December is an excellent month to travel to Vietnam as it is the start of the dry season and temperatures are noticeably cooler in the mountainous North, and less hot in the often-balmy South. Even in central Vietnam rain and stormy weather diminishes by the end of the month.
From bustling cities to serene countryside and pristine beaches, Vietnam caters to diverse preferences attracting both families and solo travellers. From the historical allure of Hanoi and the ethereal beauty of Halong Bay, to the cultural festivities of Ho Chi Minh City, there is no shortage of captivating destinations in Vietnam in December. Best of all, you will find a festive ambiance weaving in every corner of its streets creating an unparalleled experience for solo travellers and single parents. If you are thinking of travelling to this enchanting country during the festive season, check out our 10 best things to do in Vietnam in December:
1. Explore Hanoi’s Winter Charm:
As the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi takes on a special allure in December. The mild weather, often accompanied by a light drizzle, only enhances the city’s historic charm, making it an enticing option for anyone booking Vietnam tour packages from Mumbai, where temperatures rarely drop. Take a stroll around the Old Quarter, where narrow streets are adorned with colourful lights and festive decorations, creating a picturesque setting. For those seeking an immersive experience in Hanoi, don’t miss the chance to savour a bowl of piping hot pho or indulge in some traditional egg coffee at one of the local cafes.
2. Cruise Through Halong Bay’s Mystical Beauty:
December is an ideal time to explore the mesmerizing Halong Bay. The cool temperatures and misty atmosphere add an ethereal touch to the karst limestone formations and emerald waters, creating a captivating experience for single travellers and families alike. For an immersive adventure, consider taking an overnight cruise to fully appreciate the bay’s beauty and witness breathtaking sunsets and sunrises over the iconic landscape.
3. Celebrate Christmas in Ho Chi Minh City:
While Christmas may not be a traditional Vietnamese holiday, Ho Chi Minh City embraces the festive spirit with dazzling decorations and cheerful celebrations. Head to District 1, where the streets come alive with lights, music, and a contagious holiday vibe. Many restaurants and hotels offer special Christmas dinners, providing a unique blend of Vietnamese and Western holiday traditions. If you are used to travelling on our singles holidays for the over 40s and are worried about travelling solo without company, you don’t need to be. The country is one of the safest places in Southeast Asia, and its major cities are firmly established on the main tourist trail.
4. Attend the Hoi An Lantern Festival:
Hoi An, with its well-preserved ancient town, is magical any time of the year, but it is especially enchanting during the Lantern Festival in December. On the 14th day of each lunar month, Hoi An turns off its electric lights and transforms into a sea of colourful lanterns. Stroll along the Thu Bon River, take a boat ride, and enjoy the traditional music and dance performances that add to the festive atmosphere.
5. Experience the Tết Holiday Preparations:
While Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, usually falls in January or February, December marks the beginning of the preparations for the most important celebration in the Vietnamese calendar. Visit local markets to witness the bustling activity as families shop for traditional Tết decorations, special foods, and new clothes. The anticipation in the air is palpable, offering a unique glimpse into Vietnamese culture and customs.
6. Trek Through Sa Pa’s Terraced Rice Fields:
For nature lovers and adventure seekers, Sa Pa in December is a trekker’s and photographer’s paradise. The terraced rice fields, surrounded by mist-covered mountains, create a breathtaking landscape. As the weather gets colder, the fields are transformed into a sea of golden hues making it one of the best things to do in Vietnam in December. Consider embarking on a trek to the ethnic minority villages, where you can interact with locals and learn about their unique traditions. The cool weather adds to the enjoyment of the trek, making December an ideal time to explore this northern gem.
7. Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels:
Delve into Vietnam’s wartime history by visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City. Used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, these tunnels offer a fascinating glimpse into the resilience and resourcefulness of the Vietnamese people. December’s cooler temperatures make exploring the underground network more comfortable, allowing visitors to learn about the intricate system of tunnels, bunkers, and traps.
8. Relax on the Beaches of Phu Quoc:
Being a single parent at Christmas isn’t easy. If you want to escape the blues and the winter chill, head to the tropical paradise of Phu Quoc. With its pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush landscapes, this island offers the perfect setting for relaxation. Whether you prefer lounging on the beach, exploring the vibrant coral reefs through snorkelling, or indulging in delicious seafood, Phu Quoc has it all. December is one of the best months to visit Phu Quoc due to the settled weather, making it an excellent time for a beach getaway.
9. Visit the Imperial City of Hue:
Step back in time by exploring the historic Imperial City of Hue. The former capital of Vietnam boasts a rich history and is home to well-preserved ancient citadels, pagodas, and royal tombs. December offers mild weather, making it an ideal time to wander through the citadel’s vast grounds, visit the iconic Perfume River, and explore the city’s cultural and architectural treasures.
10. Indulge in Vietnamese Cuisine:
No visit to Vietnam in December is complete without savouring its delectable cuisine. December is an excellent time to indulge in heart warming dishes like bun bo Hue (spicy beef noodle soup) and banh xeo (crispy Vietnamese pancake). Explore local markets, street food stalls, and upscale restaurants to experience the diverse flavours of Vietnamese cuisine, which reflects the country’s cultural diversity and culinary artistry.
We hope you enjoyed reading about our 10 best things to do in Vietnam in December. We love this captivating country on the eastern Indochinese Peninsula which enjoys not only a very diverse climate, but also attractions for every visitor’s taste. Whether you are looking to relax on a beach holiday in Phu Quoc, seek a nature-inspired adventure with unique photo opportunities, or want to embrace the sparkling lights from the enchanting Lantern Festival in Hoi An, Vietnam in December promises a multifaceted journey, ensuring an unforgettable and well-rounded travel experience for families and solo travellers alike.