I am planning a trip to Vietnam and unfortunaltely the last week of the trip is the Tet holiday. I was thinking of going to Sapa by an overninght train on the 17th Jan (5 days before Tet) and then going back to Hanoi (also by an overnight train) on the 21st Jan. Obviosuly I have not booked the tickets online, since I find it pretty troublesome. Has anyone experienced train travel just before Tet? Will it be possible to book the train tickets from Hanoi to Sapa three weeks in advance on the train station in HCMC? And what about leaving the Hanoi hotel for the airport on 26th Jan (first week of Tet), shall I find any transport? From what I have read on the internet it seems quite dramatic. Now I am totally freaked out about the trip of my life which is also my honeymoon.
I will be soooooooooooo thankful for any help.
#1 mrufka has been a member since 13/12/2011. Posts: 1
I was in Hanoi last year for Tet, I missed the first three days in the city but was there for the rest. It is dramatic but most web sites dont actually tell you what happens. basically everyone leaves the city which i was under the impression it was a big party for the first couple of days, but not so. The city is a ghost town for the first couple of days with a couple of night things on on the first day then everyone leaves the city. Trains are still in operation however three weeks may not be enough to get up there. Another option would be to go on a "tour" organised through a hotel with most 4/5 star hotels offering these services, or a travel agent may be able to tee it up a couple of weeks beforehand as some of them reserve tickets and just charge a few extra $$ on top but negligible amounts in USD.
coming back into the city on the second day may be a problem by train but just like getting up if you are able to book to you should be able to set the return date on the second day of tet....
but if you are in Sapa for tet you might as well check out other towns around there as there is not much going on in Hanoi.
I was lucky i knew some people during tet who i met through couch surfing, which made the city less boring while it was closed but after the 3rd day of tet there is enough open to check out the city.
hope this give you some help
#2 stik86 has been a member since 5/11/2011. Posts: 10
Tet is a holiday for everyone to relax. So on these days the streets is quiet and very little people. You will not see traffic jam as normal.
Nowadays everyone like to travel so visiting sites seems much Vietnamese tourist than.
So if you have plan already, you should prebook everything before you arrive.
I will go to sapa on 21 jan too. i've booked train ticket already. It's almost sold out . i think you should book.
#4 hackman_jkk has been a member since 16/12/2011. Posts: 6
There's a post here about last year - I imagine the situation will be similar this year, although the dates are different of course. http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/hanoi/2011/01/25/hanoi-at-tet/
Whilst you can book tickets at HCMC railway station for journeys along the Reunification Express (the main line from HCMC to Hanoi ) I'm not completely sure whether you can book the Hanoi to Sapa bit in HCMC. I suggest emailing some Hanoi agents to see if anyone can help you book.
Getting to the airport won't be a problem - we flew to HCMC at the start of the Tet holidays and came back at the end last year and had no problems with taxis.
Tet holiday in Vietnam this year, Vietnamese people have 9 days for holiday so the demands for travelling is higher. Therefore you should prebook everything of your trip as soon as possible. Everyone has the trend travelling now in Vietnam and the result the streets are quiet and less people than usual day. I live in Vietnam and I will help you when you have need of everything in Vietnam. send message to my yahoo mail: cuontheochieugio181.
#6 vietnamvisit2 has been a member since 24/12/2011. Posts: 8
Thanks every one
#7 hackman_jkk has been a member since 16/12/2011. Posts: 6
I am leaving from Hanoi on the 26th of January. No idea where I am going to be before then (maybe Laos, maybe Hue or around?). Will I have problems leaving the place where I am to catch my flih\ght back home in hanoi? I know that you have to book flights as soon as possible but all this "book ahead" freaked me out a little. Will it always be a place on a bus at least?
There is no Tet in Laos so that won't be a problem, is that right?
#8 gorkreg has been a member since 20/10/2011. Posts: 15