If you haven’t bought any ticket or booked a resort to visit this Tet Holiday, it’s too late now! Airlines are fully-booked and resorts will be in full capacity. And if you’re planning to take a bus to get out of Saigon, good luck to you. 😀 Expect HEAVY traffic.
But then again, what’s there to do in Saigon when a whole LOT of shops will be closed? I’m playing it by ear (and newspapers) but on top of my list is:
Flower Festival 2011: I really enjoyed last year’s display. The photo on the left is a shot from Nguyen Hue St. My father-in-law who was visiting had a great time as well. And seeing all the work being done last week, adds to the anticipation. The one along Nguyen Hue will start on January 31. And there’ll be performances including lion dance. I suggest you go early or in the late afternoon so it wouldn’t be too hot. Last year, we went around noon and it was scorching!
There also are Flower Festivals at:
Tao Dan Park (Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St., D3) and Turtle Lake (Vo Van Tan St., D1)
January 28 to February 8
Free for kids under 12 years
Lunar New Year’s Eve Fireworks: We didn’t go last year and I don’t think we’ll do so again this year BUT we’re sure to get a nice view from our building or a neighbor’s building. 😀 Here’s where the firework displays are going to happen from 12mn to 12:15am on February 3:
Ben Duoc Memorial Park (Cu Chi)
Caric shipyard area (Thu Thiem, D2)
Construction project of Administration Center (Tan Phu ward, D7)
Dam Sen Park (D11)
Go Vap Park
Nga Ba Giong Memorial Park (Hoc Mon)
Park of Culture and Ethnic History (D9)
Now you know where to orient yourself when looking out your apartment window. 😛 Either that or catch the firework display on local TV channels.
Tet Flower Markets: What better time to buy flowers, but now? Hmm…but I’m guessing the prices will be a bit steep. Flower markets will open around this time (January 26 till February 2) but the biggest according to my resources will be at:
23/9 Park D1
Gia Dinh Park, Binh Thanh District
Le Van Tam Park, D3
Book Festival: Now this one’s new! From January 31 to February 6, Mac Thi Buoi St. (now I know why they closed this street yesterday!) will be where bookworms such as myself will flock to to borrow, read or exchange old books! Pretty cool stuff! I just hope they have books in English!
Day Tours: I think with people on a holiday, this is the best time to try those day tours minus the traffic. We did last year and we were able to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, Cao Dai Temple, and Mekong Delta.
There are a whole lot of stuff still going on for the Tet celebration and will compile them in another entry. 🙂 The above are those activities I’m interested in. And if you’re itching to go to a mall, Parkson will remain open which includes Parkson Flemington, Saigon Tourist Plaza, and Hung Vuong Plaza. 🙂
Geisha & Geisha’s Coffee and Tea House is open reduced hours during Tet.
Located at 85 Pasteur St, District 1.
Open 10am – 5pm everyday during the Lunar New Year holidays (31st Jan
– 6th Feb). Offers Western and Oriental cuisine, hot & cold drinks, beer & wine.
Soft lounge music, free Wi-fi, board games & shisha pipes.
Have a lovely Tet!
Correction to earlier post: Geisha & Geisha’s Coffee and Tea House is open 10am – 7pm everyday during the Lunar New Year holidays (31st Jan – 6th Feb).