Vietnam Travel Guide

Best places to spend Christmas in Vietnam 2018

Christmas in Vietnam

Are you spending Christmas in Vietnam this year? Read on to see how you can enjoy the most the Christmas celebrations and magic of Holiday season in Vietnam. Get excited for a time in a complete change of scenery in a country still imprinted by many different influences.

Does Vietnam Celebrate Christmas?

Christmas in Vietnam
Does Vietnam celebrate Christmas?

To begin with, Christmas is not a public holiday in Vietnam. People go to work as normal and all businesses have normal opening hours.  Next, the long-established Vietnamese religions are Buddhism and the Chinese philosophies of Taoism and Confucianism. Therefore, in the past, Christmas was only celebrated by the Christian community.

In recent days, Christmas is getting more and more popular and is considered one of the four most important festivals in Vietnam including the Birthday of Buddhism, Mid-term Autumn Festival, and Lunar New Year.

Vietnamese Christmas celebration starts in the evening of 24th December and often last to the next day. In Vietnam, the Christmas Eva is much more important than Christmas Day.

How is Christmas in Vietnam celebrated?

Biggest Christmas tree - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
The biggest Christmas tree in Vietnam

Nowadays, Christmas in Vietnam is greeted with enthusiasm and joy by the locals, especially those ones in the big cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang. They happily join the celebrations and decorate the cities.

A few weeks before the Christmas Day, many offices and shops put up elaborate ornaments with a quite Western look full of lights, bright garlands adorning Christmas trees and Santas. Many shops, as well as restaurants, offer a special promotion for this grand party.

Vietnamese people decorate their home for Christmas Celebration
Vietnamese people decorate their home for Christmas Celebration

Young people like to concentrate on the center of the city where there is the Cathedral such as the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi and Notre-Dame Cathedral in District 1, Saigon. On this eve, the celebrities and Vietnamese famous people also often show up here for the Christmas Events including the Music Concert.

Speaking of the Christian people in Vietnam, Christmas Eva is an occasion for the family gathering, a gala time and a gala time. Like people in the western countries, after attending the Midnight Mass, Vietnamese Christian return home and enjoy the Christmas food following the recipes which are changed somehow to adapt the local tastes. For example, the chicken soup and sweet fruitcakes are often replaced for the turkey and Christmas pudding.  

What happens on Christmas Eve

Hanoi - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
You can find lighted trees, as well as Santa’s everywhere on Christmas Eve

Vietnam used to be the colony of France, so the Vietnamese Christmas celebration is under the ìnluence of the French tradition. On Christmas Eva, churches, and some Christian homes will have a nativity crib scene or ‘creche’. People listen to the Christmas song, throw confetti, take pictures, ẹnoy the magic of Christmas night, give the beautiful wishes and Christmas presents to other people. Children are eager to receive the gift from Santa Claus.

So, if you come to spend Christmas in Vietnam, but still hesitate on where to go for Christmas Eve, here are some ideas on what every major city in Vietnam offers as a celebration.

1. Christmas in Hanoi, Vietnam

St. Joseph's Cathedral - Best place to celebrate Christmas in Hanoi, Vietnam
St. Joseph’s Cathedral – Best place to celebrate Christmas in Hanoi, Vietnam

In Hanoi, the weather on Christmas is colder. The temperature tends to decrease when the night falls. So make sure you don’t forget to bring a warm coat.  On Christmas Eve, young people like to put on the jackets, Christmas reindeer printed sweaters, and the scarf of the red and green color, which make the street colorful and striking.

a. Where to go in Hanoi on Christmas Eve?

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

The famous St. Joseph’s Cathedral of Hanoi (which looks a little like that of Notre Dame de Paris) attracts many people as well as the surrounding of Hoan Kiem Lake, a very central place for gatherings among locals and foreigners.

Hang Ma Street

Hang Ma Street - Best place to celebrate Christmas in Hanoi, Vietnam
Hang Ma Streer, Hanoi where you can buy any kind of Christmas ornaments and Christmas cards, pictures

Hang Ma, a street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, sells all kinds of ever-changing holiday decorations and adapts quickly to the Christmas spirit as soon as the winter season starts. It means that you can buy any Christmas ornament you want here as well as your favorite Christmas cards and pictures.

b. Things to do in Hanoi on Christmas Holiday?

Dinner at a prestigious hotel

Sofitel Métropole - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Enjoy the luxury dinner buffet in Sofitel Métropole in Hanoi – Top Things to do in Hanoi in Christmas Eve

In general, during the Christmas period, hotels offer luxury buffet dinners as well as performances or performances accompanying the meal. These hotels include Sofitel Métropole in Hanoi or the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel, Melia Hanoi or the Hotel des Arts of Ho Chi Minh City. Ask our agents for advice on choosing the one that suits you best for the Christmas meal in Vietnam.

Attend a music show at Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Attend a music show at Hanoi Opera House on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve and on the 25th there are several musical performances held in Hanoi, especially in the area of the French Quarter near the Opera but a show at the Opera itself is a must.

Get inspired with a little taste of Vietnamese culture in Hanoi

Ceramic Street in Hanoi - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Ceramic Street in Hanoi – Discover the beauty of Hanoi on Christmas holiday

Hanoi is the unique Asian city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and traditional pagodas and temples that date back hundreds of years. Imprinted in minds of most traveler’s visiting Hanoi is the beauty of French Old Quarter with 36 special streets, the cultural highlights of Ngoc Son Temple and the Temple of Literature, etc. If it happens to you to visit Hanoi on Christmas Holiday, don’t hesitate to spend one day to discover the charm of the entire city.

2. Christmas in Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Church spirit on Christmas Eve

Saigon - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Christmas Eve in Saigon, Vietnam

Being the most major city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is very active during Christmas. People often want to celebrate Christmas in Catholic cathedrals. They close the streets nearby to cars at these times to make it easier for big crowds. Meanwhile, in Hanoi, people are eager to celebrate Christmas in the cold weather of the winter. In Ho Chi Minh, the weather will be just like summer! The weather and the energy from the crowded make the city center hotter.

As far as Ho Chi Minh City is concerned, the decorations are numerous. And you will find decorated and lighted trees, as well as Santa’s everywhere. There, the cathedral of Notre Dame is very popular on Christmas Eve.

Where to go & Things to do on Christmas Eve in Saigon

Enjoy the magic of Christmas night

The street of light and Candles in Thanh Cong Street
Thanh Cong Street, Tan Phu District, Saigon - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Christmas Eve on Thanh Cong Street, Tan Phu District, Saigon
The Eiffel Model in Tan Phu Church
Buying a lucky book in Book Street (Nguyen Van Binh Street)
Water Music Park (District 5)

Bui Vien Street on Christmas Eve
Bui Vien Street, Ho Chi Minh City - BEST PLACES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Christmas Eve on Bui Vien Street, Ho Chi Minh City

Go shopping

The Book Street - Nguyen Van Binh Street, Saigon on Christmas Eve
The Book Street – Nguyen Van Binh Street, Saigon on Christmas Eve

In recent years, people tend to concentrate on commercial buildings to go shopping, have dinner, and take pictures. Bitexco Financial Tower used to be the most favorite building on Christmas Eve. But since 2018, due to the opening of Landmark 81 – the highest building of Vietnam, a huge number of people choose to celebrate the party in this new landmark. Some popular places for going shopping on Christmas Eve includes Aeon Mall Binh Tan, Diamond Plaza (District 1), Saigon Centre, Takashimaya

Experience the traditional Western Christmas Style in the Special Winter Festivals

Dam Sen Water Park, The Snowing village (Crescent Mall), The Snow Town ( District 2)

Have dinner on the special Saigon River Cruise

Have a Christmas dinner in Saigon River Cruise
Have a Christmas dinner in Saigon River Cruise

Christmas is an occasion for the family gathering. All members stay together, pray for a  lucky new year, and then enjoying dinner with the delicious local cuisines. Then, relax on the upper deck, have a nice talk, and admire the colorful, stunning cities of lights. All of these experiences will bring you an unforgettable Christmas Eve on the waterways.

3. A magical Christmas in Hoi An, Vietnam

Christmas in Hoi An, Vietnam
Christmas in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a fishing village. Once an important port in Southeast Asia, which still retains a lot of charm and influences in its architecture as much Japanese or Chinese as French. Its picturesque location on the banks of the Thu Bon River gives it the air of Venice. It is one of the favorite cities for visitors when they come to Vietnam. You will be able to enjoy the gastronomy of the central cuisine, take the bicycle everywhere, have clothes tailor-made to you in one of the many tailors of the city (or shoes and bags) and try activities such as fishing or farming. Moreover, it is an excellent city to come practice yoga and enjoy spa treatments. And to wrap it up, there is the beach! Just a short boat ride to the coast, you find Cham Islands or Cau Dai Beach.

Try to be there around the Lantern Festival and you will be treated to a romantic and warm atmosphere when the city is plunged into darkness and you only see the lights of the glittering lanterns floating along the river.

4. Christmas in Dalat, Vietnam “little Paris”

Dalat golf course - Best place to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam
Dalat golf course – Best place to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam

Dalat or “little Paris” was nicknamed by the Vietnamese. During Christmas, it becomes the city of flowers in December. This year, You can attend the Festival of Flowers from 23 to 27.

Alternatively, you can admire the beautiful landscape while devoting time to your favorite hobby with the 3-day golf tour in Dalat. Vietnam was one of the first countries in Asia to create high-quality golf courses, including the last Emperors’ private 9 hole course in Dalat in the 1920s. After a round of golf here, you will want to explore even more of the country’s top flight courses.

5. Christmas in Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa - The best place to celebrate in Vietnam
Sapa – The best place to celebrate in Vietnam

If you want to spend a more typical Christmas, embrace the cold and maybe the snow of Sapa in December. Hotels looking like chalets and the mountains is a bit like going to winter sports. Northern Vietnam landscapes will dazzle your eyes.

6. Christmas in Lang Son Province and Far North Vietnam

Mau Son mountain- Christmas holiday in Vietnam

If you want to escape from the crowded, the bustle and hustle of the big cities during your Christmas Holiday, far North Vietnam is a great choice for you. Located at 1,500 meters above sea level, Mau Son Mountain in Lang Son boasts the stunning natural scenery and fresh atmosphere. At the time of Christmas, the weather here is pretty cold. But with the heavy jacket, some hot green tea or some small cup of Mau Son Wine – the specialty of this mountain, together with hot, tasty local cuisine, you will be warmed up soon. The day escape trip to Mau Son, 200 km from Hanoi, will surely bring you a chance of refreshing yourself, find the inner peace, and release all worries of the normal lives.

7. Christmas in the sumptuous Halong Bay

Halong Bay - Best place to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam
Halong Bay – Best place to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam

Give yourself the best Christmas gift and come to celebrate on a family junk. You can get truly royal cruises in Halong Bay. Imagine having your family on board for a unique moment. You will experience the comfort of a 5-star boat while everything is taken care of in the tiniest details. And, added to that are entertaining activities, unlimited message and even jacuzzi in your own bathroom. The weather at this time is generally pleasant. Swimming can be a little cooler, but you can try kayaking and visiting the precious surrounding caves.

Enjoying the panoramic view of the mystical landscape from the chartered helicopter and relax on the Paradise Luxury Cruise may give your family an exceptional Christmas in one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

8. Christmas in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is widely known for the beautiful white-sand beach, clear water, and a wide range of high-end, luxury hotels and restaurant. On Christmas Eve, this coastal city looks more gorgeous and splendid than ever thanks to the colorful lights, candles and twinkle Christmas ornament. Like many other major cities, the locals like to visit the big commercial centers for shopping, taking pictures, and having dinner.

Some people choose to celebrate Christmas with a Barbeque party on the beach to enjoy the fresh, cool winds blowing from the sea. If you want a really sweet, romantic, and luxury Christmas Eve with your lover, spend a night with him/her on Emperor Cruises Nha Trang – the five-star all-inclusive cruise where the luxury meets the arts. Boasting a special collection of artworks of the Painter Pham Luc – the Picasso of Vietnam, Emperor Cruises Nha Trang will help you to discover the truly beauty of Vietnam – the country and the people in the luxurious and unique way.

Tips for Christmas Celebration in Vietnam

How to say some Christmas words in Vietnamese?

In English In Vietnamese Pronunciation
Christmas Giáng sinh
Merry Christmas Giáng sinh vui vẻ
Christmas Eve Đêm Nô En

 

Find that the choice is difficult, right? Just think of how special it will be to spend Christmas in Vietnam! Any chosen destination is already a whole new exciting experience. Some luxuries lie simply in doing something different from the usual.

With more than 15 years of experience in luxury travel, Luxury Travel transports you to the colors and flavors of Vietnam. Offering off-the-beaten-path itineraries and luxury vacations discovering Authentic Vietnam, our local experts will advise you throughout your preparation and stay. We will be happy to help you here.

 

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