Vietnamese celebrate both the Western New Year and the Lunar New Year (known as “Tet”), with the latter being the bigger holiday. While we only have fireworks and no significant activities on the Western New Year, Tet can span over a week with lots of distinctive festivals across the country. And weather-wise, Tet is less chilly, and it’s also Vietnam’s peak travel season. So now that we’ve learned something about the two New Years, the only question left is: “Where to spend the New Year in Vietnam?”
Where to Spend The New Year in Vietnam – Western New Year
Ho Chi Minh City
Start your New Year from the back of a motorbike
Of course, a recommendable place for the New Year celebration has to be Vietnam’s entertainment hub – Ho Chi Minh City! As one of Asia’s big metropolises, the fireworks and decoration here never fail to amaze. You can book a motorbike tour around the city to admire or join the countdown on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street. Afterward, knock down some beers on Bui Vien Street. But if you’re into a quiet celebration, Ho Chi Minh City’s top hotels like Caravelle also offers fine-dining experiences.
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The West Lake flower valley can be a great spot to spend the first day of the year
Heading North, the capital city of Vietnam, is perfect for a good time. Like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi toasts to the New Year with stunning fireworks and a fun countdown near Hoan Kiem Lake. There are also many public street art performances and dinner parties at Hanoi’s top bars, such as the Red Rec (Hanoi Creative City). For those who crave a beer, be sure to head to Ta Hien Street for a cold glass of “bia hoi.”
A colorful musical parade at Ba Na Hills
Da Nang has emerged recently as Central Vietnam’s top tourist spot with lots of exciting attractions such as Ba Na Hills or the International Fireworks Festival. For New Year, Da Nang organizes many activities catering to tourists, such as outdoor music festivals. Besides, remember to visit the holy Linh Ung temple on Son Tra Peninsula – one of the most famous temples that Vietnamese visit to pray for their loved ones.
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Where to Spend The New Year in Vietnam – Lunar New Year
The Mekong Delta – Sa Dec
The scenic view of blooming flowers in Sa Dec
If we’re talking about where to spend the New Year in Vietnam, the Mekong Delta, especially the city of Sa Dec can’t be missed. Dubbed as the flower capital of the region, Sa Dec attracts thousands of visitors every Lunar New Year thanks to its beautiful flower and bonsai gardens. Endless rows of blossoms ensure that all your photos will be Instagrammable! While you’re there, be sure to book a Mekong Delta tour as well to learn about the lives of Vietnamese farmers and experience our unique culture – the floating markets!
The traditional opening ceremony at the Huong Pagoda Festival
Hanoi is known as the cultural center of Vietnam, and for the Lunar New Year, we will take you out of the bustling streets to visit the Huong Pagoda Festival. The celebration started from January 6 in the Lunar calendar and is attended by thousands of people. It is believed that every wish that you make here becomes a reality. Besides the chance to witness sacred Buddhist rituals, the pilgrimage trip offers numerous appealing sights, including Huong Tich cave, often referred to as “the most beautiful cave in Vietnam.”
Pilgrims coming to the Black Virgin mountain festival
During Lunar New Year, Tay Ninh becomes the hotspot for cultural and religious activities with the Black Virgin (Ba Den) Mountain Festival. People believe that you’ll get blessings for success if you make your devotions to the goddess of this mountain. Visitors can stay here for a couple of days, starting from December 30th (Lunar calendar), enjoy Vietnamese vegan food, and witness the worshipping rituals. Alternatively, this mountain is also perfect for hiking or camping and watching the sunset as the “roof of the South.”
Dong Da festival is held to honor Emperor Quang Trung
Binh Dinh province is famous for the Tay Son martial art whose name honors the Tay Son brothers – one of which is emperor Quang Trung. He is known as one of Vietnam’s most brilliant military commanders, made famous for the legendary defeat of the Qing Dynasty. With such a prominent influence, Emperor Quang Trung is honored yearly at the Dong Da festival that occurs on January 4 – 5 (Lunar calendar). Apart from the traditional rituals, the festival also has martial arts performances, role-plays of Emperor Quang Trung’s well-known battles, and boat racing.
Check bus tickets price for traveling from Ho Chi Minh to Tay Ninh:
Closing on Where to Spend The New Year in Vietnam
Vietnam has an abundance of fascinating destinations, so choosing a place to spend your holiday can be challenging. With this article, we hope you’ve found your answer to the question: “Where to spend the New Year in Vietnam?”. If you need more information to plan your trip, check out our comprehensive guide into everything Vietnam.
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