January is among the cold day in Northern Vietnam, including Hanoi and Halong Bay. The temperature can drop to as low as 10 degree, but many said it feels worse than ice and snow than temperate zone countries. Bring warm clothes and check the weather forecast in advance. As you head southward, the weather gets warmer and warmer. In Danang and Hue, the rainy season is about to end with temperature varying between 16 and 21 Celcius degree.
In Ho Chi Minh City, it is in the middle of the dry season and the sun is on until 6 or 7 p.m. every day. Without doubt, January is one of the best months to visit Ho Chi Minh City and the Southern provinces.
What to expect if you travel to Vietnam in January
What can be better than starting your year with an adventure to Vietnam? January is a month for celebration, starting with the Western New Year on January 1st. Although it is not as festive as the Lunar New Year- the traditional biggest holiday in Vietnam- it is worth seeing how Solar New Year is celebrated. Most public services ad offices are closed on New Year Day but restaurants and hotels remain running and even more so on these occasions.
If you are lucky enough to be the earliest birds to arrive at one of the international airports, you will be greeted by tourism authorities with wreaths and bouquets of flowers as the first visitors of the year. Closer to the end of January, you will be able to see busier and happier Vietnamese people than any other time of the year.
As it gets closer to Tet holiday, people are rushing to finish up their work, get their bonus and shop! It is just like Christmas preparation but instead of decorating pine trees, Vietnamese select the finest kumquat and peach blossoms. In both cities and countryside areas, there are flowers sitting next to dried fruit- mut- and cakes and candies waiting to be traded. If you are into more shopping, January is when most local products are on display and on sale at shopping malls and display centres.
* January 1: New Year Day
* January 23 (2012): Vietnam Tet Holiday (Year of the Dragon)
Read more: Best time to visit Vietnam