I'm going to be in south/south central Vietnam next Febuary for the Tet festival with two others, and we were planning on just shacking up somewhere for the week as we've heard travel can be difficult and expensive around that time, and alot of businesses close down for a few days. Any ideas on a place where we can amuse ourselves for the week? Phu Quoc sounds like it has some nice beaches and a small nature reserve, but I've also heard it can be a bit boring so any other suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.
#1 _gabriella has been a member since 6/11/2010. Posts: 7
Take a look at Nha Trang as a place to spend that time. There is a large expat community so there will be places open for business. Try to secure your hotels in advance though..... all prices will skyrocket and rooms will be scarce.
My girlfriend and I went to Phu Quoc Island during Tet (as we have New Year in China at the same time). They still run the tour operations during the holiday, it is only two days that everything was actually shut down - however, the restaurants and bars of the resorts were open. If you are afraid of being bored you could stay on Long Beach where there will still be plenty of people around.
As well - if you are going to the island during tet you want to book your accommodation & transportation both there and away well before the holiday.
You won't need to book a package tour, in spite of thao_phuong268's strange enthusiasm for them. I was in Hanoi this last Tet and things weren't as dramatic as I feared. It's a huge family holiday in Vietnam, and loads of people do fill up the buses and trains just before and for a week after, but aside from that it's not a huge deal for tourists.
I contacted a number of hotels in different cities as I wasn't sure where I'd hunker down for the holiday, and all of them said they had vacancies. Booking in advance isn't a bad idea at all, but during the four months I spent in the country I noticed there are hotels where Vietnamese people stay and hotels where tourists stay, with not much crossover. The ones where tourists stay should have normal occupancy levels. I ended up staying in Hanoi itself and my hotel seemed about half full that week (only 10 rooms though, which is common).
I was researching Halong Bay trips around then and was surprised to find that a few companies were actually running them on Tet itself, and most other companies took only that one day off. Several Sinh Cafe travel agencies were open on Tet as well.
As far as restaurants and such, in Hanoi most of them were closed on Tet, but perhaps a quarter of the tourist-oriented ones stayed open, so finding meals was easy. Each day later more places opened back up, and by the fifth day or so things were booming and back up to full operation. The ones that do close seem to mostly do it as a courtesy to their staffs, many of whom visit their families during that week.
So the transport can indeed be tricky (I had to wait a week to get a train down to Hue), but other than that it's mostly business as usual for tourist-oriented places.
Thank you! It's actually looking like we'll have already been to Phu Quoc by the time Tet comes around, what about Quy Nhon? I think we'd prefer somewhere with a few less tourists and more Vietnamese people than Nha Trang for Tet, so we might be able to see a bit more going on. Any thoughts?
#6 _gabriella has been a member since 6/11/2010. Posts: 7
Quy Nhon really has very few western tourists and so you rely a lot on local facilities. they are the ones more likely to be affected by Tet. There are resorts down at the southern end, though they seem to cater mostly to Vietnamese tourists so may all be full.
I think you're probably best in an area that caters for western tourists where there'll be lots of options. Dalat would be a possibility, though you may find a week too long, but tourist buses should still be available. Sharing the time between Hue and Hoi An might work too. Both have beaches and while some places will be shut for 2 or 3 days, there will still be some options, particularly the expat places.
#7 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 151
Last year Hoi An was a pretty good place to spend Tet - the market, shops and restaurants were still open (although only a few were open on New Year's Day itself), the historical buildings were free for the holiday and there were fireworks, music and a lively atmosphere on the main evening. The weather's not necessarily great but it can be.
I spent Tet in Hoi An last year too and as travellingsarah said shops and restaurants do stay open (but you're out of luck if you want to get clothes tailored!). In fact Hoi An was jumping with travellers all finding somewhere to stay put for the festive season. The fireworks were fun and all the lanterns in the street and floating down the river added to the overall holiday ambience. Just make sure you book your travel early to get where you're going to be for Tet as the whole country is on the move - by train especially. I had to get the last sleeper bus out of Nha Trang, something I swore I wouldn't do! If you get there few days early you will see all the cumquat trees and chrysanthamums for sale in the streets as people decorate their homes.
Hi Gabriella, Tet Nguyen Dan, the Vietnamese New Year, follows the same lunar calendar that governs Chinese New Year celebrations worldwide. So on the same day the world celebrates Chinese New Year, the Vietnamese celebrate Tet.
Tet is a great time to see Vietnam at its most colorful, especially in the cities of Hue, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City. So my family has also decided to go Vietnam. For more information about this festival click here Vietnam travel guide.
#14 jackdsilva12 has been a member since 18/1/2011. Posts: 31
Hanoi is certainly 'colourful' before Tet - i.e. now - as everyone is rushing around doing their shopping, vendors line the streets and kumquat and blossom trees are being carted around everywhere on the back of bikes (infact it's hell on the streets but quite interesting!), but during Tet itself there really is nothing much going on. I understand that Hoi An is quite colourful at Tet as they have lights on the river and decorations. Tet is a family time so celebrations take place in the home rather than on the streets.
Tet Vietnam is a biggest festival in year and Vietnamese people whose working from other countries, provinces, regions in nationwide gathered on family. There's not many festivals south by north, therefore, i recommend you should travel to North to enjoy festival because early year's day in Vietnam is the time for festivals. Such as: Dong Da mound festival ( that mound is buried so many enemies), Huong Pagoda festival ( very famous ), Vieng market festival ( take place from night of 7 jan to morning 8 jan in lunar calendar )
In summary, you can travel to north to spend your holiday or stay in south as well. There are 2 places as other people mentioned above : Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa )or Hue - Hoi An is first choice.
Enjoy your trip and Happy new year
For more information about TeT Vietnam, burden of Tet vietnam.... have a look at this article and i hope you will have a clearly view of Tet Vietnam
#16 spiderman has been a member since 29/1/2011. Posts: 1