Travel to Vietnam
Vietnam is a feast from all angles. Crazy, calm, exciting and relaxing, Vietnam is among the few rare destinations where your experiences can be stretched to its limits. Every landscape you tread, every architecture you see, every dish you taste and every person you meet has a story to be told. In the north, Ha Long Bay is an UNESCO site that offers an amazing scene of jagged limestone islands rearing out of the water. Tranquil paddy fields give way to the nation’s capital Hanoi and financial hub, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south. Between these two great cities lie stretches of unspoiled beaches, verdant forests and soaring peaks.
Hanoi is Vietnam’s cultural heart that still bears the traces of centuries of change. This genteel city of wide Parisian boulevards and temples is the perfect home base for exploring nearby Ha Long Bay and Tam Coc. Ho Chi Minh City was romantically referred to by the French colonials as the Pearl of the Orient. Today it is a supercharged city but fortunately its frenetic pace is tempered by peaceful pagodas, parks and delightful cafes. Between the two major urban centers is the charming city of Hoi An with French colonial architecture, historic traders’ houses, and beautiful temples.
Vietnamese food showcases its abundance ingredients with traditional and adopted recipes. There is a wide range of cuisine to suit everyone’s taste buds. From banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches), refreshing summer rolls, renowned chicken and beef pho noodles to seafood with fragrant fresh basil, mint and lemongrass.
Best Time to Visit Vietnam
Although Vietnam has a tropical climate, its weather patterns differ greatly between the north and south and from coast to highlands. In general, the best time to visit Vietnam is from December to April. The monsoon season brings heavy rains from May to October. It is relatively dry from November to February. The hot season from February to April can reach up to 95F (35C).
The best times to visit Vietnam’s northern region is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when you’ll be spared the full brunt of the summer heat and the cold winter downpours.
Vietnam’s central region experiences more of a coastal climate. Hoi An hardly encounters heavy showers, and is especially beautiful between February and July when the old town and beaches are humming with activity.
The best time to visit Vietnam’s southern region is between December and April. Unlike its northern region, the south experiences consistently warm temperatures throughout the year, peaking at around 93F/34C between February and May.