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Should you spend your Christmas Holiday in Vietnam?
Posted By : Threeland Travel / Vietnam Travel Guide

Since Vietnam is influenced more by Buddhism and Confucianism than Christianity, the questions I’ve got asked frequently relating to Christmas Vietnam were: “Do Vietnamese people know what Christmas is?”, “Do you guys celebrate Christmas in Vietnam” or “Do you know Jesus?” 

The Christians in the country only accounts for some 7% of Vietnam’s population, and Christmas is not an official public holiday, nobody gets the day off, but you’ll feel Christmas ambiance with ornaments and carols throughout the country, especially in big cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang. Read this blog in details before you book any Vietnam Tours.

1.Vietnam Christmas weather (Vietnam weather in December) 

If you desire to escape the chilly, long Christmas nights in Europe or in the United State, and look for a Christmas holiday package under the warm sun while enjoying Christmas holiday of a totally different style, then I would say that Vietnam will indulge you by its beautiful landscapes and nice weather in December. 

Vietnam’s weather in December during Christmas is ideal in every place for enjoying a great Christmas with all options from the beach to mountain, for a budget Christmas vacation or a luxury holiday to Vietnam. In the north of the country, the average temperature is about 16oC, it can occasionally drop under 0C on highland such as Sapa, Ha Giang with snow. It’s really cold but not as those blasting nights in Europe. Meanwhile, traveling toward southern Vietnam the climate and weather are pleasant to set a variety of activities such as diving, snorkeling, and boat trip.


Are you ready for Christmas in Vietnam?

Northern Vietnam’s December weather: in Hanoi and Halong Bay

It’s the wintertime during Christmas in the north of Vietnam, Hanoi and Halong Bay experience the bright coldness, still it’s dry and clear with no signs of shower or humidity (it may drizzle occasionally). The average temperature is around 19oC, but may decrease 3-4 oC for some days or when the night falls, so don’t forget to bring the jacket and scarf along. Some tourists still enjoy swimming during their trips to Halong Bay on Christmas if the weather is dry with warm sun. 

Central Vietnam’s December weather: in Hoi An, Hue, and Da Nang 

This region during Christmas time in December experiences a significant drop in rainfall, stormy weather. Throughout Vietnam Central, the temperature is around 22 oC – almost the lowest of the year in the central Vietnam. The sun is brighter and the weather is warmer which enables you to have a perfect Christmas holiday on the beautiful beaches in Da Nang, or at the ancient town of Hoi An and the historical city of Hue. 

Southern Vietnam’s December weather: in Saigon, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc, and Mui Ne 

In contrast to the far north part, the Southern part of Vietnam has no winter season. And during Christmas time in December, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and the surrounding provinces in Mekong Delta enjoy the warm weather in their best climate condition with little rain and blue sky. This is an ideal time to have a beach tour to the southern islands including Phu Quoc, Mui Ne. 

See more: Best time to visit Vietnam with destinations

2. How is Christmas celebrated in Vietnam?

In Vietnam, Christmas Eve is often more important than Christmas Day, then all the main activities held on Christmas’ Eve. However, a few weeks before Christmas Day, all the streets and shops are decorated in red and white. Many hotels, office buildings or shopping malls place a Christmas tree in the center and adorn it with sparkling ornaments, besides they also pattern the building, hang mistletoe on the door which makes the tourists feel like home.


Decoration of Noel Tree

During Christmas occasion, many shops and restaurants offer special promotion campaign such as sale off or give away to promote shopping. You can take advantage of this chance to buy Vietnamese Christmas gifts for your family and friends, or at least a present for yourself.

On Christmas’s Eve, people come to a local church or Catholic Cathedral to pray for peace and happiness. Not only Christians go to the church on this Christmas day, there is a large amount of non - Christians come also. They come to the church to listen to Christian Hymns and watch the Nativity plays. And when the ceremony is over, everyone goes to the city center where music shows held for Christmas.

Inhabitant come to Catholic Cathedral

Vietnamese people like to give presents of food and at Christmas, a chocolate cake in the shape of a log is a popular gift. Other Christmas presents aren't very common, although some young people like to exchange Christmas cards.

Good to know: It could become extremely crowded at the central hubs in big cities during Christmas’s Eve. Advice for you is hanging out early and finding a good seat at a restaurant or a pub/bar before Vietnamese locals occupy all the streets and eating/drinking places at night.

See more: Unwritten tips for shopping in Vietnam to save your wallet

3. Top places for Christmas Holiday Package in Vietnam 

Christmas holiday to Vietnam considered as a very peak season for traveling inside the country, still, there’s plenty to do during Christmas in Vietnam. But for a hassle-free holiday or for a budget family Christmas holiday in Vietnam, you’d better plan and arrange well in ahead of time as in such you will have a wider option of accommodations and services to choose from with better value. 

a. Christmas in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City 

Situated on the top of the list, these incredible cities provide the most Christmas atmosphere. They are also the top kid-friendly destinations for family vacations during Christmas time.

In Hanoi, thanks to the cold weather of winter, you can feel the entirely Christmas ambiance like you are home. As a blend of Vietnamese traditional culture and Western culture, all the roads are illuminated at night with lights and patterns. In the center of the capital, you can see Santa Clause walking around the streets and giving balloons or candies to children.

Don’t miss your chance to visit Hang Ma Street where is the center of selling ornaments for special occasions like Tet holiday, Mid-Autumn Festival or Halloween Day. On this time of the year, you will see a vast of decorations, Santa Claus costumes, gifts, and postcards hanging outside the shops.

The sparkling Hang Ma Street

Located in the heart of Hanoi city, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the most visited place in town. This is one of the most typical and oldest colonial buildings in the capital. Everyone gathers here to participate in the secret ceremony for Jesus and celebrate Christmas.

Outside St. Joseph’s Cathedral – Hanoi

On the other hand, Ho Chi Minh City is warmer and more crowded, but visitors still can fully enjoy the festival atmosphere here. Just like St, Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi, Notre - Dame Cathedral attracts thousands of Christian and the locals gather here for Christmas celebration. After the ceremony, you can go to restaurants or coffee shops nearby to enjoy the city vibe at night.

Notre-Dame Cathedral on Christmas

Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Saigon is a popular place for young people and families gathering to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Besides music mini-shows on the street, there are cultural exhibitions and water music performances. In case you are hungry, food stalls, fast food restaurants, and convenient stores are waiting for you on both sides of the road.


Nguyen Hue Walking Street on Christmas

If you want to avoid the crowd and find a more private place for your family in the Christmas night, why don’t you try having dinner on the Special Saigon River Cruise

What is a better way to spend your Christmas time with your lovely family than relaxing on the upper deck, having a nice talk, admiring the colorful, glittering cities of lights and enjoying dinner with the delicious local cuisines?


Saigon river cruise tour

See more:

What is Christmas in Hanoi like? Things to do and places to go

Cruise dining on Saigon River

b. Christmas in Sapa

You don’t mind embracing the cold and maybe the snow for a more typical Christmas, then Sapa in North of Vietnam is your place to visit in Christmas time. Located on the North Highland of Vietnam, Sapa attracted visitors with magnificent mountainous landscapes, wonderful rice terraces and peaceful ethnic villages.

Wallowed in the sacred Sapa Church during your Christmas holiday 

Visit Sapa during Christmas, do not forget to come to Sapa Church in Sapa town - the iconic feature in town. It still remains its gothic French architecture since constructed in 1895. In front of the building is the city square where important ceremonies and weekend markets take place. Furthermore, grab a motorbike or have a Sapa trekking tour to explore unique culture of the locals in some ethnic villages such as Cat Cat, Ta Phin, and Lao Chai.

c. Christmas in Pu Luong

Seeking for some adventure still having leisure time for Xmas, then Pu Luong should definitely be a tick in your list. This nature reserve is still unknown among most tourists but containing all the highlights of Northern Vietnam in one place, from magnificent mountain ranges to stunning rice terrace fields. All travelers love trekking through local working farm’s land and interacting with the local people from the remote areas to learn about making rice wine, how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts. Meanwhile, some tourists seek for some quality tranquil space and time by joining a yoga tour at Pu Luong. 

Indulged in the tranquil Pu Luong Retreat on Christmas day

See more: Vietnam wellness tour with meditation (including Pu Luong)

d. Christmas in Halong Bay 

Spending Christmas in Halong Bay is something that you should consider doing at least once in your lifetime. Whilst there may not be snow, and no chimneys for Santa to descend, a Christmas in this UNESCO-listed bay is certainly unforgettable for those who wish for a different way to spend the holidays. Indulge yourself on a Halong Bay cruise, spend your Christmas Eve quietly with a small group of people surrounded by towering karst limestone formations while lazing on the sun loungers and relishing the soothing winter breeze from the ocean.

More than about 500 cruise companies operating across Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Cat Ba Island with different itineraries and junk design styles, your Halong Bay cruise should suit not only your budget but also your expectations. Advice for you is asking a local travel agency who knows all cruises the most, they will help you to arrange a Halong bay cruise tour on your request. And remember to book well in advance to save you money as, during the festive period, prices should be at their premium. 


Tai-chi on Halong bay junk

Good to know:

If not in rush, you should pay a visit to Halong city or Bai Chay town, before or after your overnight cruise tour, where you can join a Christmas vibe with night markets, streets, restaurants in luminous decoration. 

Normally, the Halong cruises will surcharge for Christmas dinner on cruise from 30$-60$. So please notice on this addition. 

See more: Amazing Halong cruise tour

d. Christmas in Hoi An 

Hoi An Ancient Town holds almost intact with more than 1000 architectural monuments from streets, houses, clubs, communal houses, pagodas, temples, and ethnic houses,.. to traditional dishes, the soul of the people here. Stepping foot into this place, visitors will be taken on a journey to the past with all old buildings around.


Hoi An on Christmas Day

On Christmas Eve, Hoi An is more stunning with many colorful lanterns and Christmas ornaments hang on the road, shops, and restaurant. Thanks to its ideal location and serene atmosphere, Hoi An has become the favorite breakpoint of the excursion to discover the highlights of Vietnam during Christmas. The calm river also looks more charming and glittering by the reflection of the light of lanterns and the images the old city. And don’t forget to enjoy the amazingly delicious local cuisines including Banh Mi, Cao Lau, and, Mi Go.

e. Christmas in Da Nang 

- Explore Da Nang Catholic Church: Located in the city center on Tran Phu Street, it is the only church was built in the French city of Da Nang built in 1923. The architecture of the church following Gothic with soaring lines, crown doors. Inside the church, there are illustrations of the events in the Bible in the motifs of the Western churches. On Christmas, they adorn the church so beautifully with lights and Christmas ornaments. If you want to explore Christmas in Da Nang, go to the church and join with the local here celebrating and praying for Christmas.

- Enjoy a real cold Christmas on Ba Na Hills: With the western architecture and low temperature, you can have a real Europe Christmas ambiance right in Vietnam at Ba Na Hills. On Christmas and New Year, Ba Na Hills is immersed in bright colors with the brilliant red of hundreds of flower, the fresh green of Christmas tree covered in the white of artificial snow and glittering ornaments. Remember to pay a visit to the well-known Golden Bridge (aka the Giant Hand Bridge) when you travel to Ba Na Hills for Christmas.

Chrismas at Ba Na Hills blurred in the fog

- Experience a luxurious Christmas in Da Nang five-star hotels and resort: If you just seek for a relaxing time at the beautiful beachside of Da Nang, then you’d better make a reservation at a beachside resort and enjoy the Christmas party and buffets served by the resort in a cozy atmosphere. This will leave you an unforgettable Christmas remembrance!

See more: Unmissable things to do in Da Nang with a detailed guide 

f. Christmas in Nha Trang 

In case you want to have a different experience from the other, spend your Christmas time in one of the best beach cities in the country - Nha Trang. With a pleasant atmosphere, hot temperature and cozy beach, it makes sure that your holiday becomes warmer.

Sink into an outstanding Dai Beach with your lover 

Owned various incredible beaches such as Dai beach, Doc Let beach or Hon Tam Island, you can spend your whole day dive in the cool fresh water, lay freely on the white sand beach and enjoy the sun above. And it is a good idea to challenge yourself with a variety of water activities like diving or snorkeling. After that, refill yourself with a cocktail and delicious seafood in one of the numerous bars, pubs or restaurant nearby. 

I know that for you, Christmas means gathering with your lovely family, sitting in front of the fireplace, chatting with family and opening gift. This year, why you don’t do something different by planning a Christmas family tour to Vietnam to experience a special beauty of cultural exchange between west and east. I’m sure Vietnam Christmas will treat you well. Merry Christmas - Chuc mung Giang Sinh!


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Hoi An beach resort review 

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