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Insider tips for Tet: Will tourist attractions and services be affected during Tet Holiday?

Discover insider tips to navigate Vietnam's vibrant Tet Holiday, ensuring an unforgettable travel experience.

I. Introduction

Are you planning to travel to Vietnam during Tet holiday? Tet, also known as Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It is a time for family reunions, traditional customs, and festive celebrations. Traveling to Vietnam during Tet holiday can be a unique and memorable experience, but it also requires careful planning and consideration. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about traveling to Vietnam during Tet holiday and provide you with insider tips to make the most of your trip.


II. Understanding Tet Holiday in Vietnam

Tet holiday is based on the lunar calendar and usually falls between late January and early February. It marks the beginning of the new year and is a time for Vietnamese people to pay respects to their ancestors and pray for a prosperous year ahead. During Tet holiday, the streets are adorned with vibrant decorations, and the atmosphere is filled with joy and excitement. It's an opportune time to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and traditions.

1. The Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year, known as Tet Nguyen Dan, is the most significant festival in Vietnam. It is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and paying homage to ancestors. Many Vietnamese people return to their hometowns to celebrate Tet with their families.

2. Cultural Significance

Tet holiday is deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture and traditions. It is believed that the way you greet and behave during Tet will set the tone for the rest of the year. Vietnamese people take great pride in their customs and follow them diligently during this festive period.

3. Duration

Tet holiday typically lasts for three days, although the festive atmosphere can extend for up to a week or longer. It is a time when businesses, schools, and government offices close, and the country takes a break to celebrate.

4. Will tourist attractions and services be affected during Tet Holiday?

As Tet is a period dedicated to family gatherings, there is a significant surge in the demand for transportation. Many tickets are reserved well in advance, sometimes months before Tet, leading to a potential two- to three-fold increase in transportation costs and possible delays. Additionally, certain tourist attractions may be closed during the holiday, necessitating careful planning for your visit. Limited dining options are anticipated, as numerous local restaurants typically shut down. While establishments serving foreigners and tourists are likely to remain open, it is advisable to call ahead and confirm.

Tet provides a glimpse into Vietnamese life as families come together to celebrate the new year. This experience becomes particularly captivating for avid enthusiasts of culture. Additionally, for those who have the flexibility, consider planning your trip to minimize time spent in major cities and instead explore off-the-beaten-track destinations. Furthermore, if you have a passion for photography, the pagodas come alive during Tet, offering a splendid opportunity to capture memorable holiday images.

III. Pros and Cons of Traveling to Vietnam during Tet Holiday

While traveling to Vietnam during Tet holiday can be an incredible experience, it is important to consider the pros and cons before planning your trip. Understanding the benefits and challenges will help you make an informed decision and prepare accordingly.

1. Pros of Traveling to Vietnam during Tet Holiday

Opportunity to Witness Cultural Traditions:
Tet holiday provides a unique opportunity to witness traditional customs and activities that are deeply ingrained in Vietnamese culture. You can experience lion dances, visit bustling flower markets, and participate in temple ceremonies.

Festive Atmosphere:
The streets of Vietnam come alive during Tet holiday, with colorful decorations, festive music, and vibrant parades. It's an ideal time to immerse yourself in the joyful atmosphere and feel the pulse of the country.

Authentic Local Experience
: Many tourists choose to avoid traveling during Tet, which means you can have a more authentic and less crowded experience. You'll have the opportunity to connect with locals, who are often in a festive mood and more open to interactions.

Dragon dance on Tet holiday

2. Cons of Traveling to Vietnam during Tet Holiday

Business Closures
: During Tet, many businesses, shops, and restaurants close, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. This can limit your options for dining, shopping, and sightseeing.

Crowded Transport:
As many Vietnamese people travel to their hometowns during Tet, transportation can be extremely crowded, particularly trains and buses. It's important to book your tickets well in advance to secure a seat.

Varying Availability of Services:
Some tourist attractions, hotels, and tour operators may have limited or restricted operations during Tet holiday. It's essential to check in advance and make necessary arrangements.

Transportation during Tet holiday - Advices for travelers

IV. Insider Tips for Navigating Vietnam's Tet Holiday

To make the most of your trip to Vietnam during Tet holiday, here are some insider tips to help you navigate and enjoy the festive season:

1. Plan and Book in Advance

Due to the popularity of Tet holiday, it is essential to prepare visa and book your accommodation, transportation, and tours well in advance. This will ensure you have the best options available and eliminate last-minute hassles.

2. Respect Local Customs

During Tet holiday, it is important to respect local customs and traditions. Avoid pointing with your finger, do not wear black or white clothes (as they are associated with mourning), and always ask for permission before taking photographs of people during their private celebrations.

3. Try Traditional Dishes

Tet holiday is a time for indulging in delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Don't miss the opportunity to try traditional dishes such as banh chung (sticky rice cake), nem ran (fried spring rolls), and xoi gac (red sticky rice). Sample the festive treats at local markets and street stalls to experience the flavors of Tet.

Vietnamese traditional food for Tet holiday

V. Transportation and Accommodation during Tet Holiday

During Tet holiday, transportation and accommodation can be in high demand. Here are some tips for smooth travel and comfortable stays:

1. Transportation

Book your flights, trains, and buses well in advance to secure your preferred schedule. Consider using reputable travel agencies for organized tours during Tet to avoid any last-minute complications. Be prepared for crowded transport and allow extra time for potential delays.

Transportation in big cities before Lunar New Year

2. Accommodation

Reserve your accommodation in advance, especially if you plan to stay in popular tourist destinations. Consider staying with local families through homestays for a more authentic experience. Be aware that prices for accommodation may be higher during Tet holiday due to the increased demand.

VI. Traditional Customs and Activities during Tet Holiday

Tet holiday is a time when traditional customs and activities take center stage in Vietnam. Here are some popular customs and activities to experience during Tet:

1. Tet Market Visits

Tet markets are a bustling hub of activity where locals shop for festive goods, traditional ingredients, and decorative items. Visit these markets to witness the vibrant atmosphere and purchase unique souvenirs.

2. Tet Food

Feasting on special Tet food is an essential part of the holiday experience. Join locals in enjoying traditional dishes such as banh chung, pickled onions, and various fruits to celebrate the arrival of the new year.

Tips from locals for travellers on Tet Holiday

3. Fireworks and Dragon Dances

Firework displays and dragon dances are common during Tet holiday. These cultural performances can be witnessed in city centers, pagodas, and public spaces. Embrace the festive spirit and be captivated by the enchanting displays.

Dragon dance at Tet in Vietnam

VII. Safety and Security Considerations during Tet Holiday

While Vietnam is generally a safe country to travel to, it's important to keep certain safety precautions in mind during Tet holiday:

1. Awareness of Pickpockets

Crowded places during Tet holiday can attract pickpockets. Always be cautious of your belongings, keep your valuables secure, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

2. Stay Informed

Stay updated on any travel advisories, road closures, or public transport changes during Tet holiday. It's important to be aware of any potential disruptions or safety issues.

3. Secure Accommodation

Choose reputable accommodations that have good security measures, such as secure entrances, safes in rooms, and 24-hour front desk services.

Advices about transportation in Vietnam during Tet Holiday

VIII. Cultural Etiquette in Vietnam during Tet Holiday

Respecting the local customs and etiquette during Tet holiday is essential. Here are some cultural etiquettes to keep in mind:

1. Offering and Receiving Gifts

It is customary to give and receive gifts during Tet. When presenting a gift, use both hands or your right hand only. Avoid giving gifts in multiples of four, as it is considered unlucky.

Giving gifts traditions on Tet Holiday

2. Greeting People

During Tet, greet others by saying "Chuc Mung Nam Moi" (Happy New Year) or "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year in Mandarin Chinese for ethnic Chinese communities in Vietnam). It is a sign of respect and goodwill.

3. Dress Modestly

When visiting religious sites or attending traditional ceremonies, dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothing. This shows respect for the local customs and traditions.

IX. Conclusion

Traveling to Vietnam during Tet holiday can be an enchanting and rewarding experience. From the rich cultural traditions to the festive atmosphere, there is much to explore and enjoy. By understanding the customs, planning in advance, and respecting local etiquette, you can make the most of your trip and create lasting memories. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of Tet, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Vietnam!

Don't forget that Tubudd also provide private customized trips and local buddies during Tet Holiday! Book our local buddies now for an unforgettable Tet in the vibrant land of Vietnam!


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