Vietnam stretches over several degrees of latitude which inevitably means there are climatic differences between the north up close to the Chinese border and the southern coastline. An extensive coastline affects the weather as well. The result is that you can expect changing conditions during a Vietnam holiday, but as a generalisation, the months between October and April offer the best weather; for that reason, those are the months regarded as high season in Vietnam. If you travel Vietnam in high season, you can expect to see plenty of other travellers enjoying what the Country has to offer. Tourist numbers have been growing year after year in recent times, and there are plenty of reasons why the Country has become such a popular tourist destination.
The history and culture of Vietnam attracts visitors who can also enjoy Vietnam itineraries that include enjoying the rural environment and simply meeting the people whether they are city street vendors selling food or the ethnic tribes whose lives are little different from their ancestors. Add the beautiful beaches and warm waters and Vietnam has everything.
If you want a tip to travel Vietnam, seek out a good Vietnam travel agent who can devise an itinerary specifically for you. With a good internal transport infrastructure, it is fairly easy to cover the country quickly but why would you rush unless your time is limited?
High season in North Vietnam still takes the name of winter. Indeed, if you travel north of Hanoi into the mountainous region stretching to the Chinese border, you may actually experience cool nights, especially in December and January, yet it will be essentially dry and a good time for exploring the natural environment and meeting those ethnic tribes. It makes sense to avoid the rains of low season if you want to trek, cycle or even take a motorbike to explore because routes can be slippery during wet weather.
Rain and wind also impact on the coast; you do not want to have your Halong Bay cruise disrupted or even cancelled by poor weather. That is infrequent but should never happen in high season. The stunning caves of the north are sometimes flooded after heavy rains and that can lead to changes in your itinerary at the last minute; that will not happen during the high season, October to April.
In Central Vietnam, you can still expect some rainfall as the high season opens. However, that should not mean that you cannot enjoy the two historic cities, Hue, the former imperial capital in the 19th and first half of the 20th Centuries and the former Champa trading port of Hoi An. The high season is also the best time to explore Dalat and the Central Highlands. Dalat was developed during the French colonial period because its altitude meant that the climate as cooler than in the lowland regions.
You perhaps need to plan in advance if you are contemplating a Vietnam holiday during the high season because many places are booked in advance?If you don’t, it may limit your accommodation choices. Inevitably, because demand is high, prices go up during high season,but things are still very reasonable compared with other top tourist destinations around the world.
If you have never been to this part of the world before, you should talk to an experienced Vietnam travel agency who can help devise an itinerary for you to include the main highlights of Vietnam. They will certainly include the following:
• The Northern Highlands including SaPa and Fanispan, Indochina’s highest peak. You can trek up to the summit or take the cable car if you don’t feel up to the climb
• Hanoi with all its history and culture including Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake and the streets of the Old Town. Hanoi is a hecticplace, but it is a ‘’must visit’’ while you are in Vietnam
• Halong Bay due east of Hanoi is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site, a bay full of limestone islands. You can stay overnight on a modern craft, enjoying sunset, sunrise and full catering
• Hue and Hoi An as previously mentioned. Both have a rich history and things to mention include the Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An and the Imperial Tombs on the south bank of the Perfume River in Hue.
• Ho Chi Minh City which is also the gateway to Vietnam’s most fertile region, the Mekong Delta. The markets selling the vast range of fruit and vegetables grown in the Delta are a real tourist attraction. They start early in the morning and attract customers from all over the Country. Another trip out of the City is to visit the Chu Chi Tunnels used by the Vietcong during the Vietnam War. You will be amazed that people could live underground in such a confined space; that is if you can actually get inside yourself.
• Phu Quoc, an island off the Cambodian Coastline but very much Vietnam. It has its own airport and some international flights touch down there as well.
You can start a tour of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, with their international airports the most popular ‘’ports’’ of entry and head north or south accordingly. The domestic flight timetable is extensive if you do not wish to travel overland but one of the pleasures of travel is to see the countryside so you should strike a balance between flying and overland travel with available time being one of the considerations.
If you decide to travel to Vietnam in high season when elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere winter means wet and cold weather, you can enjoy a break from grey days with limited hours of daylight. That is certainly a reason to leave home for a holiday, and if you pick Vietnam, you will certainly experience things that you have never come across before. The people are friendly, the cuisine wonderful using fresh produce every time and the weather warm. Go for it!