Due to the country’s land mass, its climate varies from region to region. On average, temperatures vary between 22 and 27°C all year round, with a generally hot and humid climate. Although the temperatures do not vary much in the southern regions of Vietnam, the northern regions can be quite cold in winter.
Tropical monsoons can be expected between October and April in central Vietnam and May to September in the north and south. Apart from these rainy seasons, the country remains almost completely dry.
Although Vietnamese culture is rooted in the ancient indigenous culture of Dong Son, with wet rice farming as its economic base, some aspects of its culture have Chinese influence. More recently, the country has been exposed to the culture of Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States, as well as their media.
That said, it can be said that Vietnam has not yet absorbed as much Western culture as some of its neighbors.
Vietnamese cuisine is strongly influenced by the Asian principle of the 5 elements which correspond to the five elements: wood (sour), fire (bitter), earth (sweet), metal (spicy) and water (salty). This principle of yin and yang is an art of balance to make food beneficial to the body.
Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, abundant use of herbs and vegetables, and what’s more, it is considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.
How do I travel to visit the country in my free time?
Transportation options are plentiful in Vietnam and travel is, on the whole, quite inexpensive.
Air transport: Vietnam has 21 airports. Prices vary depending on when flights are booked, but it’s still a cheap option and the best way to get around long distances quickly.
Bus: Common means of transport for long distances (locally, taxis are usually the preferred option). Whenever possible, try to buy the tickets at the bus stations, as the price is fixed and reasonable. If you buy the tickets during the trip, you risk being overcharged.
Taxi: Taxis are usually metered and very cheap. It’s the most popular way to get around cities, especially if you have luggage!
Rickshaw (Cyclo): Convenient way to get around, but not as efficient with luggage. You will need to negotiate the price in advance.
Mototaxi (Xe Om): Similar to Cyclo. Be sure to set a price in advance to avoid being overcharged.
In Vietnam, the currency is the Dong (VND). 1€ is approximately equivalent to 25900 VND. To live a day in Vietnam, this corresponds to 647467 VND or about 25€, if we include transport, accommodation, meals and an activity.
The cost of living is therefore significantly lower in Vietnam compared to France. Living in Vietnam is indeed almost half as expensive as in France.