I regret that I chose the wrong season coming to Vietnam, thinking that climate wise, this is the best season. I will be arriving in Vietnam on the eve of Tet.
My train reservation agent regret to break the news that there are no availble seats and they are shutting their services for this occasion from Jan.18 to Jan. 28. That means I will be stuck for 10 days, maybe filing my nails in a tiny hotel room for 9 days.
Are transport system and temple attractions going to stand still in these 10 days?
Does this mean you will change your plans to Cambodia instead? Your subject line clashes a bit with your main text.
As you might know, Cambodia celebrates their new year at the same time as Thailand and other Theravada Buddhist countries - April 13 - 15th (extended in some areas as I found out when i ventured up to Chiang Kong & Huay Xai on an April 18th some years ago - and sat next to the open bus door in a rattle trap bus from Chiang Rai...).
Yes? If my travel is not restricted by shortage of public transport system and closed archeological sites.
I gather that in Hue, the citadel and related attractions are open and free of charge for three consecutive days starting from Jan.23, but how can I get there when there's no bus available?
My plan is to switch these countries if Cambodia is favorable.
A few things:
It may be crowded in Vietnam but it's not that bad. Depends on what you're after. If you pick a good town and settle ther for a few days, you'll be fine. Hoi An or a beach town will be fine. I'm pretty sure buses will still go. They might be busy but you can bite through that.
Cambodia does indeed have another calendar as the chinese but it is also celebrated in Cambodia although it's not officially a public holiday. Many people and offices take the week off or at least a few days however and transport can also get very crowded. There's a big chinese community here and many Cambodians have chinese decendency.
Is Cambodia favorable to Vietnam? My answer would be yes for practical reasons but there's tons of interesting stuff (dragon dances, parading of locals on bikes or walking, peek into houses where people have family dinners) to see in Vn if you're interested in the cultural aspects of chinese new year
I'm not surprised that trains are full, but have you tried flights? I last looked a couple of days ago and there was still availability but I'm not sure where you're flying into. Also there is likely to be availability on tourist buses if you have some flexibility on dates. And if you're in Hanoi there will still be trips available e.g. to Halong Bay.
Just had a quick look and Vietnam Airlines has flights to Hue from Hanoi available all week. You'll pay for it (around $100) but that's Tet unfortunately. And no, temples and attractions won't all shut down for 10 days - temples will be particularly busy around Tet and other attractions (museums etc.) will only shut for a few days.
I gain incite in your responses. Thanks for your options.
My point of entry will be Saigon on Jan.20. I chose Cambodia being near Saigon as fallback if it will turn out that my itinerary and movements will be curtailed during this season.
With no luxury of time, I intend to spend Tet, which will be my 3rd day in the city and on the 24th, after spending a reasonably sane amount of time covering it, I will make a move upward with the next stop at Hue . I will also try to grab the opportunity when all Hue's imperial site attractions will be opened free to the public for three days starting on Jan. 23 (I wonder how crowded the sites will be?).
Train option eliminated, I have just now checked and there are no available flights coinciding with my date to Hue. The earliest so far is Vietnam Air with available date on the 27th. I might change my mind and go with this date.
I'll be on the lookout and in two days time after my arrival, when things have settled down and I can see the overall picture, I will make a decision if I will head for PP or book the plane ride to Hue on the 27th.
Glad to have these options.