Travellers often wonder if they should visit Vietnam during the Tet holiday (Lunar New Year) because prices will be higher, and many tourist sights and restaurants will be closed.
However, Chôm Chôm Travel can assure you that it is worthwhile and that you will encounter a Vietnam distinct from an ordinary day.
1. WHAT IS TET?
Tet is the most important festival in Vietnam; it comes on the first day of the lunar calendar and is also known as Lunar New Year. On the solar calendar, Tet usually comes between the middle of January and the middle of February.
For Vietnamese people, Tet signifies the arrival of spring, and everything must be prepared before Tet arrives. If your house is filled with food, gorgeous decorations, and new clothes, it will promise your family a prosperous new year.
Around two weeks before Tet, many people go shopping and try to pay off all their debts from the previous year. It is thought to be very unlucky to still be in debt for the new year because it represents lack, and you will be in debt for the entire following year.
Floating Market before Tet holiday
On Lunar New Year's Eve, the elders will prepare offerings for the worship of the Gods and ancestors. They will pray for everyone in the family to have a prosperous and healthy new year.
Each Lunar New Year will have a symbolic animal; there are 12 zodiac animals. Every animal will bring unique luck in its year, and Tet holiday 2023 will be the year of the Cat. You will notice a lot of cat symbols on the decorations. Other Lunar year countries will celebrate the year of the rabbit in 2023.
Not only for celebrating the new year, but Tet is also a time for family reunions. Many people working away from home will return for the holidays to spend time with their families.
2. WHY IS IT WORTHWHILE TO TRAVEL DURING TET HOLIDAY?
You should visit Vietnam during the Tet holiday to see a more bright and more colourful side of the country and discover more about the many unique traditions and festivals that occur just once a year.
The streets and local homes are noticeably more gorgeous, with many flowers, lanterns, red envelopes, and other unique decorations. People are in a festive mood, and the entire nation is filled with joy.
Have you heard of the Vietnamese "lucky money"? The money will be given in beautiful red envelopes, typically given to children to celebrate their new age for the coming year and wish them good fortune.
Decorations for Tet holiday
This is also the best time to experience authentic and delectable Vietnamese cuisine like Banh Trung and Banh Tet (sticky rice cake), Thit Kho Trung (caramelised pork and eggs), Hat Dua (melon seeds), Cu Kieu (pickled leeks), Canh Kho Qua (stuffed bitter melon soup), Cha Lua (pork bologna), Cha Gio (fried spring rolls), and many more dishes. Chôm Chôm Travel invites you to come and experience it for yourself to know how delicious they are.
The Vietnamese love to connect through fun activities during Tet, like singing karaoke, playing cards and bingo. This an excellent opportunity to become a local while joining the Tet celebrations.
3. WHAT WILL YOU NOTICE WHEN TRAVELLING DURING THE TET HOLIDAY?
Transportation is something you and your family should consider. There is no doubt that the fares will go up, and since many Vietnamese return home for the festival, traffic will be heavy, particularly one week before and two weeks after Tet. Flights and trains from major cities, like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang, can be fully booked in advance.
Chôm Chôm Travel strongly advises that you book all necessary transportation as soon as possible if you plan to visit Vietnam during the Tet holiday.
During the Tet holiday, traffic will be less heavy because many people will stay at home and visit their extended family and neighbours; if they travel, they will primarily use their vehicle to accompany the family. Flights will be significantly less busy.
Unlike the traffic, the accommodation is not as busy, especially before and during the first three days of the holiday, when every Vietnamese will be at home. However, many people will start travelling after the first three days of the holiday and lodging at many popular attractions in Vietnam, which can be fully booked.
Prices will be higher due to peak season, but do not wait until the last minute to book, the closer the holiday, the higher the price. The pricing will be the highest if you book during the holiday.
Many museums, mausoleums, exhibition centres, and art galleries will be closed for at least three days. If you wish to visit those places, you can do so after those days, but check the opening times before you decide to visit.
However, those first couple of days are ideal for spending time outside. The tranquillity and peace are found at beaches, cities, and other tourist destinations. It will be wonderful to spend quality time with family.
Tourists may have difficulty finding food during the Tet holidays because most restaurants, food stores, and street vendors will be closed. Everything slowly reopens on the fourth or fifth day of the new lunar year.
Traditional Vietnamese dishes during Tet holiday
However, this is the best time to taste home cooking and authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
What would you think if the Chôm Chôm team arranged local accommodation for you and your family?
You will have an excellent opportunity to taste delicious traditional Vietnamese food while learning about Tet traditions.
Travelling during the Tet holiday may appear more difficult than usual. Still, it is well worth it because you may see and do things that other tourists do not experience when they visit the country, not during the Lunar New Year.
Tet is the prime time of the year! Come and explore with your family!
Contact us as soon as possible! The Chôm Chôm team will take care of everything. You and your family only need to relax and enjoy the holiday as the Vietnamese do.