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There are many things you need to do before you go travelling around the world, especially the Indochina. Here is a list of things to do when planning your backpacking trip.

 

Short information about Vietnam

  • Full Name: SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM

  • Voltage: 220V

  • Capital city: Hanoi

  • Population: more than 90 million people

  • Religion: Buddhist

  • Currency: Dong (VND)

  • International Calling Code: +84

  • Time zone: UTC +7 hours

 

 Climate & times to visit

The climate of Vietnam varies considerably from region to region. Although the entire country lies in the tropics and subtropics, local conditions vary from frosty winters in the far northern hills to year-round, sub equatorial warmth in the Mekong Delta.

 

Vietnam is suitable for visiting at any time of year, however from November to April is peak season, so booking four to six months prior is recommended. May to November signals the monsoon season, and the weather is humid, warm and marked by light afternoon rain, though this does not usually impact travel. It can be cool in the north between October and February, while Halong Bay can be wet and cool with occasional fog from February to April. 

 

Summer can feature tropical storms, though rain can occur throughout the year. In the Central of Vietnam, it is mostly dry from February to May, with rainfall between August and January. October and November are the most unpredictable months and flooding can occur.

 

  • Best Season: November to February

  • Summer: May to August

  • Winter: November until February

 

The North
It has 4 clear-cut seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter. From November to March it is rather cool and can be cold due to the humidity level, while the average temperature is about 30oC from April to October.

 

The Central
The most narrow part of the country usually suffers the most from typhoons and heavy rains during the months from September to November.

 

The South
The difference is very clear between two seasons, dry from November to May and rainy from June to October. During the rainy season it often rains early in the morning or in the evening. Temperatures are warm all year long.

 

Flight time

Flight to Vietnam from Europe: Flight time ranges from 10-12 hours 

 

National Holidays and Events

 

  • 1 January is the New Year Day. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • January/February (last day of the year on the Lunar Calendar) is Tet - the New Year’s Eve of Vietnamese (5- 7 days holiday). Banks & public offices will be closed, as will most businesses. The Reunification Palace will be closed in Saigon. Cao Dai temples will be closed six days before the Lunar New Year, and floating markets in the Mekong Delta will not operate.

  • March/April (10th March on the Lunar Calendar) is the anniversary of Hung Kings, Vietnam's ancient Kings. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 30 April is the Reunification Day, commemorating the fall of Saigon and reunification of the country in 1975. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 1 May is the Labor Day, marking the contribution made by workers. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 2 September is the Independence Day, marking the day Vietnam declared its independence forming the Democratic Republic of Northern Vietnam. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 31 December is the New Year's Eve. While not a public vacation, it is celebrated in Vietnam with festive meals, parties and fireworks as it is in most parts of the world.