In recent years, tourists from all over the world have been choosing Vietnam as their travel destinations, which is a good thing of course. More and more people are learning about the natural beauties that this country offers. The downside is that some places that used to be hidden gems have now become touristic, like Sapa for example, where there are more tourists than locals in the markets. If you’re someone who doesn't like the crowd and who likes things at a lower rate, traveling during low season might just be the answer! In this article, let us walk you through everything you need to know about traveling off-season. Is Vietnam in low season worth a visit? Where to travel during low season in Vietnam? Stick around and find out!
This is a period when there is a lower demand for travel and tourism services in Vietnam, and as a result, a reduced visitor numbers, lower hotel and flight prices, and less crowded attractions. Low season in Vietnam is during the rainy or hurricane season when the weather is less desirable for tourists, when the scenery isn't as nice or during months where there are no holidays.
For domestic tourists, low season is from October to April of next year. During this time, families don’t usually travel because kids have to go to school, even if they do travel it would be short trips during the weekends and close to where they live.
For international tourists, low season is from May to September, due to unfavorable weather conditions like heavy rain, flooding, landslides, especially mountainous areas.
People tend to avoid low season, but there are actually many reasons to travel during this time.
There are obviously less tourists during low season in Vietnam, which is the first reason that makes traveling off season worth it. Imagine spending hours on a bus or a train, and when you finally got there all you see are people’s heads blocking the very thing you came all this way to see. Annoying right? With fewer tourists around, you'll have more personal space to enjoy the attractions. You won't have to jostle with large crowds to get a good view or take that perfect photo. You'll also have reduced waiting times at popular sites, whether it's visiting a museum, a historical site, or dining at a local restaurant. This means you can make the most of your time and see more without spending precious hours waiting in line.
Traveling during the low season in Vietnam often means you can take advantage of significantly lower prices across various aspects of your trip. Hotels and guesthouses in popular tourist areas typically reduce their room rates during the low season to attract more visitors. Local transportation options like buses and trains may have lower fares during the low season; airfares also tend to be more affordable, you can easily find discounts and promotions, like 0 VND plane tickets (you only have to pay the tax), etc. Exchange rates may be more favorable during the low season, which means you can get more Vietnamese Dong for your foreign currency.
Cheap plane tickets to Vietnam
Traveling during the low season in Vietnam often means you'll receive more personalized and attentive service from various service providers, such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and transportation providers. We have a saying in Vietnam “khach hang la thuong de”, which means “customers are gods”. You’ll truly feel like a god when there’s a whole restaurant and a group of people who serve and cater to you, and there’s no one there but you! Hotel staff are more likely to provide individualized attention when you travel during the low season. You might receive a warm welcome, and they can better cater to your specific needs, whether it's room preferences, special requests, or recommendations for local experiences. No pushing, no cutting in lines, no slow services or the chaos from the crowd, just you and the people there to help you make the most of your trip!
Personalized service in Vietnam
Because there is a reduced number of demands, services become more available. There are more choices when it comes to accommodations when you travel during low season in Vietnam. You'll find a wider selection of hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals available, which means you can pick options that suit your budget and preferences. It's easier to secure your desired room type or location. With fewer guests, hotels are more likely to offer room upgrades or complimentary extras to attract customers. Whether it's booking a spa treatment, a cooking class, or other services, providers are more likely to have open slots and be able to accommodate your preferences with less notice. So travelers who prefer to be spontaneous, this is a great time for you to take advantage of last-minute bookings!
Participating in adventure activities during the low season in Vietnam can be an exciting and unique experience. While the rain and other factors can present challenges, they can also enhance the thrill and excitement of these activities. Vietnam offers numerous trekking and hiking opportunities, from the terraced rice fields of Sapa to the lush forests of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. During the low season, you'll find the landscapes at their most vibrant and green due to the rainfall. The increased water flow in rivers and waterfalls during the low season can make river rafting and kayaking more thrilling. While conditions may be more challenging, it can be a memorable adventure for those seeking an adrenaline rush.
Now that we’ve convinced you that traveling during low season in Vietnam is a good idea, it’s time for you to choose your next destination.
The low season coincides with the wetter months, typically from May to September, which means the terraced fields are at their lushest and most vibrant. Many ethnic minority communities inhabit the regions where terraced rice fields are prevalent. During the low season in Vietnam, local farmers are actively tending to their fields, and you have the opportunity to observe and even participate in traditional rice farming activities. It's a chance to gain insight into the local culture and way of life. Many terraced rice fields are located in hilly or mountainous regions, providing opportunities for hiking and trekking. Exploring the fields on foot allows you to immerse yourself in the surroundings and appreciate the scale and beauty of the landscapes. Lucky for you, Vietnam is home to some of the most beautiful terraced rice fields, including the second largest system of rice terraces in the world located in Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai province; or the world famous rice terraces in Sapa, Lao Cai province.
Terraced rice fields in watering season
The Mekong Delta region has a unique charm during the low season from May to October. While there is a higher chance of rain, the lush landscape and waterways offer authentic experiences, and you can take boat trips to explore local life.
The Cai Rang Floating Market is located along the waterways of the Can Tho River, right at the confluence of three rivers (the Cai Rang River and the Hau River branches). This strategic location makes it convenient for trade with neighboring provinces and the entire Mekong Delta region. This is why Cai Rang Floating Market has become the most bustling market in the Western region and has been internationally recognized as one of the five most interesting markets in Asia. Cai Rang Floating Market typically assembles very early in the morning. Visit the market at 5 to 8 AM and you’ll find dozens of boats surrounding you, selling everything you can find at a normal market and more: local specialties, fresh vegetables, food, drinks, etc.
Plus, in the vicinity of Cai Rang Floating Market, there are many Vietnamese traditional craft villages such as the Thom Rom net weaving village, the Thoi Nhut flower village, the Thuan Hung rice wrapper village, and the most prominent one is the traditional Hu Tieu making village. Here, you can learn about the various stages of Hu Tieu noodle production and even make them yourself.
Cai Rang Floating Market
The Tra Su Cajuput Forest is a captivating natural destination in the An Giang Province of the Mekong Delta region. The forest is named after its dominant tree species, the cajuput tree and is characterized by a network of waterways and canals running through these trees. Tra Su Forest is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including numerous bird species. Birdwatching is a popular activity in the area, especially during the migratory season when various species of birds visit the wetlands.
When you step into the cajuput forest, get ready to be amazed by the lush scenery. To explore the cajuput forest, you need to hire canoes or motorized boats. The boat travels at a moderate speed, not too slow, not too fast, gliding through the canals and deep into the forest. Along the way, you can see local people harvesting cajuput honey nearby in the forest.
As you delve deeper into the Tra Su cajuput forest, you will have the opportunity to witness many rare and valuable bird species that inhabit the area. Coming to the Tra Su forest during low season in Vietnam, you’ll get a chance to escape city life and connect with nature, especially during the rainy season when Tra Su has a distinct charm.
Tra Su Forest
Ba Be National Park, located in Bac Kan Province, is home to a diverse system of fauna and flora, karst mountains, lush forests, waterfalls and caves. While the heavy rains can lead to swollen rivers and muddy trails, the period from May to October can be a great time to admire Ba Be National Park and to take boat trips or visits to waterfalls, lakes, and caves. This is why Ba Be Lake is one of the best destinations during low season in Vietnam! The heart of the national park is Ba Be Lake, a lake made up of 3 smaller ones, surrounded by limestone cliffs and thick forests. One of the best ways to explore the park is by taking a boat trip on Ba Be Lake. Local boatmen can guide you through the lake's inlets and channels, allowing you to experience the serenity and natural beauty of the area.
Within the park, you can also visit the Dau Dang Waterfall, a multi-tiered cascade, with the total height of the falls estimated to be around 1,000 meters, which can be accessed through trekking or by boat. For those who prefer a more mysterious option can visit the Puong Cave, where visitors can be amazed by stunning karst formations, stalactites and stalagmites, as well as its bat colony.
Ba Be National Park
We hope that this helped take the fear off of traveling off-season in Vietnam. The only thing that’s worth worrying about is the climate, but it is not that scary in fact. Because Vietnam is a sub-tropical country, the rains can be heavy but they don’t last very long, and they usually happen pretty regularly and at around the same time so you can plan ahead your trips a little bit easier. So if you don’t mind a little rain, you can pick up your backpacks and have an affordable and authentic trip to Vietnam, away from the crowd.
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