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Jan 29, 2024 / 11:27

Is Tet the right time to travel to Vietnam?

With the Tet holiday on the doorstep, people will be eager to travel and celebrate with friends and family.

The Vietnamese Tet holiday usually falls in late January or early February. This is seen as the best time of year to travel when the weather is not too hot in the central and southern regions while the north is cold. However, there are some tips that foreign travelers should bear in mind when visiting the country on this occasion.

 A calligraphy stall on Hanoi Street during the Tet holiday. Photo: Chuyen cua Ha Noi

Best places to visit during Tet holiday

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City seem to be the ideal destinations for Tet, as many national celebrations will be held, especially in the downtown areas.

One of the highlights of this Tet holiday in Hanoi is the Old Quarter with the "Vietnamese Tet - Old Quarter Tet 2024" program, which will be held from January 28 to February 9 at Kim Ngan Temple; Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Center, No.50 Dao Duy Tu Street; Culture and Arts Center, No.22 Hang Buom Street; Thang Long Imperial Citadel, and others.

Travel + Leisure, in a recent article titled "The Best (and Worst) Times to Visit Vietnam, According to Experts" gives travelers some hints when traveling to Vietnam this time of year.

  The joyful, vibrant atmosphere of Hanoi's streets a few weeks before Tet holiday. Photo: Duy Khanh

 According to the travel website, the Vietnamese Tet holiday, which falls from February 8 to 14, is a tricky time to visit, as many landmarks and businesses close for a week to celebrate the most important holiday for Vietnamese, according to Travel + Leisure.

"During this time, most of the key sights in the cities are closed as everyone goes back to their family villages to celebrate," the travel website quoted Melissa Matthews, regional director for Southeast Asia and North America, as saying.

Beach vacation is an ideal choice

According to Travel + Leisure staff writer Shophie Dodd, Vietnam is more than 1,000 miles long, a spectacularly slender country that's only 30 miles wide at its narrowest point. Each region has its charm and climate, which means travelers must carefully consider the timing of their visits. She recommends that travelers to Vietnam take a beach vacation during the festival and finish their trip with time in the major cities.

 Nha Trang Bay, a popular beach vacation destination. Photo: Thanh Hang 

Vietnam is a beautiful country with tropical weather, making it ideal for year-round visits. Among the highlight travel attractions, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc, and Mui Ne are ideal for beach vacations.

Located about 125 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau is positioned at a curved point of the letter "S" on the map of Vietnam. The beach destination is famous for its crystal clear water, white sand under the sun, and a large number of hotels and resorts with fully equipped facilities. Especially Front Beach is considered the most beautiful place to watch the sunset when the sky turns red and the sun seems to melt into the vast sea.

Meanwhile, Nha Trang is a popular tourist site for its diverse marine ecosystem and dense coral reefs. And Mui Ne Cape, 22 kilometers from Phan Thiet City in the central province of Binh Thuan, is famous for its pristine beauty of "flying dunes". The dunes get their name because they change several times a day depending on the wind direction, leaving beautiful sand waves or sand prints.

Don't trek in Sapa or cruise on Ha Long during rainy season

 Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vietnam's northern province of Quang Ninh. Photo: Tran Huong

 Each region of Vietnam boasts its allure and climate, so travelers should carefully consider when to visit based on their desired itinerary, according to Travel + Leisure.

For travelers who enjoy cruising Ha Long Bay or trekking in Sapa, a wonderful destination in the north, Travel + Leisure suggests some times when they are unlikely to have the best experience.

While Vietnam's varied climate means there's never really a bad time to visit, you may want to avoid traveling during the monsoon season in September and October.

"When the monsoon hits, it is hard and heavy and very humid," says Matthews, who suggests sightseeing in cities during the rainy season, where you can still visit museums and historic temples between rainstorms. "Avoid the mountainous region of Sapa and don't book a cruise in Ha Long Bay as there are storms and boats are grounded," the website warns.

So, the best time to plan a trip to Sapa town in Lao Cai Province is from September to November or March and April, while March, April, October, and November are ideal for cruising Ha Long Bay.