Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in December – What do you need to know before going?

Like many tropical countries, Vietnam can be visited all year round; as each season has its own signature and wonderful places to visit but a lot of travelers decide to come to Vietnam for the most important holiday of the year – Christmas and New Year, which is often in December. So let’s see what you should expect for the best places to visit in Vietnam in December also the weather at this time.

How is the weather in Vietnam in December?

December is characterized by pleasant weather throughout Vietnam, with a significant decrease in rainfall and milder temperatures compared to the previous months. However, it’s important to note that the weather can vary across different regions of the country. Let’s take a closer look:

Vietnam in December by region
Vietnam in December by region

Northern Vietnam

December is in the winter season in the North (including Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Ha Giang, etc) with little rain expected and an average temperature of 19-22 degrees Celsius. So it is basically completely dry during this time, considered as the driest month of the year.

In the northern mountainous areas such as Sapa, it has gotten much colder, frosty, and snowy in recent years, especially in the early morning or evening. So warm clothes are mostly recommended when you plan to travel in this region.

Central Vietnam

Whilst conditions undoubtedly start to improve in central regions with a significant drop in rainfall, stormy weather is still a possibility in Central Vietnam, especially early in December. More rainfall is expected in Hue than in Hoi An while throughout the region temperatures are close to their lowest for the year, although still far from chilly with an average temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.

Hoi An has some lovely beaches such as Cua Dai and An Bang Beach, it is super beautiful with blueish water and white sand. However in this season, because of the rain, the water is not as blue and crystal as normal but turbid with strong waves – not ideal for swimming.

Plus, if storms come, there is a chance that the ancient street will be flooded. All of the stores are closed since the flood water spilled into their house and they have to move to their relatives’ house to live. But no worries, if you travel to Hoi An this time, you can have the opportunity to visit the old town by a small sampan rowed by local people. What a cool way!

Southern Vietnam

The Southern does not rain much in December thus welcoming the perfect weather – dry, blue sky, sunny for beach break. Since it is not as hot as the rainy season (May to October), it is pleasant to wander around the city sightseeing & monuments. Phu Quoc is a hot spot for December because people tend to relax and enjoy Christmas Eve and New Year on this beautiful island. So take time to choose the faraway beach which is pure, clean, and out-of-the-crowd.

Best Places to Visit in Vietnam in December

Here are some of the best destinations to visit in Vietnam during December:

Halong Bay – December offers calm waters and clear skies, making it an excellent time for a cruise or kayak adventure. This is also a wonderful time for travelers to visit Halong Bay as you can have a chance to join themed parties and GALA dinners on board for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and a good time for couples who like to have a romantic and luxurious honeymoon on a cruise.

Hanoi – In December, Hanoi experiences a pleasant and slightly cooler climate, perfect for exploring its vibrant street markets, enjoying local cuisine, and visiting historical sites like the Temple of Literature and Hoan Kiem Lake. Don’t forget to stroll around Hang Ma Street to immerse in the vibrant Christmas vibe are covering on Hanoi at this time.

Halong Bay and Hanoi in December
Halong Bay and Hanoi in December

Nha Trang – Nha Trang will be seeing rainfall, although this steadily declines through the month. December offers ideal beach weather with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Relax on the beautiful white sands, go snorkeling or scuba diving to discover the colorful coral reefs, and indulge in fresh seafood.

Dalat – Nestled in the Central Highlands, Dalat is a charming hill station known for its cool climate and stunning natural landscapes. In December, Dalat experiences mild temperatures and is often referred to as the “City of Eternal Spring”, which remains excellent with dry, clear sky. It is famous for the title “4 seasons a day” – misty in the morning, hot and sunny from around 10 am, cool in the afternoon, and cold in the evening.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) –  In December, the city experiences warm temperatures, making it an ideal time to explore famous attractions like the Cu Chi Tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, and the bustling Ben Thanh Market.

Vietnam in December
Vietnam in December

Cost & Crowded

December is considered the peak tourist season in Vietnam, especially during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Here are some notices for you:

  1. Vietnamese have a national holiday for a couple of days at the beginning of the year so they tend to come back home to gather with their family. It means that it is less crowded fewer vehicles, and fewer people in the big cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. And also more crowded in the beach cities such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, etc. as there are still some people who like to travel during this vacation with their friends and family.
  2. Many Phu Quoc hotels & resorts offer a long-stay promotion rate (for example stay 4 nights pay 3 nights), and many more travelers would love to be here. Also, there are some resorts that only accept bookings with at least 3 nights stay.
  3. Almost all the hotels require a fee for the compulsory dinner/party on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. It generally starts from US$70-80 per adult, children under 10 years old can have a discount of 50%. So make sure to ask the hotel about this.
  4. Book the table in your favorite local restaurant in advance or ask your travel agent to do it since all famous ones can be sold out quite soon, especially for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.


Should I Visit Sapa Vietnam in December?

If you are not fond of colder weather and prefer clearer views for trekking and exploring the terraced rice fields that Sapa is famous for, it might be advisable to skip Sapa in December and consider visiting during the warmer months from March to May or September to November.

However, if you enjoy cooler temperatures and are prepared for the possibility of mist and fog, visiting Sapa in December can still provide a unique and serene experience. Just make sure to pack warm clothing and be aware of the weather conditions.

Is Vietnam good to go to in December?

Yes, December is an excellent time to visit Vietnam. The weather is generally pleasant across the country, and there are many festivals and celebrations during this time.

What are the best and worst months to visit Vietnam?

The best months to visit Vietnam are generally from December to April, during the dry season. The worst months are typically from July to September when the country experiences heavy rainfall and occasional typhoons.

What is the weather like in Vietnam over Christmas?

The weather in Vietnam over Christmas varies depending on the region. In the northern and central parts of the country, including Hanoi and Hoi An, temperatures are cooler with mild to pleasant weather. In the southern regions, such as Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, it is warmer with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F).

Christmas Eve in Vietnam
Christmas Eve in Vietnam

Is Hanoi cold in December?

Hanoi experiences cooler temperatures in December, ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). While it can be chilly, especially in the evenings, it is generally a pleasant time to explore the city without the heat and humidity of the summer months.

So in general, if you ask what Vietnam’s weather in December is like, I reassure you that December is one of the ideal months to see the most beautiful Vietnam. Let’s plan and book now with us – Indochina Voyages, more than 500+ excellent reviews couldn’t be wrong to make sure all things are in place before it is fully booked.

Thuy Dang – From Indochina Voyages Team

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