Weather in Vietnam in AprilThe spring season comes to an end in April although the wet season is still quite far away. The northern parts of Vietnam are delightfully warm in April and it is a great time to visit Sapa and other trekking destinations if you want to avoid the chilly weather. The central highlands have quite warmer weather at around 33℃. The southern regions however experience much higher temperatures and the heat and humidity can be quite annoying. In Ho Chi Minh City especially, April is the hottest month of the year
Do not forget to pack some sunscreen, shades, swimwear and light clothing if you are heading to the islands and southern region of Vietnam. There might be heavy rains towards the end of April, so it is best to take some rainproof clothing as well. April is the best time to visit Vietnam if you plan on cruising, water sporting and trekking. You can also avoid the risk of typhoons in the autumn months.
Best places to visit in Vietnam in April
1. Halong Bay
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam, Halong Bay is truly a wonder of nature. With its emerald green waters and ancient lime karsts, cruising along Halong Bay is a delight. There are innumerable little islands and isles which add to the beauty of this place. The location has also featured in a number of movies.Other fun activities to take part in include underwater diving, cave spelunking, trekking in the jungle, parasailing, travelling to Cat Ba Island and squid fishing and barbecuing. The clear blue skies in April are perfect for clicking pictures for your social media. Since a lot of tourists travel to Halong Bay during the month of April, the tickets might be a tad bit expensive.
2. Ly Son Islands
Ly Son is made up of five mountains four of which are dormant volcanoes. The group consists of the Dao Lon island, Dao Be island and the Mu Cu islet. This island group is home to the popular ‘lonely garlic’ believed to improve immunity and is exported to other countries. The islands now have homestays and resorts which blend in perfectly with the beautiful natural backdrop. Paddling, kayaking and scuba-diving are some sought-after activities. Another attraction in these islands is the colourful murals which also try to bring about awareness on controlling marine pollution and conservation of marine biodiversity.
3. Ninh Binh
Another lesser known destination in Vietnam, it is one of the prettiest landscapes you can witness. Located in northern Vietnam, about 100 km south of Hanoi, Ninh Binh is also known as the Ha Long Bay on land. It has hundreds of limestone karsts emerging from beneath the ground amidst the green paddy fields. It is also a great place to visit if you wish to experience rural Vietnamese life from close quarters. The serene ambience only makes the tryst memorable.
You can also visit the Thung Nham Bird Garden, Bai Ding Pagoda, Van Long nature reserve and Phat Diem Cathedral when you are in Ninh Binh. The best way to navigate through Ninh Binh is renting a motorcycle. It feels wonderful to travel through the small roads with the fresh breeze hitting across your face while you explore the nooks and corners of this small town. Additionally, in April, cabbage white butterflies flock to the Cuc Phuong National park and this cannot be experienced at another time.
Hanoi is rightly called the cultural capital of Vietnam. In April, Hanoi has perfectly warm weather with cooler evenings when you can wear a jacket, hop on to a bicycle and explore what this city has to offer. A must-visit attraction is the centre of ancient Hanoi, the Imperial citadel of Thang Long which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Hanoi also has beautiful lakes such as the Ho Tay and Hoan Kiem. Shopping is a fun activity you can indulge in when in Hanoi. You can buy souvenirs, jewellery, clothing, accessories and much more. Do not forget to try out the street food here!
Festivities to participate in Vietnam in April
1. Hung Festival
The rulers of the Hung dynasty were the founding fathers of Vietnam. The Hung festival is how the Vietnamese pay their respects to them. It is officially known as the ‘death anniversary of the Hung kings’. The festival is now recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The people flock to the Hung King temple to revel in the celebrations. A lot of cultural activities are conducted in the 10 days of the festival such as Cheo, Quan Ho and Xuan singing performances and playing games like chess, chicken kicking, rice cooking, etc. On the main day of the festival, a procession is carried out which stops at every small temple before reaching the High temple where prayers and incense are offered. Traditional holiday food is also cooked and served on this day.
2. Xen Xo Pho Festival
This festival happens in the fourth month of the lunar calendar and involves the White Thai people of the Mai Chau That perform the traditional ritual of rain dancing. It is also the harvest festival of Vietnam. The crops are completely dependent on the rains for irrigation and hence the people of this community pray to the Rain god for a good harvest that can sustain them for the rest of the year. The youngsters of the community sing during the night in a torchlight vigil. It is also believed that the bigger the festival, the bigger the paddy harvest. Hence, the community tries to outdo the festival year after year.
Events to attend in Vietnam in April
The Reunification Day is celebrated every year on the 30th of April to celebrate the defeat of the South Vietnamese forces backed by the US forces in the Vietnam War thus unifying South Vietnam into North Vietnam. It is also known as the Liberation Day and is marked by military parades in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The country is carried away with patriotism and pride and Vietnamese flags are flown in hamlets, towns and cities alike. The holiday is taken as an occasion to meet family and friends and veterans are treated with respect for their sacrifice. Buffets and feasts are organised in most hotels and restaurants to celebrate the day.