The month of March sees temperatures rise in the northern parts of Vietnam, and if you are interested in exploring the natural environment such as in the Highland regions north of Hanoi, that is good news. Every good Vietnam travel agent providing advice on where to go during a Vietnam holiday is likely to suggest including the Spring in Sapa within those highlands. If Easter falls early in the year, it may even be possible to enjoy a Vietnam family vacation in March.
March tends to be a dry month in Vietnam which is further good news for travellers.
If you intend to book a Vietnam tour package which includes the whole of the country, it is best to start in the North. Hanoi is one of the two main airports where you will enter the country and Vietnam’s capital is certainly worth some of your time. In addition, March is also often the month of the Perfume Pagoda Festival. It is a complex of Buddhist temples in the karst limestone mountains, Huong Tich, a national park region and a comfortable day trip from the City. There are many pilgrims visiting at that time, carrying offerings of food, regularly on their heads, as they climb the many stairs up to the site where they pray for good fortune and happiness for themselves and their families.
Heading north out of Hanoi into the highland regions up towards the Vietnam border, there are the Sapa Terraces whose year begins with flooding and look beautiful. This whole area has changed little over generations and certainly the hill tribes in these regions live their lives as their forefathers did, even if tourism has given them a larger market for their handicrafts. There may still be some light rain around but not enough to spoil a holiday.
Halong Bay due east of Hanoi will likely be dry in March but you should not expect the water to be as warm as it is later in the year. You do not have to swim to fully enjoy Halong however. The junks are comfortable and you can cruise in the Bay, enjoying sunsets and seeing the many villages where the locals live in homes on stilts and earn a living by fishing.
The further south you travel on your holiday, the warmer the weather. Vietnam covers 8 degrees of latitude so it is not a surprise. In the centre of Vietnam, you should visit historical gems such as Hue and Hoi An, while the coastline just a little further south has sandy beaches and warm seas.
Arguably, March is the nicest month to visit Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. You will get plenty of clear skies and sunshine and from Ho Chi Minh City, you can travel to see the Vietcong’s Cu Chi Tunnels to the north and the Mekong Delta to the west. It is remarkable to think that during the Vietnam War; these small narrow tunnels were home and shelter to families trying to evade the Americans. America knew they existed but struggled to prevent their effectiveness for travel communication and storage for its enemy.
The Mekong is Vietnam’s most fertile region. This iconic river rises far to the north on the Tibetan Plateau and once it reaches Vietnam, it spreads out into an extensive delta before the channels flow into the South China Sea. Every trip to Vietnam should include some time in the Delta. You can explore the quiet channels, cycle through the villages and certainly get up early to enjoy the floating markets, a hive of activity.
Woman’s International Day also falls in March and it is widely celebrated in Vietnam. It is a time for the young to pay their respects to parents and grandparents, students to teachers as well as men to women.
Spring is a popular season in most countries of the world; it rarely includes any extremes. In the case of Vietnam, any cold weather should have disappeared and the country is primarily dry. That makes moving about in the more remote parts of the country easier and more comfortable. Likewise, the coastal resorts are tempting and the cities neither cool or oppressively hot. Ironically, March remains a month that is fairly quiet in terms of tourist numbers, international and domestic, and that certainly has its advantages as you can appreciate. As you can see, March is a month when you should seriously consider Vietnam for your holiday if you are able.