South Vietnam travel guide

Discover the vibrant and diverse South Vietnam

Experience the dynamic energy of Southern Vietnam, a region that seamlessly blends bustling city life with serene natural wonders. The South offers an unforgettable journey for every traveler.

Weather of South Vietnam

South Vietnam, particularly the southeastern region including Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding areas, has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons:

Dry Season (November to April):

  • Warm to hot temperatures, typically ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F)
  • Very little rainfall
  • Lower humidity
  • December to February are the coolest months, but still warm by most standards
  • Ideal for outdoor activities and beach visits

Rainy Season (May to October):

  • Hot and humid
  • Regular, often heavy, afternoon downpours
  • Temperatures range from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F)
  • Highest rainfall typically in June, July, and August
  • Despite rain, there’s usually sunshine in the mornings

Key points to remember:

  1. The weather is generally hot year-round, with temperatures rarely dropping below 20°C (68°F), even at night.
  2. Humidity can be high, especially during the rainy season.
  3. Rain during the wet season typically comes in short, heavy bursts, often in the afternoon.
  4. The transition months (April/May and October/November) can see variable weather.
  5. UV index is high year-round, so sun protection is always necessary.
  6. Coastal areas may experience slightly different weather patterns, with sea breezes providing some relief from the heat.

Remember, while these patterns are typical, weather can vary from year to year. It’s always a good idea to check current conditions before traveling.

Highlights of South Vietnam

NHA TRANG:

This is the beach hotspot of South Vietnam. We’re talking white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. It’s pretty developed, so you’ve got all kinds of accommodation and activities to choose from. Perfect for beach bums, but if you want to escape the crowds, you can venture out to find quieter beaches, stunning waterfalls, or check out some ancient Cham towers.

MUI NE:

Another famous beach destination. It’s known for its white and red sand dunes, and it’s a world-famous spot for kitesurfing. You can take lessons or just watch the pros do their thing. It used to be a fishing village, so visiting the market at dawn when the boats come in is a great way to soak up the local vibe. Don’t forget to explore some of the wild beaches around Mui Ne too!

SAIGON:

This is Vietnam’s economic powerhouse, and it’s a whole different vibe from Hanoi. The Saigon River running through the city gives it some breathing room among all those skyscrapers. It’s buzzing day and night, so there’s something for everyone. From rooftop pools to hidden cafes down alleyways, Saigon’s full of surprises. Oh, and check out some of the stunning buildings like the Post Office or the Cathedral.

DALAT:

They call this place “Little Provence” because the weather’s nice all year round. It supplies the country with veggies and fruits you’d usually have to import, like cherries, strawberries, and peaches. Vietnamese tourists love it here for the climate and the flower fields. With lakes, waterfalls, and hills, it’s perfect for day trips.

CON DAO:

This used to be hard to get to, but now it’s becoming the go-to destination in South Vietnam. More flights and a new speedboat service have made it easier to reach. It’s way more chill than its big sister Phu Quoc. You can enjoy the beach, go snorkeling, explore the island by scooter, and check out the seafood market. It used to be a secret French prison during the war, so you can visit that for a bit of history if you’re interested.

Each of these places has its own unique charm. Whether you’re after beach time, city vibes, mountain air, or island life, South Vietnam’s got you covered!

Off beaten paths  South of Vietnam

PHAN THIET:

Less famous than its neighbor Mui Ne, Phan Thiet is an attractive fishing village. Its port, with hundreds of fishing boats, is an experience in itself. Early in the morning, life bustles as boats return. Beautiful beaches near the town offer stunning sunset views.

CAM RANH:

South of Nha Trang, you’ll find the entrance to Cam Ranh Bay. The further south you go, the more off-the-beaten-path local life you’ll discover. Observe sea life, join a fisherman at night on the piers to watch nets being pulled in, or visit Binh Lap peninsula. Known for its lobster farms, a seafood barbecue is a must-try!

PHU QUY ISLAND:

About 100 km off Phan Thiet’s coast, this charming island recently opened to tourism. Take a ferry from Phan Thiet to get there. While the island may seem flat, you can visit the lighthouse or Cao Cat mountain. The main draw is enjoying the tranquility and splendid beaches like Trieu Duong Bay. You can also visit pagodas such as the Whale Pagoda (Van Thanh An) or Linh Son Pagoda. Needless to say, seafood is delicious and very reasonably priced.

NOTE: As the island is under military control, foreigners need a permit. Allow 48 hours to obtain it. Contact us for help getting the permit.

BAO LOC:

Little-known Bao Loc is an interesting stop on your South Vietnam journey. Discover waterfalls (Dambri and Dasara), pagodas (Linh Quy Phap An), and tea fields while soaking in the local atmosphere.

Food in South of  Vietnam

  • Seafood fondue or barbecue: A must-try for seafood lovers!
  • Banh Xeo: A Vietnamese pancake made with rice flour and turmeric, filled with meat, shrimp, and bean sprouts. It’s eaten with aromatic herbs and fish sauce.
  • Com Tam: Broken rice served with pork (both skin and roasted), eggs (omelet or fried), vegetables, and a sweet and sour fish sauce (Nuoc Mam).
  • Goi cuon: Spring rolls. Made with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, and aromatic herbs (mint, chives), all wrapped in a sheet of raw rice paper.
  • Banh Mi: Originally from Saigon, this classic sandwich is filled with carrots, white radish, and cilantro. You can add meat or eggs to your liking. It’s perfect for satisfying small cravings between sightseeing stops.

What to do and see

  • Enjoy the white sandy beaches
  • Savor fresh seafood and fish right at the market or from one of the food stalls
  • Get a taste of adventure with water activities (scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skiing…)
  • Join a fishing trip on a traditional boat
  • Watch the sunset from the Mui Ne sand dunes
  • Take a boat tour around Con Dao
  • Explore the lush green nature surrounding Dalat

More exclusive activities can be providing depending on your preferences, your group type, ages ! South of Vietnam is ideal for leisure place and beach activities.

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