Lunar New Year or Tet (occurring at middle January or early February) is the biggest celebration of some Asian countries, especially Vietnam over a year. This festival bears all distinguishing features of Vietnamese culture, customs, and traditions. Therefore, traveling to Vietnam during Tet festival will give you a good opportunity to explore the long-standing culture of Vietnam; and to take part in interesting Tet activities which only take place during this time. Since there are huge differences between Tet and other days. In order to help you have memorable Vietnam guided tours, let’s check some helpful information below.
During Tet, depending on your interests and purposes, your Vietnam tours should be spent in one of these recommended sites:
If you’d like to experience Tet in a peaceful, fresh area with ethnic minority people then your destinations should be Sapa. Coming to this mountainous field during spring, you will be impressed by the poetic landscape of many kinds of flowers blooming. Accounting for the majority of them is peach blossom. Besides, you can experience a more colorful Sapa market and spring festivals in Sapa during Tet. It is when local people are in their traditional clothes dancing and holding enjoyable games.
Being the capital of Vietnam, the city is the place where you can sense the taste of a typical Tet in the Northern part of the country. Visiting Hanoi before Tet, you can join flows of people with excitement shopping to prepare for this celebration. Traveling to Vietnam during Tet festival, you are able to go for a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake to enjoy the most of the festivities, to gaze with veneration blooming flowers, lovely decorations as well as traditional clothing of Vietnam. Or if you are keen on calligraphy pictures, you can spend a day in your Vietnam itinerary 2 weeks tour for the Temple of Literature. It is where you can find the scene of the Master using black ink writing skillful letters on red paper.
- Hoi An – the ancient riverside town:
The pictures of an ancient town decorated with bright lanterns and lights will be the first thing you can see in your Vietnam guided tours when reaching to Hoi An. In New Year’s Eve, travelers could be rewarded by accomplished lion dance, lantern parade and flowered car parade. At the moment of moving to the next year, bells of all the churches and pagodas will ring at the same time, firework will be started. Tet is also time for Hoi An people to hold many cultural, sports, and entertainment programs, which are worth trying.
- Nha Trang:
Would you like to sunbathe in a beautiful beach and to know how fishing villagers hold their Tet? Then, a tour to Nha Trang ought to be the answer for you. During the celebration, the weather of Nha Trang is very nice. It is sunny and mild with some gusts of wind blowing. Hence, this period is the best time for you to enjoy attractive activities like diving and snorkeling, hot air balloon riding, visiting fishing villages, etc.
Vietnamese Tet holiday will be your best choice for a big fan of Vietnam cuisine. This is because Tet is the time for all traditional food. Your visit to this Southest Asian nation during Lunar New Year cannot be finished if you don’t try at least one of below dishes:
- Sticky rice cake (Chung cake)- the spirit of Tet.
If you travel to Vietnam during Tet festival, it’s impossible to see an ancestral altar without any Chung cake. It’s thriving originates from a legend in the sixth Hung Vuong Emperor. This kind of cake is made from sticky rice, pork, masticated green bean and wrapped in a “dong” leaf. To have a Chung cake to present, Vietnamese people need to boil it for long hours (often about 14 hours).
- Pickled Onions (Dua Hanh):
This kind of food contains onions pickled in a solution of salt and vinegar for about 1 week. This sour, fresh and low-calorie dish helps to digest food more easily as it balances fatty food taken to your body for the duration of your Tet visit to the S-shaped country.
- Frozen meat:
It’s a special food of the North Vietnam appearing only in the winter-spring period. After pieces of chicken and pork are cooked with additives and mushroom, they are covered and frozen to become a wonderful foodstuff.
- Spring roll:
The way to make it is quite simple but the ingredients are quite a lot: pork, shrimp or meat, mushroom, eggs, species, etc. All that things are mixed, wrapped into rolls by using rice papers (banh trang). After that, these rolls are fried in a pan until their color changes into golden.
Vietnam guided tours during this period of time can’t be finished if you haven’t try at least one of these dishes!
Since Tet is the longest holiday in the country, almost most of the people try to return to their hometown. As a result, the traffic before and after the celebration is too heavy. It’s commonly seen in the bus station or airport flows of people with bulky luggage going home before Tet and coming back to work after the holiday. For that reason, if you plan to take a tour to Vietnam during this festival, you will need to book your flight and hotel in advance as soon as you can.
Contrary to before and after the holiday, during Tet, especially in the first day of the new year, many Vietnamese tend to stay home and not to go out; many shops and restaurants can even close for the first three days. So, the road is quite free, you can deplete the fear for the traffic jam.
Some transport services may not be available; so you should consider which means of transportation to use for your spring voyage in Vietnam. Here are some that you can think of:
In case of loving backpack tourism, motorbikes will be the most flexible to directly explore your destination in detail. However, be careful to when using it as the traffic will be very heavy before and after Tet.
With safety and low cost, moving by train may be useful for a short distance. For long distance, using the train may take you much time to get to your destination as Vietnam’s train is quite slow. However, the redeeming factor is that you can observe the beautiful landscape along the two sides of the road; while taking a cup of coffee in your train. That will make your travel to Vietnam during Tet festival become much memorable!
- Plane – the fastest way to get to your destination:
If you don’t have much time for your trip, airplane is the best choice for you. Nonetheless, you cannot take any flight if you don’t book in advance.
Prices during Tet
On the one hand, because the need for goods during Tet holiday increases significantly, the price of almost everything goes up. Thus, you’d better cut down on things to buy. And bargaining is maybe good in some cases.
Moreover, since pay for hiring staff during this festival is much higher than normal, prices of almost services, especially food and drink rise considerably. So,when making a circuit of Vietnam in Tet, before using any services, you should notice the price first.
On the other hand, Lunar New Year is also a good opportunity for you to hunt for huge discounts. Some Vietnam tour companies may offer you great deals for traveling with your friends and family during Tet. You can save a lot if you get such deals!
In conclusion, let’s take a guided tour to Vietnam during Tet festival such as Vietnam Cultural Highlight 14 days; it will be a great chance for you to broaden your knowledge about Vietnamese culture and traditions.
Toan Do – Travel Lover