Tet Holiday – Vietnamese New Year is coming in just a few days! For those who plan to visit Vietnam during this time and have zero experience of what to do, this Tet holiday guide will be of great help!
WHAT IS TET HOLIDAY
Vietnamese New Year (or Tet holiday) is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It usually falls in late January or the first half of February. Because Tet is the time of reunion, everyone, especially those who leave their hometown to develop their careers, try to return to gather with their beloved families. Because of this reason, big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city are quite empty. Most shops are also closed in the first 3 days of the new year. However, this is still the time you should choose to visit Vietnam, especially Hanoi, to be able to directly see how joyful the “authentic” Tet holiday atmosphere is. Let’s find out what to do, where to go and what to eat during this time with AA Travel in this Tet guide!
WHAT TO DO BEFORE TET HOLIDAY
From 10 days, or even 1 month before, when going out at this time, you can see that everywhere is crowded with people going shopping to prepare for Tet holiday. It shows how excited Vietnamese people are waiting for this event. In the first part this Tet guide, we will recommend you some places you should not miss out before the Vietnamese New Year’s Eve.
HANG MA STREET
Hang Ma Street is one of the streets in Hanoi’s old quarter. This place has the traditional craftsmanship of making votive objects for worshiping and making paper ornaments. Corresponding to each occasion are different decorations suitable for that holiday. On Tet holiday, Hang Ma street becomes colorful with eye-catching red lanterns and many other accessories. Don’t forget to bring your phone or camera to capture this beautiful scenery!
If coming to Hanoi during Tet holiday, you definitely cannot miss the chance to visit the famous flower markets. During this time, these places become more crowded and bustling than ever because everyone wants to buy a peach blossom, an apricot blossom or a kumquat tree to decorate their houses. When entering the flower markets of Hanoi, visitors will be amazed at the irresistible beauty and the fragrant scent of different kinds of flowers.
Some flower markets that we recommend your visit during Tet holiday 2020: Hang Luoc flower market (Hang Luoc street, Old Quarter); Lac Long Quan flower market (Lac Long Quan street, Cau Giay); Quang Ba flower market (Quang An, Tay Ho); Tay Tuu night flower market (Tay Tuu, Bac Tu Liem); etc.
Every year, the “Countdown Party” in the downtown area of Hanoi attracts thousands of people. Along with the Hanoi Opera House, Hoan Kiem Lake is the hottest area every Vietnamese New Year’s Eve, especially for young people. The art programs last from evening to midnight creating a bustling, vibrant atmosphere.
This Tet holiday 2020, the Countdown program continues to take place in 4 locations: Hoan Kiem Lake, Ly Thai To Monument, Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square, Cach mang Thang Tam Square and Hang Day Stadium. While waiting for the Countdown 2020 to take place, you can take a stroll around the Ho Guom Lake pedestrian street.
It is impossible to skip the fireworks. To welcome the Vietnamese New Year, at exactly 00:00 on NYE every year in Hanoi, there are many locations for fireworks display of different sizes. If you come to Hanoi on this Tet holiday 2020 (Year of the Rat), here are fireworks spots you can refer to:
6 spots for high-range fireworks: Hoan Kiem Lake, Lac Long Quan flower garden (Tay Ho district), Thanh Tich park – My Dinh National Sports Complex, Thong Nhat Park, Van Quan Lake and Son Tay Citadel.
24 spots for low-range fireworks: Ngoc Khanh lake, Vincom shopping center, Den Lu lake park, Hoang Cau lake peninsula, Cau Giay park, Nhan Chinh lake park, Pheo river bridge (Bac Tu Liem district), Thanh Tri District Culture, Information and Sports Center, etc.
The firework shows usually last 15 minutes.
In fact, near the Lunar New Year’s Eve, it doesn’t matter where you go as everywhere is crowded with people shopping for Tet. Do not hesitate to go out and deeply feel the bustling Tet atmosphere!
WHAT TO DO DURING TET HOLIDAY
In the second part of the Tet holiday guide, we will recommend you some places to go during Tet.
HANOI OLD QUARTER
No traffic jams, no car horns, no crowds, the morning of the 1st and 2nd of the Vietnamese New Year becomes the most suitable time to stroll around Hanoi Old Quarter. Coming to the Old Quarter these days, visitors can fully feel the peaceful atmosphere of the capital like dozens of years ago, different from normal days. You can visit Hang Bac Street to buy jewelry, go to Long Thanh to see the flower village, go to Ly Quoc Su street to eat pork ribs porridge or go to the St. Joseph’s Cathedral to drink lemon tea with friends.
In the evening, it is a must to go to Ta Hien beer town to enjoy draft beer. The journey to discover the Old Quarter not only brings you joy, but also helps you understand a lot more about the traditional cultures of Vietnam. And don’t forget to take vintage photos on every street corner of this place!
TEMPLE OF LITERATURE in TET HOLIDAY
Hundreds of people come to the Temple of Literature every Tet, which is considered a traditional cultural beauty in modern life. They come to pray for a good new year, especially in terms of academic development. Above all, everyone wants to ask for calligraphy. These paintings can be used as decorations in the house and are believed to bring good luck to the family. This is considered one of the inevitable Vietnamese New Year traditions.
PHUNG HUNG MURAL STREET
The street is a long stretch from Phung Hung – Hang Ma junction to Hang Luoc flower market, Hoan Kiem district. 17 arches of an old bridge are painted with iconic things such as: the general department store, the street vendor woman, the tinkling electronix train, the old teachers, etc, which creates a space reminiscent of Hanoi in the past.
TRAN QUOC PAGODA
Previously in the Ly Dynasty – when Buddhism flourished, Tran Quoc Pagoda was the Buddhist center of the whole city. During the Lunar New Year, this is one of the most popular destinations in Hanoi. Many Buddhists and tourists from everywhere come to offer incense and sightseeing to the West Lake. The Daily Mail, Thrillist websites in 2016 all ranked Tran Quoc Pagoda on the list of the most beautiful temples in the world.
IMPERIAL CITADEL OF THANG LONG
This is a huge complex of architectural works built by kings during many historical periods and is one of the most important monuments in Vietnam. Every Tet holiday, the Thang Long Heritage Conservation Center – Hanoi and related units organize many exhibitions, exhibitions, and traditional cultural activities in this area. There will be activities such as welcoming the dragon to welcome the spring, asking for calligraphy, exhibiting the model of making royal wine, etc.
WEST LAKE FLOWER VALLEY
The flower valley located on Nhat Chieu Street, next to West Lake (Hanoi) is a place of many kinds of seasonal flowers. This destination attracts a lot of visitors, the peak can be up to thousands of people every day with entrance tickets of 80,000 VND. Remember to pay this place a visit during Tet holiday and take a lot of beautiful photos!
NHAT TAN FLOWER GARDEN
One of the busiest destinations in Hanoi in all seasons is Nhat Tan flower garden. Here, in addition to traditional peach blossom farming, garden owners cultivate a variety of seasonal flowers, meeting the needs of guests’ photography. Many garden owners renovate the land with flower beds and sell tickets to enter this very popular photography spot. The flower gardens near the main road cost from 30,000 to 50,000 VND per person. Small flower fields, located deeper in Nhat Tan village, have cheaper entry prices: 20,000 VND.
These commercial centers offer a variety of entertainment and stores to meet the needs of people and visitors at all times of the year. When it comes to holidays, especially Tet holiday, there are a lot of events to welcome the new year within these places and the buildings are also splendidly decorated. It is a very suitable for travelers who like to check-in.
In Hanoi, there are a lot of commercial centers for you to choose such as: Vincom shopping mall system, AEON mall in Ha Dong and Long Bien, Lotte building, etc.
WHAT TO EAT DURING TET HOLIDAY
At the beginning of the new year, most stores are closed as everyone is busy spending time with their families. But don’t worry, in this Tet holiday guide, AA Vietnam Travel will provide you with a number of restaurants that open throughout this time. Don’t miss out this wonderful chance to enjoy the typical dishes of Hanoi!
BEEF PHO (TONG DUY TAN STREET)
This is one of the famous Vietnamese New Year eateries in Hanoi. The address of the store is also very easy to find: it lies at the beginning of Tong Duy Tan Street. Here you can order a variety of beef pho. The shop sells from the 2nd of Lunar New Year at a price of about 45,000 VND.
PORK RIBS PORRIDGE WITH FINGER-SHAPED SOUFFLÉ BY MRS. LA (2A LY QUOC SU) in TET HOLIDAY
Located at 2A Ly Quoc Su, pork ribs porridge with finger-shaped soufflé by Mrs. La rib has become a familiar place for the foodies. Delicious hot porridge combined with crispy finger-shaped soufflé can warm up Tet days. The price for the food here is also relatively cheap, from 25,000 – 40,000 VND.
ROLLED RICE PANCAKE (64C DOI CAN)
This Tet holiday, if you want to enjoy rolled rice pancake and ginseng chicken, don’t hesitate to come to 64C Doi Can. The chewy and fragrant pancake is serve with crunchy fried shallots and meat skewers, which makes it an absolutely delicious dish. This store has also been famous for its ginseng chicken for a couple of years now. This place opens throughout Tet, with the price ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 VND.
QUAN AN NGON in TET HOLIDAY
Quan An Ngon is a famous Vietnamese food restaurant system in Hanoi. The space of each restaurant is decorated in the traditional Indochinese style. Coming here, you can experience typical Vietnamese dishes such as banh xeo, meat/fish stew, banh troi nuoc, etc. The minimum price of this place is about 80,000 VND.
AVALON CAFÉ & LOUNGE (DINH TIEN HOANG)
This is a quality and luxurious restaurant on Dinh Tien Hoang street with a panoramic view of the Hoan Kiem lake. It is decorated in European style. Here, you can enjoy both European and Vietnamese food such as: Australian beef tenderloin, roasted turkey, creamy pumpkin soup, spring rolls, etc. The price ranges from 50,000 VND.
AA Vietnam Travel is always honored to accompany you on every trip. And last but not least, as Tet is around the corner, HAVE A VERY HAPPY VIETNAMESE NEW YEAR 2020!