Vietnam is located between 9 and 23 degrees North. Eastern Vietnam has a long coastline on the Gulf of Tonkin and the East Sea. It has a tropical monsoon type of climate; from May to September, the South monsoon sets in, and the country is dominated by South to Southeasternly winds. From October to April, the North monsoon is dominant with Northernly to northeasterly winds affecting the country. There is a transition period between each monsoon season when winds are light and variable.

The country is mountainous in the northwest and in the central highlands facing the East Sea, with peaks reaching up to 8000ft (2450m) In the North around Hanoi and in the South around Ho Chi Minh City, there are extensive low-lying regions in the Red River delta and the Mekong delta respectively.


Vietnam has a single rainy season during the south monsoon (May-Sep). Rainfall is infrequent and light during the remainder of the year. Rainfall is abundant, with annual rainfall exceeding 1000mm almost everywhere. Annual rainfall is even higher in the hills, especially those facing the sea, in the range of 2000-2500mm.

For coastal areas and the parts of the Central Highlands facing Northeast, the season of maximum rainfall is during the south monsoon, from Sep-Jan. These regions receive torrential rain from typhoons which move in from the East Sea at this time of the year. The weather at this time is cloudy with frequent drizzle.

During the North monsoon, Northern Vietnam has cloudy days with occasional light rain, while Southern Vietnam tends to be dry and sunny.

Temperatures are high all year round for Southern and Central Vietnam; but Northern Vietnam has a definite cooler season as the north monsoon occasionally advects cold air in from China. Frost and some snow may occur on the highest mountains in the North for a few days a year. In the Southern Vietnam, the lowlands are sheltered from outbreaks of colder Northernly air and the dry season is warm to hot with much sunshine.  

The best time to visit Vietnam is spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October). The temperatures are more moderate and rainfall is lighter. In spring, March and April have the lowest rainfall across all destinations and temperatures are pleasant, though still cool in the far North.                                 

General information.

- Area: 331,698 km²

- Population: 100 million people

- Capital: Hanoi

- Official languages: Vietnamese 

- Religions: Vietnamese folk religion or non religious (73.1%), Buddhism (12.2%), Catholicism (6.9%), Protestanism (1.5%), Caodaism (4.8%), and there are about 75,000 Muslims.

- Points of Interests: Hanoi city and its surroundings, Tam Coc boat trips -Ninh Binh countrysides, Van Long wetland and Cuc Phuong national park, Mai Chau valley, - Hang Kia, Pa Co Hmong villages, Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Ha Long Bay the World Unesco Heritage site, Sapa - Bac Ha in the Northwestern region, Ha Giang - Dong Van karst plateau,  Ba Be lakes - Ban Gioc waterfalls in the Northeastern region. And other destinations on request. 

Events and Festivals.

– Tet Nguyen Dan, or it's called "Tet" in Vietnamese, the Vietnamese New Year and is the country’s most popular holiday. The Vietnamese considers Tet to be the most important one in their considerable festival lineup. Family members gather in their hometowns, traveling from across the country (or the world) to spend the Tet holidays in their hometowns.

Helpful Infomation:


The currency in Vietnam is the Dong (VND). The U.S dollar and Euro are also accepted in most hotels, restaurants and souvernir shops, but you should have local currency available for use anywhere else. Credit card acceptance is spreading in higher-end hotels, restaurants and shops in big cities, but outside of these cash is still by far preferable. Never change money on the streets from hustlers.

ATMs or cash machines.

ATMs are now the easiest way to get hold of your money in Vietnam. ATMs are a common site in most Vietnamese towns.  The number of ATMs in the country is increasing all the time, and there is now usually at least one ATM in every town, more in the larger cities. However, it is not sensible to rely on them entirely, as ATMs can go down, or might be out of cash, and you could also be left penniless if you were to lose your card. A combination of bank cards, cash and a few travellers cheques is often best.

Credit Cards.

These are accepted in the larger hotels and restaurants, as well as a limited number of banks. Visa and MasterCard are the most often accepted cards. Money, passports and other valuables like travellers’ cheques are best kept in a safety deposit box at your hotel. Never leave valuables or money unattended in your hotel room. It’s also advisable to avoid carrying unnecessary valuables on your person, especially at night, just in case.

Dos and Don'ts for the first time travelers in Vietnam.

Dos in Vietnam.

  • Dress conservatively, especially you ladies out there. The dress code is more relaxed in major cities but do yourself (and the Vietnamese) a favor - conservative dress is appreciated to the fish market.
  • Drink loads of water as you’re wandering around checking out the sights. The heat can be oppressive and heat stroke can be a real killjoy, so take our advice and drink up – water that is!
  • Hold your bag in front of you and wrap it around a limb when riding in a Cyclo – bag snatching is a big problem and if you are looking at a Pagoda there’s a good chance someone’s looking at your bag.
  • If you’re invited into a local’s home (which is really the only way to travel), be sure to take your shoes off at the entrance.
  • Carry a bit of toilet paper with you at all times – we won’t go into details – just trust us.
  • Make sure that you have a hotel/hostel business card from the reception desk. This will make your return to the hotel in a taxi or cyclo much easier.
  • Do expect to pay less for a beer than a bottle of water – but remember our hydration tip above!
Don'ts in Vietnam.

  • Don't wear shorts or old T-shirts to visit a Pagoda, they won’t let you in. Be sure to dress conservatively and dress for the occasion, you are after all visiting a piece of history.
  • Don't sit with your feet pointing towards a family altar if you are staying in someone’s house.
  • Don't take pictures of anything to do with the military, this can be considered a breach of national security and trust us, you don’t want to see the inside of a Vietnamese jail.
  • Don't take video cameras into the small villages, it is considered very intrusive and they’ll be too polite to ask you to stop filming.     
  • Don't display any personal displays of affection! Just don’t do it. Find a hostel, hotel, whatever suits – but anything beyond holding hands is seriously frowned upon.
  • Don't expect to sleep late as Vietnam starts moving at 6am and the noise can be overwhelming.

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