Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Western new year (Dec 31) in the south of Vietnam

Posted by murphy_213 on 6/7/2010 at 08:35

So we arive in Vietnam to start our 2 month SE Asia trip on the 27th of December, landing in Saigon at 9.20pm.

We are considering our options for New years eve (31st December). Is there much to do at this time?

So far we are considering the option of staying in Saigon or going to Phu Quoc island.

Furthermore, we plan on either going through the Mekong from Saigon to get to Phu Quoc or do it on the return. If anyone has any advice or experience with this route We'll consider all options. Thanks!

#1 murphy_213 has been a member since 6/7/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by Husko on 6/7/2010 at 15:43

In Nov 2008 we went from Saigon to Chau Doc by bus, then to Ha Tien and onto Hon Chong by motorbike. We caught the ferry from Hon Chong to Phu Quoc. On the way back we caught the ferry to Rach Gia then bus to Can Tho and back to Saigon.

Mai Linh bus is best way to get around the delta if you are not using a guide or motor bike. These can be booked easily from your hotel in each destination.

I'm keen to see others advice on NYE in Saigon or other as we are looking to be there this year as well.

#2 Husko has been a member since 13/10/2007. Posts: 34

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Posted by Nokka on 6/7/2010 at 20:19

Last New Years Eve I was in Can Tho. Early in the evening it looked as though there were going to be various festivities near the waterfront, with families milling around and lots going on. We went to eat and came out of the restaurant at about 10 pm. The place was deserted. Almost completely, just a few people wandering around and a few westerners in the bars.

We sat in the little park overlooking the waterfront and chatted with some students who wanted to practice their English. At just before 11, we set off back to our Hotel, partly as the park at that time was swarming with rats from the river.

We had been on Phu Quoc for Christmas, which was busy in a western kind of way. Plus it was pretty busy there, with lots of tourists coming for a week or twos break over Christmas and New Year.

We were in Kuching, Sarawak for Chinese New Year. Now that's when things liven up a bit. It appeared to me that western NYE is just a non-event, apart from where westerners themselves congregate.

#3 Nokka has been a member since 6/4/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 259
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Posted by CharleyNoir on 7/7/2010 at 10:55

Posted from within Vietnam.

Sorry to say poster Nokka has got it wrong. In Ho Chi Minh City at least Western NYE is celebrated in huge style by the Vietnamese. Bear in mind at least 10% of the poluation is Christian. Besides that they love the whole Christmas festivities. Last year on NYE the streets of District 1 were (uncomfortably) crowded. We choose to see in the new year in the lobby of large 5 star hotel where the locals were doing the full countdown. Great fun.

#4 CharleyNoir has been a member since 7/7/2010. Posts: 8

Posted by Nokka on 7/7/2010 at 20:11

Well, I don't think I got it 'wrong'; it's just that my experience was different from yours, Charley.

I'm sure HCMC has something going on in the District 1 on NYE. It's busy nearly every night it seemed to me. I was there just before Christmas and the streets were very busy with both foreign and domestic tourists. It is true, as Charley says, that there does seem to be a fascination with the western idea of Christmas, with people taking photographs of snowy Santa Clauses in front of the big shopping malls.

However, in Can Tho, which is not a small place there appeared to be nothing at all on NYE. And my guess would be that that will also be the case in most provincial towns and cities. Unless, of course, someone knows different.....

#5 Nokka has been a member since 6/4/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 259
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Posted by CharleyNoir on 8/7/2010 at 08:56

Posted from within Vietnam.

I totally accept your point Nokka! Apologies. I agree, Can Tho is a sizeable place so your observations are valuable. I won't go there next New Year!

#6 CharleyNoir has been a member since 7/7/2010. Posts: 8

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