Hey everyone, my cousin and I are arriving in HCMC on Dec 22 and we are planning to spend Christmas in Hanoi . Do you think that is a good choice? Will there be activities happening for Christmas in Hanoi or are we better off to stay in HCMC and celebrate there instead? We are actually spending the whole holidays until New Years but hoping to hop on to Cambodia after Hanoi. I'm looking forward to suggestions you guys might have for our trip, seeing this will be our first time and we would want to get the most out of the trip. Hope to hear from you guys!
#1 peekel has been a member since 11/12/2011. Posts: 9
I have no idea what Christmas is like in Saigon so I can't offer an opinion, all I can tell you is what it's like in Hanoi . As previous poster wrote, it is getting cold in Hanoi by Christmas so if that's what you want (rather than the heat of the south) come to Hanoi. In terms of activities: some of the 5* hotels and the nicer restaurants will have some kind of Christmas lunch or dinner, for example, the Hilton and the Metropole Legend, and at the other end of the scale, Hanoi Backpackers' Hostel usually has a lunch (which will be more Western traditional food).
You will find decorations in the streets and see skinny Santas on motorbikes, and on Christmas day itself it's quite lively in Old Quarter, but nothing else of note going on.
I've been in Hanoi a few weeks before Xmas, and can report that the city is quite festive at this time. The Vietnamese kids love Xmas and parents love to spoil them with plenty of decorations, but I never did see a Christmas tree. When they talk about cold in Hanoi, they mean cooler than normal, but it's only "light jacket" weather in my opinion for Westerners (the Vietnamese themselves will be in down jackets). Hanoi does get quite a bit of cold fog in the am.
There are plenty of Western restaurants/bars that I'm sure will have trees and the like - you have to remember than Hanoi was French at one time. Hanoi is a much more intimate place than Saigon in my opinion.