Vietnam Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Vietnam: Holidays, Events, Climate

Public holidays

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
January-mid-February Tet Nguyen Dan,four days for the traditional New Year festival (New Year according to the lunar calendar)
April, 30 Saigon, Liberation Day
1st of May Labor Day
September 2 National holiday

Source: Countryaah – Vietnam Holidays

Cultural events

  1. -15. April (13th day of the Chet month, according to the Vietnamese lunar calendar)Chol Chnam Thmay Festival: The festival is celebrated by the Khmer people in the south of the country. The God of the New Year is welcomed and Buddha and the ancestors are celebrated.

    5th day of the 5th lunar month

    Tet Doan Ngo: The festival is celebrated in every house in Vietnam and marks the middle of the year.


The climate in Vietnam is rather subtropical in the north and tropical in the south.

The subtropical north is characterized by two seasons, summer from May to October and winter from November to April. In the north, the temperatures in summer are around 30 °C but can also reach 35 °. In winter the temperatures are around 16-17 °.

The tropical south is characterized by the rainy season from May to October, the cool season from November to January and the hot season from February to April/May. In the south, the temperatures are around 35 degrees during the hot season, but can also rise to over 40 degrees. In January, during the cool season, the temperatures are around 25 degrees. Most of the rain falls from August to September. However, rain must be expected all year round.

Typhoons occur across Vietnam from June to early November.

The temperatures described can also differ in the mountains, depending on the altitude. November is the ideal travel time for the north. December and January are the best months to travel to the south of the country.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Imperial City Huë

The old royal city and temporary capital has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since December 1993.

Hue, located on the northern bank of the Perfume River, has old pagodas and the old citadel in addition to the old royal tombs of the Ngyue kings.

The city has retained its medieval core to this day.

Historic old town of Hoi An

The historic old town of Hoi An in central Vietnam is located on the banks of the Thu Bon River about 30 km from Danang. The nearby sea can be reached from the river.

The city was on the Silk Road of the Sea and is over 2,000 years old. Century an important trading center. The city was a trading center for silk, china, and Chinese medicine. It was not until 1990 that the authorities realized what a historical gem Hoi An was.

Old merchants’ houses stand on the riverbank, pagodas, temples and shrines stand in the alleys behind the houses. All of this is a mixture of different cultures – Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. Hoi An’s Historic Old Town was added to the World Heritage List in 1999


Bay Halong Bay is located in northern Vietnam. There are more than 2,000 islands with parts of huge mussel limestone banks that are estimated to be 300 million years old.

The seascape is criss-crossed by rugged cliffs and numerous grottos. Grotto tunnels connect the lakes in the interior of some islands with the bay. There are large amounts of plankton in the water and more than a thousand fish species and subspecies as well as numerous coral species live there. Fishing families still live on their boats in the bay. Ha-Long Bay was added to the World Heritage List in 1994 and expanded in 2000.

Temple City My Son

My Son is a temple city.

It is located on the Vietnamese coast in the province of Quảng Nam, only 50 kilometers southeast of the former port city of Hoi An.

The city was founded during the Cham Kltur and shows great Hindu influence on the architecture and works of art. There were still around 70 temples in My Son, surrounded by a tower-like structure and smaller buildings.

The most famous tower was 24 meters high and decorated with sculptures. It was destroyed by US planes during the Vietnam War in 1969. Only 20 of the 70 temples remained. The replica turns out to be very difficult, because the Cham construction method was seamless, and this construction method cannot be reproduced to this day. The excavations are funded with 70,000 dollars by UNESCO.

The temple city of Hoi An was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park The Phong Nha-Ke Bang

National Park is located in the Bo Trach and Minh Hoa districts in the Quảng Bình province in northern Vietnam. It extends over an area of around 86,000 ha = 860 km², borders Laos and belongs to the Annamite mountain range. Only in 2009 were 20 new caves discovered.

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has the oldest karst region in Asia. There are numerous grottos, waterfalls and underground rivers in this park. The biodiversity is enormous. 380 vertebrate species and around 60 amphibian species are described.

Rare animals threatened with extinction live here, and many endemic animal species are represented here. There are more than 1,320 described plant species in the park. The previous UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2003 was expanded in 2015 from its original area of 85,000 ha to over 126,000 ha.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was added to the World Heritage List in 2010.

Citadel of the Ho Dynasty

The citadel is located south of the Cuc Phuong National Park in the north of the country in the province of Thanh at the point where the Buoi River flows into the Ma River.

The area of the facility is approx. 20 ha = 0.2 km².

The citadel dates from the 14th century. The Nam Giao Altar and part of the city wall have been preserved. Neo-Confucianism was taught in the citadel, which was an important stream of thought and was heavily influenced by Buddhism.

In 2011 the citadel of the Ho Dynasty was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Special cities


The name Hanoi, the wonderful and lively capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, means something like “city within the rivers” in its translation. This name refers to the location of Hanoi in the Red River Delta. Most of the country’s government institutions are located in the city, which creates an international feel .

Hoi An

The historic old town of Hoi An in Central Vietnam is located on the banks of the Thu Bon River about 30 km from Danang. The nearby sea can be reached from the river. The city was on the Silk Road of the Sea and is over 2,000 years old. Century an important trading center. The city was a trading center for silk, china, and Chinese medicine.

More above under UNESCO World Heritage Sites


For details see above under UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Nha Trang

This coastal city in the Vietnamese province of Khánh Hòa is also the tourist center of the state. The city with a population of around 350,000 spreads out at the mouth of the South China Sea and is about 445 km away from Saigon. Nha Trang is popular with tourists because of its pleasant climate and beautiful sandy beaches.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

If Saigon can boast today’s Ho Chi Minh City with such a famous name as Peter Scholl-Latour and stir the drum, then there must be something to this Vietnamese city, which has always fascinated you, but at the same time scared you. The “most elegant and cultivated city in Asia”, at least in that region it should be.

Special structures

Saigon City Hall

The former City Hall of Saigon, the “Hôtel de Ville”, was built in 1906 in the French colonial style in Nguyen Hue. Unfortunately, entry is forbidden to tourists, but the building is one of the most popular photo opportunities, especially at night, especially with the statue of Hồ Chí Minh in front of it. Once it represented colonial power, it is now the seat of the HCMS People’s Committee

Main Post Office of Saigon

The main post office of the city, built between 1886 and 1891, is located east of the Notre Dame on the Dong Koi. It has recently been lovingly restored and is an important sight. You shouldn’t miss the interior, where a gigantic counter hall reminds of old times and a huge portrait of Bac Hô of newer ones.

Hotel Crazy House in Da Lat

This building can hardly be compared with any other structure. The building designed by the Vietnamese architect Hang Viet Nga looks more like a fairy tale castle than a hotel, for example there is not a single rectangular window.

The house consists of several buildings and serves as a hotel, café and art gallery. The building cannot be assigned to any known architectural style. The interior consists of caves, winding corridors, winding stairs and life-size animal statues. The entire structure gives the impression that it has melted as a result of a great deal of heat and then solidified in the following forms

The Huc Bridge

Certainly one of the most photographed buildings in Hanoi is The Huc Bridge, a picturesque link between the city’s mainland and the Jade Temple in Hoan Kiem Lake. It is also called the “Red Bridge of the Rising Sun” due to its characteristic color and beauty.

Long Bien Bridge

The exactly 1,682.60 m long bridge with a main span of 106.20 m crosses the Red River in Hanoi. It was built as a railway bridge in the years 1898-1903. The construction work was in the hands of Daydé & Pillé. Since the new Chuong Duong Bridge, which runs parallel to it, was opened for motor vehicles, about 600 m from it, it has been used by pedestrians and cyclists in addition to the railway.

Ba Na gondola lift

This gondola lift, inaugurated in 2009, connects the Ba Na holiday and entertainment center, which was built in the 1920s. It is located in Central Vietnam in the Truong Son Mountains (around: 16 ° north and 108 ° east). The gondola lift has a length of 5042 m and overcomes a height difference of 1,292 m.


The Hai-Van-Pass – also known as the Cloud Pass – connects North and South Vietnam with a maximum pass height of 496 m. Here is also the natural weather divide between the two parts of the country. The great national road No. 1 from Hanoi to Saigon leads over the top of the pass. However, due to the tunnel of the same name, which was opened in 2005, the pass road has lost some of its importance.

Hai Van Tunnel

This 6.28 km longest tunnel in Vietnam passes under the Hai Van Pass (cloud pass) and thus shortens the distance between Huế and Đà Nẵng by around 20 km. The tunnel is located on the natural border between North and South Vietnam. It was inaugurated on June 5, 2005.

Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum

The mausoleum of “Bac Ho” (“Uncle Ho”) is in Ba Dinh Square. Here visitors and admirers can see the embalmed corpse of the first Vietnamese head of state. While these have to queue forever, tourists are usually simply shown past the queue. The mausoleum is closed from September 5th to early December. During this period, Ho Chi Minh’s remains are brought to Russia for restoration.

Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất)

This rather ugly concrete block in Saigon stands on the spot where the “Norodom Palace” once stood. The governor general of Indochina had currently resided in it. In 1954 it was turned into Ngo Dinh’s presidential palace and finally demolished in 1962 after being damaged by an attack. The Reunification Palace was built in 1966, was initially called the Independence Palace and was finally given its current name after the defeat of the south. The interior – especially the library and drawing room – are well worth a visit. Guided tours are highly recommended and also provide information about the underground bunkers.

Museums, theaters, citadel

Historical Museum

The history of Vietnam is told under a pagoda-like roof. There are also Buddha images, paintings, a lot of handicrafts and a water puppet theater on display.

City Theater

The beautiful city theater in Saigon’s Le Loi is next to the town hall a second good example of how much HCMS has been shaped by the old French colonial style. The theater was opened in 1899, and in 1955 the National Assembly had its seat here for a short time. Nowadays the building has got its old function back and hosts theater performances, dances, but also fashion shows.

Thăng Long Water Puppet Theater (Water Puppet Theater)

This water puppet theater in Hanoi is of course related to the famous demonstrations of the Water Puppet Theater (Múa Rối Nước), which are unique to Vietnam. Nobody can say exactly when such demonstrations began. What is certain is that they were developed long ago during the monsoon season and performed on ponds and lakes. From the 11th century they were already part of the country’s cultural activities. The skills were only passed on within the family. Unfortunately, performances in the 20th century were close to extinction. But a French organization revived them with new dolls and new technology.

A good example of the new performances is the Thăng Long water puppet theater in Hanoi. The entrance fee includes a fan and a multilingual information program. The representations listed refer to everyday life, but also to legends of the country. Behind a bamboo wall, the puppeteers are hidden from view of the audience, which is almost entirely made up of tourists.

War Remnants Museum

This museum offers a disturbing glimpse into man’s cruelty during the Vietnam War. In addition to photographs, military equipment and a guillotine, a tiger cage prison is also simulated.

Citadel of Hanoi

In the years between 1802 and 1812, Emperor Gia Long had a citadel built, the design of which was based on plans by French fortress builders. In 1872 the French conquered the fortress and destroyed large parts. After fifty years as a restricted military area, it is now partially open to visitors again. You can reach its interior via the north gate (Cua Bac) or the central gate (Doan Mon).

Sacred buildings

Jade Mountain Temple (Den Ngoc Son)

Hanoi’s Jade Temple is located in the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake on the island of the same name. Just the short way to it is picturesque, because it can be reached via The Huc Bridge (= “Red Bridge of the Rising Sun”), a curved, red wooden bridge.

Notre Dame

The Roman Catholic cathedral “Notre Dame” was built between 1877 and 1883 in neo-Romanesque style and stands on the square of the Paris Commune, where a statue of Mary has also been placed. It marks the center of the Catholic Church in South Vietnam and is one of the city’s landmarks. Its towers are 40 meters high and made of brick. Masses in English always take place on Sundays.


Pagoda This pagoda in Saigon is a Buddhist meeting place and the residence of the Institute for Dharma Preaching. The large number of renowned Dharma teachers and monks who once received a good education here is what makes the place really famous.

Temple of the Trung Sisters (Den Hai Ba Trung)

The history of the temple in Hanoi is closely linked to the story of the Trung sisters, two Vietnamese national heroines who have been venerated in the temple since 1143. Both were victorious against the Chinese in 39 and had been crowned queens. But when the Chinese returned with an overpowering army, both sisters passed away voluntarily.


Universities in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

In addition to the numerous universities in HCMS, there are several technical colleges, research institutions as well as private and state educational institutions. A selection of major universities in the city are the following:

  • HCMC National University
  • University of Natural Sciences
  • University of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • University of Polytechnic
  • International University
  • Faculty of Economics
  • University of Information Technology
  • HCMC University of Pedagogy
  • University of Economics
  • University of Architecture
  • University of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • University of Agriculture and Forestry
  • University of Law
  • University of Technical Education
  • University of Banking
  • University of Transport
  • University of Industry
  • Open University
  • University of Sports and Physical Education
  • University of Fine Art and University of Culture

Universities and colleges in Hanoi

Hanoi, as the former capital of Indochina, is home to the first universities of western style. These include the Hanoi Medical College (1902), the Indochina University (1904) and the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de L’Indochine (1925). Access is granted to anyone who passes an entrance exam. The majority of Hanoi’s universities are public, although a few private ones have emerged in recent years. There are many primary schools in Hanoi. These are mostly only available to the Hanoians. Hanoi-Amsterdam is the most famous high school in the city (and also in Vietnam). In addition, the National Dance Academyis a very renowned dance school, in which, in addition to various types of dance, from Cham to Hmong dances to ballet and modern dance, everything is taught.


The education system is very similar to the K-12 system in the US. Elementary schools start with the 1st degree and finish with the 5th, middle schools (also: junior highs) range between the 6th and 9th and high schools between the 10th and 12th degrees.

Other sights

My Son (Mỹ Sơn)

For details, see UNESCO World Heritage Site above

Binh Quoi Village in Saigon

This park can be found right near the Saigon Waterpark, where the main attraction is probably the all-you-can-eat buffet, which is peppered with traditional dishes from South Vietnam. However, there is a lot more you can do here, such as fishing, cycling and boat trips.

Hang Da Market

This old quarter market in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is a real sight for everyone who wants to browse Hanoi’s colorful treasures without wanting to get lost in a group of tourists. The market is near St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The lower floor sells mainly fruit, vegetables and meat products, while the second floor is reserved for inexpensive clothing. Tip: action is urgently required!

My Lai

The former village of My Lai was in the southeast of Vietnam not far from Quang Ngai. It was razed to the ground by the Americans on March 16, 1968. The American army killed a large part of the civilian population, including many children. Women and young girls were raped by members of the American army.

Tunnel systems of the Viet Cong

In response to the draconian fighting by the Americans, the Vietnamese literally dug themselves into the ground.

Widely branched tunnel systems were created from which the Americans could effectively be resisted in the event of surprise attacks:

Vin-Moc tunnel system

The Vin-Moc tunnel system is approx. 2.8 km long. It is located at the 17th parallel on the Ben Hai River on Highway 1 in the former demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam. However, over the course of history, the zone had become one of the most militarized and contested regions in the world. The tunnel system was built in response to the American bombing in 1966. The Viet Cong received strong support from the civilian population in the construction. This created one of the largest tunnel systems in which civilians and the Viet Cong alike lived. The tunnel can still be viewed today in its original form.

Ca Chin tunnel system near Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

From HCMS, allow half a day or a full day to explore Cu Chi’s famous Viet Cong tunnel system. North Vietnamese partisans once hid there from the Americans. The tunnel system was about 200 kilometers long and represented almost an entire city. Schools, offices, military hospitals, etc. Everything was built underground, although nowadays most of the tunnel systems are unfortunately in ruins. However, the visitor can still look at a few passages and visit an underground museum.

Some providers drive from the tunnels to the Cao Dai Temple in Tai Ninh. It’s only worth it for travelers who are short on time and desperately need all the experience. The whole thing is very touristy and not really worth the money. Those who like it more martial can shoot with a revolver inside the tunnel. You can choose from: AK47, M16 or M60. It’s fun, but morally a bit questionable…

natural beauties

Halong Bay (Vịnh Ha Long)

Halong Bay is located in the Gulf of Tonkin and represents an area of around 1,500 km², characterized by limestone cliffs, islands and rocks. The rocks are up to several hundred meters high and most of the islands are uninhabited. The entire bay was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The caves and grottoes in the bay are also wonderful. The Vietnamese name “Vịnh Hạ Long” is best translated as “Bay of the sinking kite”. This has to do with the fact that, according to a Vietnamese legend, the bay was created by a kite, which, as it passed, dug deep furrows through the landscape with its huge tail. These were then filled by the water and created the beautiful bay. Halong Bay is best visited as part of a tour, which can be booked cheaply in hotels, travel agencies and cafes in Hanoi. However, it is advisable to visit several providers and compare the prices.

Halong Bay was the location of the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997). The region with its wonderful nature, the many caves, grottos and islands was also historically of great value for Vietnam. Mentioned are Van Don, an old port town, and the Bach Dang river, where fierce fighting against invaders from the north took place. And on February 17th a tourist ship sank here, killing 12 people.

Hoàn Kiếm Lake

The “Lake of the Returned Sword” is Hanoi’s most famous and beautiful lake. It separates the old town from the wonderful former French colonial quarter. The 700-meter-long lake, which had direct access to the Red River in the 18th century, was created as the backwater of the Red River. Fleet parades once took place on it and it was connected to the other Hanoi lakes by canals. The Hoàn Kiếm Lake, where the Trinh princes still owned 52 palaces in the 18th century, was partially filled in at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Phu Quoc

In the Gulf of Thailand, around 40 km from the Vietnamese mainland, lies Phu Quoc, with around 570 km² the largest island in the country, surrounded by numerous, smaller islands. In its history, Phu Quoc has always been a point of contention between Vietnam and Cambodia, who could not agree on whose property the main island was – mainly due to its close proximity to the neighboring state, because Phu Quoc is only around 10 km from Cambodia. The island is one of the few Vietnamese islands with a relatively well-developed infrastructure, which makes it an increasingly popular destination for tourists. It is inhabited by around 80,000 residents, whose main source of income is tourism but also fish sauces and pepper production. Phu Quoc is a paradise for nature lovers who, if adventurous, can still discover many pristine beaches, mountains and the vast natural park. The easiest way to get to the island is by plane from Ho Chi Minh City

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park includes one of the largest limestone formations in the world. The park is located in Quang Binh Province. It contains numerous caves and also an underground river. More information above under UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Mui Ne sand dunes

The small fishing village of Mui Ne is located in the Binh Thuan province about 220 km from Ho Chi Minh City and enjoys an excellent reputation, especially among extreme water sports enthusiasts and resort tourists. On the shores of the South China Sea, windsurfers and kite surfers in particular get their money’s worth, but Mui Ne is also known for its local fish sauce, the nearby Chalm temples and the Sahara-like sand dunes, which cast a spell over you with their endless, desert-like expanses. The next, the so-called red sand dunes, are about 10 km outside the village and can be easily reached by bike, while you have to continue two dozen kilometers to reach the white and orange dunes. Since the region around Mui Ne is constantly exposed to extremely strong winds,

Tam Coc and Bich Dong

About 90 km south of Hanoi is the city of Ninh Binh, capital of the province of the same name and starting point for Tam Coc (in German: three caves), one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Central Vietnam region. The three caves of Tam Coc can be reached by boat and run along several rice fields and huge limestone cliffs. They are steered by Vietnamese women, whose oar strokes and chants can be heard from far away and who transport tourists through the dark caves. The largest of them is around 125 m long and around two m high. A visit is particularly recommended outside the main travel season, when it seems as if time has stood still on the banks of the Ngo Dong River. Who would, can leave the small boats on his route and visit the Bich Dong Pagoda, the location of which was chosen by two monks in 1428. It is considered one of the most beautiful in Vietnam.

Mekong, China Sea

The Mekong

The Mekong rises in the Tibetan highlands at a (probable) height of approx. 5,200 m. It flows through China, forms the border between Myanmar and Laos and then that between Laos and Thailand, then flows through Cambodia until it reaches Vietnam south of Saigon, where it then after about 4,350 km in the south of Vietnam over nine arms in one large Delta empties into the South China Sea.

Mekong Delta

An absolute must for every Vietnam traveler is a trip to the Mekong Delta, from where the different arms of the Mekong pour into the South China Sea. The light in this part of Vietnam is breathtaking and lets you quickly forget the sometimes quite annoying program.

You can book day tours in travel agencies or hotels in the city for up to four nights. Prices and routes should be compared with other providers. The tours are very touristy, so you shouldn’t be disappointed if you only meet tourist-oriented residents etc. On the other hand, they are a lot easier to manage than individual trips and excursions.

The South China Sea

The South China Sea is part of the China Sea and thus a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the South China Sea, the China Sea also includes the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. The South China Sea covers an area of approximately 2,975,000 km² and has a maximum depth of 5,015 m. The sea lies between China, the Indochinese and Malay Peninsulas and the islands of Taiwan, Luzon, Palawan and Borneo. In addition to Vietnam, the following countries are located on the South China Sea in alphabetical order: Brunei, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Incidentally, Thailand is correctly located on the Gulf of Thailand, which is part of the South China Sea.

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