asia by rail, he would go on to write one of the greatest travelogues of the modern age. But Asia has changed.
JW Marriottâs Pink Pearl Brings French Fine Dining to Vietnamâs Phu Quoc Paradise
Author : Travelogues
Phu Quoc just got a little bit tastier with the addition of French fine dining at the JW Marriott's Pink Pearl, a highly anticipated F&B addition featuring Chef Amine Lakhdari in the kitchen and Bill Bensley behind the design.