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Travel to Vietnam During Tet? Top places to visit & things to consider

19/01/2024

What are the best places to visit in Vietnam during Tet? Are shops open during Tet in Vietnam? Read to explore about New Year in Vietnam with the top 4 destinations and a comprehensive guide.

Selling decorative items for Tet

Common Questions about Tet Holiday in Vietnam 

When is Tet? 

Tết or Tết Nguyên Đán is the widely used name for the Vietnamese New Year. It's also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year in Vietnam. 

The date of Tet changes every year because it follows the Vietnamese lunar calendar. This means that Tet commonly falls in late January or early February according to the Gregorian calendar.

Flower markets in Tet are busy

The dates of Tet for the next few years:

  • Tet in Vietnam 2024: February 10 (Year of Dragon)
  • Tet in Vietnam 2025: January 29 (Year of the Snake)
  • Tet in Vietnam 2026: February 17 (Year of the Horse)
  • Tet in Vietnam 2027: February 6 (Year of the Goat)

Because Tet - Vietnamese Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in Vietnam, it’s celebrated over three days but often for a whole week. It's like the Christmas and New Year celebration period in the UK. 

Are shops open during Tet?

Some coffee shops, restaurants, and stores open during Tet as normal

During Tet,  Vietnamese often spend time going home, being with family, and seeing friends or travelling. They stop working. That’s why you see streets are empty on the first day of Tet. Also, most shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions close for several days, especially during the first few days of Tet. This can cause inconvenience if you want to buy some necessary things. 

Many coffee shops are decorated beautifully during tet 

However, not all shops close during Tet. Nowadays, with tourism development, more international tourists come to Vietnam. People in tourism still work during Tet to serve tourists' needs. Also, many coffee shops, restaurants, and stores open during Tet as normal. After the 3 first days, other shops and restaurants start to reopen, with more options available by the end of the Tet holiday.

Should I visit Vietnam during Tet?

Bai Dinh Pagoda at Tet with lots of activities 

Travelling to Vietnam during Tet holiday can be a rewarding experience if you love the festive atmosphere. Tet is the biggest and most important holiday in Vietnam. It offers a unique chance to witness traditional celebrations, colourful decorations with peach and apricot blossoms, lion dances, and vibrant flower markets. Many tourist attractions offer special Tet events and shows. You can also participate in unique activities like visiting temples and seeing how local people worship their ancestors. 

However, be prepared for potentially higher prices for accommodation and transportation during Tet.

Where is the best place to go for Tet in Vietnam?

Let’s see the top 4 Tet travel destinations in Vietnam:

Hanoi during Tet

Firework display at Hoan Kiem Lake at Tet

Hanoi is one of the best places to spend tet in Vietnam. The streets are full of colourful lanterns, flowers, and decorations. People buy red lanterns, peach blossoms, and kumquat trees hoping for good luck and prosperity in the New Year. There are many historic places in Hanoi and you can act like local people by visiting ancient temples and pagodas to offer prayers for good health, happiness, and success in the new year.

One special thing is that Hanoi is a big city, people from the neighbourhood come here to work and study. At Tet, they come back to their hometown, so Hanoi looks less crowned and bustled than normal days. It’s an interesting experience for sure. 

Hang Ma Street in Hanoi Old Quarter at Tet

Here are some places you can visit in Hanoi in Tet: 

  • Tran Quoc Pagoda on West Lake
  • Old Quarter streets
  • Hang Ma Street 
  • Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple
  • Phung Hung Mural Street
  • Quang Ba Flower Market
  • Flower markets 
  • Hanoi Temple of Literature

Top Attractions in Hanoi: Key places, ticket price, open time, things to do - updated 2024

From Hanoi, you can easily move to nearby destinations like Ninh Binh, Halong, Sapa,...

Hanoi City Full-Day Tour

Hanoi Special Package tour three in one: Cyclo (1h), Food tour (3h) and Foot Massage (30') 

Sapa during Tet

Sapa is lovely at any time of year, but it's especially magic during Tet. The mountains are covered in mist and the valleys are filled with peach blossoms. You will see how ethnic minority groups prepare for Tet Holiday. Their traditional Tet is different from people in big cities. 

Top Places to Visit in Sapa during Tet: 

  • Sapa Town Center
  • Ham Rong Mountain
  • Fansipan Peak - the Roof of Indochina
  • Muong Hoa Valley
  • O Quy Ho Pass
  • Traditional Festival of Ethnic Minorities
  • Cat Cat Village and Ta Phin Village 
  • Lao Chai and Ta Van Villages
  • Bac Ha Market

Sapa Tour 2 days 1 night by the early morning Bus (Cat Cat village- Ham Rong Mountain)

Sapa Tour 2 days 1 night by the morning early bus (Cat Cat- Lao Chai - Ta Van) 

Hoi An during Tet

The Old Town of Hoi An stays open during Tet. It experiences a slightly higher level of activity than usual, as many Vietnamese choose to become tourists in their own country during this holiday. Hoi An stands out as one of their preferred Tet holiday destinations. However, Hoi An is a must-visit place because it features traditional beauty during Tet, bringing you a cultural atmosphere and relaxing feeling when walking around the old yellow streets. 

If you travel to Hoi An during Tet, don’t forget to visit: 

  • Hoi An Ancient Town
  • Cau An Hoi Bridge
  • Japanese Covered Bridge (Chua Cau)
  • Night Market
  • Assembly Halls
  • Temples and Pagodas
  • Boat Ride on the Thu Bon River
  • An Bang Beach
  • Local Homes and Villages

Ninh Binh during Tet

Ninh Binh is the home of ancient temples and pagodas, all of which are adorned with traditional decorations during Tet. For instance, the Trang An boat dock and ticketing area are embellished with vibrant lanterns, kumquat trees, and fresh flowers. This festive atmosphere extends to other renowned sites in Ninh Binh, including the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Mua Cave, Tam Coc-Bich Dong, and Bai Dinh.

If you're travelling to Ninh Binh during Tet, make sure to visit:

Hoa Lu- Mua Cave- Tam Coc- Bike- Bich Dong Pagoda

Hoa Lu - Mua Cave - Tam Coc - Bike - Swimming with Sunset Party

How is the Lunar New Year in Ninh Binh? Tips and recommendations.

Tet holiday in Vietnam - Travel tips

Tet is colourful and joyful but is best enjoyed when you plan well. There are some things to keep in mind when travelling to Vietnam during Lunar New Year:  

Visa Application to Vietnam

Submit your visa application at the earliest opportunity. The visa authority, including Vietnamese embassies, consulates, and Immigration offices, will be closed at Tet. Therefore, it is advisable to apply at least 2-3 weeks before the Tet Holiday. 

Book your accommodation in advance 

Remember to make reservations for hotels in advance. Due to the large number of tourists coming to Vietnam during Tet celebration, you need to secure rooms in famous destinations such as Hanoi, Sapa, Hanoi… Apart from international tourists coming to Vietnam this time, the long holiday period allows local people to travel, making beautiful places more crowded than usual. 

Prepare enough necessary things 

While in famous tourist attractions, shops and restaurants are still open, some shops close during Tet. Especially in the countryside, it’s hard to find the things you need in the first 3 days of New Year. Besides, the price during Tet might be higher than the normal days. So, if you need medicine, clothes, shoes or snacks you should buy them in advance. 

The last thing you should prepare for your trip is to be ready for all surprises. It’s time to enjoy local festivities and Tet specialities. Joining Tet events and trying local food such as Banh Chung is a way to discover local life.  

Hope that the suggestion of the Best places to go in Vietnam for Tet gives you some idea to plan your trip to Vietnam. Don’t hesitate, let's pack your luggage and fly to Vietnam for this New Year Event. See you soon! 

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