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Trip to Vietnam on chinese new year

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Green0131
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Trip to Vietnam on chinese new year

Postby Green0131 » Sat, 14 Jan 2012 12:46 pm

I booked my flight to Vietnum on chinese new year.

I think I made mistake! The guidebook says tourist should avoid chinese new year, because many shops are closed then.

The flight fee is non-refundable. But I can cancel hotel at no charge.

Is it so bad to visit vietnum on chinese new year? Should I stay in Singapore?

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Postby therat » Sat, 14 Jan 2012 3:47 pm

Vietnam also celebrate Chinese New Year.

The guidebook is right.
Many shop closed during Chinese New Year.

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Re: Trip to Vietnam on chinese new year

Postby the lynx » Sat, 14 Jan 2012 3:56 pm

Green0131 wrote:I booked my flight to Vietnum on chinese new year.

I think I made mistake! The guidebook says tourist should avoid chinese new year, because many shops are closed then.

The flight fee is non-refundable. But I can cancel hotel at no charge.

Is it so bad to visit vietnum on chinese new year? Should I stay in Singapore?


I hope your ticket is not expensive. It is really a bad time to go there during that time.

Perhaps transfer ticket to a Vietnamese who wants to go back during Chinese New Year?

Singaporeans (especially the majority Chinese) also celebration CNY but the city will not be shut down entirely because the business operators also try to make profit from these four-day free days (Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue).

So, it is still not too bad to remain here. Or you can opt to visit neighbouring countries that do not celebrate CNY like Bali etc.

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Postby applepievn » Sun, 15 Jan 2012 9:34 am

I've replied abt this on another forum, you can probably check it out.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/t ... 6#19189276

Anw, nowadays people don't celebrate Tet as big as before, so some business opens quite early (2nd day of new year), depends on the fortune teller or "master". (FYI, most shops for sure opens until New year's eve. So basically you only have to worry about the 1st day of new year).

If your concern is about food, at least big hotels will still serve food for tourists and your hotel may even be able to show you where to have local food. Many local food stalls near temple/pagoda opens early because at this time of the year people go to those places to pray a lot, so there is usually (good) food around.

Besides, if food and shopping is not a big concern to you (believe me, buy a "banh chung" and keep in your hotel fridge, you're good for a couple of days LOL), this is a good time to stay in big cities like Hanoi or HCMC. This is the time when the city is least crowded, no traffic jam (except for NYE - only near the center area), and you'll see the cities in absolutely different atmosphere that you can't see all year round. Places to visit are usually not closed (like most temples and pagodas, they are even more happening with festivals) and some museums too. Again, some business start to open up on the 2nd and 3rd day alr.

When and where are you flying? I can give you more tips if you still decide to go :)
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Postby Green0131 » Sun, 15 Jan 2012 12:57 pm

Hi,

Thanks for your comments.


Dear applepievn,
I'm going to HCMC from 21st Jan to 24th Jan.
I'm interested in foods, shopping and sightseeing.

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Postby applepievn » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 11:44 am

I'm not from HCMC so I don't have much experience, but basically southern people are more open minded so they usually start new year's business earlier than the North.

You have 2 days before new year, try to schedule to do most of your shopping then. Just keep in mind that locals will do their shopping at that time to, last minute preparation for new year - so most shopping malls, markets will be crowded - be careful of pickpockets! You can find plenty of food, snack, and may be store some in case u can't find food in new year.

Some shops start to close from evening of the 22nd (NYE), but around the city center where people gather waiting for the fireworks, business should still be on plus lots of street vendors. If you stay near the backpacker's street, ask your hotel they should know where to find food for the new year's day.

I heard Cu Chi tunnel is open during Tet, so you can book a tour there for 1 day, and book a tour that includes lunch, then u don't have to worry about it :) Other places like Reunification Palace (Dinh Thong Nhat - aka Dinh Doc Lap) is also open during Tet.

Most Vietnamese go to temples to pray for new year. I don't know which temple is the most famous in HCMC, but your guidebook should tell you :)

Most public transports are closed for the 1st day of new year (buses). But taxis are available everywhere even on NYE or 1st day of NY. Some "Xe om" (motobike/scooter-taxi) also start working from the 2nd day (some even 1st day, if they really need money).
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Postby the lynx » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 1:05 pm

applepievn wrote:I'm not from HCMC so I don't have much experience, but basically southern people are more open minded so they usually start new year's business earlier than the North.

You have 2 days before new year, try to schedule to do most of your shopping then. Just keep in mind that locals will do their shopping at that time to, last minute preparation for new year - so most shopping malls, markets will be crowded - be careful of pickpockets! You can find plenty of food, snack, and may be store some in case u can't find food in new year.

Some shops start to close from evening of the 22nd (NYE), but around the city center where people gather waiting for the fireworks, business should still be on plus lots of street vendors. If you stay near the backpacker's street, ask your hotel they should know where to find food for the new year's day.

I heard Cu Chi tunnel is open during Tet, so you can book a tour there for 1 day, and book a tour that includes lunch, then u don't have to worry about it :) Other places like Reunification Palace (Dinh Thong Nhat - aka Dinh Doc Lap) is also open during Tet.

Most Vietnamese go to temples to pray for new year. I don't know which temple is the most famous in HCMC, but your guidebook should tell you :)

Most public transports are closed for the 1st day of new year (buses). But taxis are available everywhere even on NYE or 1st day of NY. Some "Xe om" (motobike/scooter-taxi) also start working from the 2nd day (some even 1st day, if they really need money).


Ah that is an insightful guide. Never thought Vietnam is still travel-able during Tet. I would have avoided visiting Vietnam altogether closer to Tet but at least now I know the next time I go there :)

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Thanks

Postby Green0131 » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:47 pm

Dear applepievn,

Thanks a lot for your message! I'd like to go to chu chi tunnel! :D

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Postby applepievn » Wed, 18 Jan 2012 1:24 pm

Travelling inter-city can be a bit troublesome during Tet. Before new year, everyone wants to get home as soon as possible, so long distance buses and trains are fully booked. The frequency of bus is reduced dramatically on the 1st day of new year, but there are still some if you book through travel agents (coz most of those running are for tourists).

In city, taxi is always available, but the price can vary, ask around (your hotel should know) for the reference price first then bargain (many cabbies refuse to turn on meter on these days coz the demand is high), esp at the airport. If you meet some students flying home for Tet on your flight, you can even ask them for help (like when they get their cab and know the price, they can tell you so u know how much to bargain). But I think Tan Son Nhat is quite organized now so the cabs there should be better than in Hanoi.

Since you arrive on the 21st Jan (i.e. 28th of Lunar calendar), it's the high peak of shopping period, good opportunity to see how and what locals prepare for the new year. I've read some newspaper today, they said some shops are planning to open overnight for people who are to busy to do shopping during the day.
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Postby Green0131 » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 12:18 am

Hi, I'd like to inform you how my trip was.

As I was recommended, I went to Cu Ci tunnel on new years day.

Most of shops and restaurants were opened on 21st and 22nd in the morning.

The national department store was closed yesterday. The tourist department was opened yesterday.

I saw most of cafe were closed yesterday. I think some of them were opend on 23rd, though.

I don't recommed you to visit Ho Chi Min City on Chinese new year. But there were many tourists.

I was very scared by bikes. I won't visit Vietnam again... even not on Chinese new year.... I'm not sure.

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Postby the lynx » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 12:28 am

Green0131 wrote:I was very scared by bikes. I won't visit Vietnam again... even not on Chinese new year.... I'm not sure.


Poor thing.

Forgot to tell you about the motorcycles, especially when you are not accustomed to vast number of motorcycles from where you were.

Vietnam is known for its waves of motorcyclists and crossing a busy street there requires skill ;-)

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 1:05 am

the lynx wrote:Vietnam is known for its waves of motorcyclists and crossing a busy street there requires skill ;-)



Focus on the other side of the road, be resolute and confident as you cross with a steady pace. Miraculously all the scooters will then meander around you.

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Postby the lynx » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 1:14 am

Focus on the other side of the road, be resolute and confident as you cross with a steady pace. Miraculously all the scooters will then meander around you.


Just to add

Don't.make.any.sudden.move!

:P

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Postby applepievn » Mon, 30 Jan 2012 10:45 pm

so sorry you had a hard time with the bikes, but it's part of the culture... just FYI you'll see same thing in some other cities in SEA, so be aware when you book other trip. And actually you're a bit lucky coz during CNY the city is less crowded than usual.

I think I should warn my Japanese colleague when he goes to VN too.
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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 7:40 pm

Yep, just cross the street slow and steady. The only ones to worry about are the Ang Moh and busses. I've seen so many bus > scooter accidents on the HCM highway...

And this is late, but Vietnam is rather shut down for NY. Don't count on any domestic flights at all. We book ours in October, and even then a lot are sold out before and after tet.


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