How to Travel In Vietnam on Public Holidays

The Vietnamese travel a lot nowadays and they mostly make trips during the Vietnamese public holidays only. This means that if your tours in Vietnam happen to have some days which are public holidays in Vietnam, you’ll more likely be rubbing shoulders with the Vietnamese tourists most of the time.

 In 2018, there were 15.6 million foreign visitors to Vietnam and there were 80 million Vietnamese tourists (statistics by the Vietnamese tourism authority). As the economy grows, expect more Vietnamese to travel each year. The population of Vietnam in 2018 was about to reach 95 million people.

1/Follow the less-traveled routes
Several once less-traveled routes are crowded with tourists during the Vietnamese public holidays nowadays, many other places are quiet simply because there should be no reasons for people to make trips there. Having a good travel itinerary would help you avoid crowded places when they are crowded and visit lovely remote spots that are less likely be crowded in peak tourist season. An experienced Vietnamese tour operator would definitely help you with a good travel itinerary and a better travel experience in Vietnam.

2/Visit remote areas, avoid beaches
For many Vietnamese, having a vacation means spending a couple of days on a beach during their public holidays. You can easily imagine how crowded it normally is on the beaches in Vietnam. In the South of Vietnam, it is warm almost all year round, cool climate hill stations and beaches are popular spots and are hence more likely to be crowded on holiday occasions.

3/Tourist attractions or entertainment centers or theme parks in cities are unpredictable
For long holidays, people normally travel to places far from the cities, but for short holidays people would normally have an easy day partying or dining, or taking their kids to a spot in town. In the latter case, restaurants, entertainment spots and tourist attractions in cities are more likely to be very crowded.

3/Allow for more than plenty of time if you are to travel to the airport or train stations to avoid heavy traffic
During the Vietnamese long public holidays it is normal that cities are much quieter than during work days. Traffic is much easier, too. But be very careful as to the first day and the last day of a long public holiday, traffic jams may be for hours; people go to their home villages or go on trips.

In the case you have to travel to the airport or train stations on a busy day, you had better give your trip to the airport plenty of time; a couple of hours beforehand won’t mean anything if you get stuck in a traffic jam for half a day or even a good night!

The worst traffic on public holidays in Vietnam are awarded to all the roads between Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the Mekong Delta. Several people and families are reported to spend a night on the road going home before a holiday or going back to the city for work after each long holiday. The best and the only solution is not to plan your trip between Saigon and the Mekong Delta on these busy days.

The second worst traffic on Vietnamese public holidays is awarded to the roads between Hanoi and the provinces to the south of the capital city (Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa,…). A traffic jam of a couple of hours is considered no traffic jam!