As temperatures continue to rise in the North during the month of May, the South is becoming increasingly hot. It is no problem; just carry a little water with you as you enjoy your Vietnam tour package. It does become a little more humid as well.
The month begins with a holiday; May 1st is International Labour Day, and with the last day of April being Reunification Day, there is the chance for a slightly extended holiday, but that should not inconvenience tourists in any way. It may mean that cities are less crowded as locals take a break to enjoy the beaches or mountain areas.
Early in the month there is also a significant day in Vietnamese history. May 7th is the day that decades ago, 1954, Vietnamese forces defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu, a critical day in the liberation of the North from colonial masters.The leader of the movement that first achieved independence for Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh whose birthday is on 19th May. He is seen as the father of the nation and locals remember him by holding candle lit vigils right across the country. The vigil in the village of his birth, Nghe An, is especially poignant.
Up in the Northern Highlands, rice is being planted. The Sapa Terraces are flooded with water and it is quite a sight to see them shimmering in the sunlight. Temperatures have risen since the winter but the altitude is a temperate factor for trekkers who want to explore this lovely natural environment. There are road and rail links between Hanoi and this region up towards the Border. Hanoi itself is getting warmer but certainly if you are enjoying a Vietnam holiday during May, you should spend a couple of days in this vibrant city and of course the waters of Halong Bay will be getting a little warmer as well.
As you head south, there are the two historical cities of Hue and Hoi An to enjoy while if you head to Da Lat and the Central Highlands, you will notice that temperatures are lower. It was the main reason for the French to spend time here when lowland areas became hotter. Da Lat has gained a reputation as a Vietnam honeymoon vacation destination for those who want to enjoy the environment. The beaches are not far away either so a two centre Vietnam holiday makes really good sense; a Vietnam travel agent will provide plenty of help and advice and make the necessary arrangements for you.
The school year ends towards the end of May and that means holiday time for locals. The holiday season in Vietnam continues until towards the end of August. The coastline heading south below Danang and right around to Phu Quoc Island south of Cambodia has great beaches, quiet islands and plenty of resorts with good quality accommodation. May is a little early for international travellers with their children because the summer break is still a few weeks away but numbers do start to rise in these resorts. Many of the locals enjoying a family holiday in the southern resorts live and work in Ho Chi Minh City, the focal point of the south. The City will be included in most holiday itineraries for visitors to the Country. It may not have the charm of Hanoi but it is still a city with plenty to see and do. It is certainly the commercial centre of the country and to the west is the most fertile part of Vietnam; the Mekong Delta.
The Delta is towards the end of the Mekong’s journey which began up on the Tibetan Plateau. It has some huge channels heading south towards the South China Sea but also some quiet backwaters. There are plenty of little villages, orchards and fertile fields and it is fun to rent a bicycle and cycle quietly through the region. Likewise, the floating markets selling the produce are tourist attractions in themselves. The produce sold heads as far away as the North to food processing factories as well as heading to Ho Chi Minh City and the restaurants and homes of the many living in the Delta’s town and cities.
May is good month for visiting Vietnam, and those heading north to south may choose to relax after a busy itinerary on Phu Quoc Island before returning home. The island is in the South China Sea. It has its own airport, including international flights so why not? There is a good tourist infrastructure, warm seas, watersports and lovely beaches.