Plans for Tet 2020

Anyone care to share your plans for the upcoming Tet holiday period?

I can't decide if I want to stay in Vung Tau or head to HCMC and experience Saigon as a ghost town.

https://gordythomas.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/tet-2020.jpg

I'm probably going to Vinh with my girlfriend, but I'm letting her do all the organising so it could be somewhere else, it's all an adventure for me.

Malcolmleitrim :

I'm probably going to Vinh with my girlfriend, but I'm letting her do all the organising so it could be somewhere else, it's all an adventure for me.

Are you doing the short version or long version (many days)?

I've read horror stories about foreigners arriving early in the SO's hometown, and two weeks later stopping drinking! 😁

We will go to her hometown for 3-4 days.  That's about my limit anyway.  My wife is the only person in the town that speaks English.  Well, her daughter is getting pretty good now.

I spend 3 days on the farm in Binh Chau, nothing out there,just farms and locals kicking back. After 3 days Im over it and head back to VT or Binh Thuan. This year a friend of mine has organised his wedding 2 days after Tet, not sure why he did it, but the timing is terrible.

OceanBeach92107 :
Malcolmleitrim :

I'm probably going to Vinh with my girlfriend, but I'm letting her do all the organising so it could be somewhere else, it's all an adventure for me.

Are you doing the short version or long version (many days)?

I've read horror stories about foreigners arriving early in the SO's hometown, and two weeks later stopping drinking! 😁

Probably three days, I'm not a big drinker.

In reply to no one in particular...

Last year in Danang, I found it especially hard to find fresh vegetables around Tet.

Relaxing, pretty quiet in Danang, last year I was asked by the national television station to take part in the filming of a series, which highlighted foreign tourists taking part in tet celebrations during tet. Which was aired on national TV. It was pretty cool, we filmed on Bach dang, along the riverside, where all the lvely flowers etc were. Then we were taken to the market to try traditional tet food that Vietnamese enjoy during the holiday.
Yes Willy, you're not the only Canadian movie star in country!😏😏

colinoscapee :

I spend 3 days on the farm in Binh Chau, nothing out there,just farms and locals kicking back. After 3 days Im over it and head back to VT or Binh Thuan. This year a friend of mine has organised his wedding 2 days after Tet, not sure why he did it, but the timing is terrible.

Using your own transportation I'm guessing?

I wonder about transportation between VT and Saigon; if it will be available.

OceanBeach92107 :

I wonder about transportation between VT and Saigon; if it will be available.

Before and after, but not during the 3 days of Tết.

In the past, the price for the shuttle (limousine) went up on the last week before Tết.  This year, it happened already.  We paid 190k pp last week, 30k more than the week before that.  OTOH, we used Hải Vân, the newest company in the limousine business, with the newest model cars and the most luxurious seats so perhaps they felt the price should reflect the product.

OceanBeach92107 :
colinoscapee :

I spend 3 days on the farm in Binh Chau, nothing out there,just farms and locals kicking back. After 3 days Im over it and head back to VT or Binh Thuan. This year a friend of mine has organised his wedding 2 days after Tet, not sure why he did it, but the timing is terrible.

Using your own transportation I'm guessing?

I wonder about transportation between VT and Saigon; if it will be available.

Yes, as there is no public transport out to where they live.

colinoscapee :

Yes, as there is no public transport out to where they live.

We are lucky on that front.  We can take a bus from HCMC 4 hours north to my wife's house and the bus will stop to let us off at exactly at her driveway.  Whatever day we want to come home she just calls the bus and they will stop that day at the driveway at 11:20 for the return trip.  And it's 110,000 per person so not terrible for a four hour ride.

In the US we tended to avoid buses because they are slow.  Not here!  The bus is the king of the road, followed by container, then truck, car and lowly moto.  Park it in the leftt lane and lean on the horn and they can get there quickly.

Saw on facebook two bus accidents in her province in the last few weeks.  One rolled on its side but no major injuries, one rear ended a dump truck and based on the photo the driver couldn't have made it.

OceanBeach92107 :

In reply to no one in particular...

Last year in Danang, I found it especially hard to find fresh vegetables around Tet.

Yes, it's not a good time for shopping. If you decide to stay in Vung Tau, then definitely stock up on everything including some cash, in advance. Lotte Mart and the convenience stores are probably open but it's best to have everything ready beforehand. Also, prices do go up at mom and pop shops and some restaurants and coffee shops.

I normally fill up the fridge and cupboards and stay in for both the quiet and noisy days. Last year, I did come out during the quiet days and found one western restaurant open with a limited menu.

A couple of years ago, a made the trip to Sai Gon on the second noisy day and had no trouble with the transportation. It's pleasantly quiet there with very little traffic.

I imagine your street (Phan Chu Trinh) will be quite busy and noisy during that time.

SteinNebraska :
colinoscapee :

Yes, as there is no public transport out to where they live.

We are lucky on that front.  We can take a bus from HCMC 4 hours north to my wife's house and the bus will stop to let us off at exactly at her driveway.  Whatever day we want to come home she just calls the bus and they will stop that day at the driveway at 11:20 for the return trip.  And it's 110,000 per person so not terrible for a four hour ride.

In the US we tended to avoid buses because they are slow.  Not here!  The bus is the king of the road, followed by container, then truck, car and lowly moto.  Park it in the leftt lane and lean on the horn and they can get there quickly.

Saw on facebook two bus accidents in her province in the last few weeks.  One rolled on its side but no major injuries, one rear ended a dump truck and based on the photo the driver couldn't have made it.

Sounds like your wife lives in Binh Thuan provence.

colinoscapee :

Sounds like your wife lives in Binh Thuan provence.

Phuoc Long province.  They live on the big lake near Phuoc Long town.

SteinNebraska :
colinoscapee :

Sounds like your wife lives in Binh Thuan provence.

Phuoc Long province.  They live on the big lake near Phuoc Long town.

Ah Binh Phuoc provence,been up in that area many times.

Up in the air at the moment, the good woman leaves for Japan on the 20th of January so I will be in Vung Tau.
Wadey

I noticed last year in Danang there was a lack of fresh seafood, obviously as the fishermen were back home and not working.
Many items on the menu were not available, I should have caught on and ordered something else. But no, I went down the menu till some kind of seafood was available. After that a few days were spend VERY close to my toilet.
Live and learn.

Food:  All orders were placed a month ago.  Signature food and fruits from specific parts of the country -- grapefruits the size of oranges and oranges the size of tangerines from the villages of Canh and Diễn outside of Hanoi, chicken from Phú Yên, pork rolls from Hanoi, green skin pomelo from Bến Tree, etc.  Fish patties are made at home.  I'm an expat almost every day of the year but not during Tết, the only time I stay traditional.

Activities:  As the matriarch of our extended family (even though there are many nephews and nieces who are much, much older than I), I need to be home on the First Day of Tết so family members in Saigon and VT can come to pay their respect before they head elsewhere. 

Other than that, we'll lay low due to some stupid head / chest cold and cough that just don't quit.  In fact, we both are sick now in Maldives.

Have to be part of the groom's family in a wedding out of town on the 9th of Tết (husband will stay home).  Then we'll take a short trip to Bali a few days after that.

Ciambella :

Food:  All orders were placed a month ago.  Signature food and fruits from specific parts of the country -- grapefruits the size of oranges and oranges the size of tangerines from the villages of Canh and Diễn outside of Hanoi, chicken from Phú Yên, pork rolls from Hanoi, green skin pomelo from Bến Tree, etc.  Fish patties are made at home.  I'm an expat almost every day of the year but not during Tết, the only time I stay traditional.

Activities:  As the matriarch of our extended family (even though there are many nephews and nieces who are much, much older than I), I need to be home on the First Day of Tết so family members in Saigon and VT can come to pay their respect before they head elsewhere. 

Other than that, we'll lay low due to some stupid head / chest cold and cough that just don't quit.  In fact, we both are sick now in Maldives.

Have to be part of the groom's family in a wedding out of town on the 9th of Tết (husband will stay home).  Then we'll take a short trip to Bali a few days after that.

You sure do get about there.
Wadey

From perusing signs in front of businesses in Saigon, I have a feeling that the number of stores and professional services that close for 10 days (3 days pre Tet and 7 days of Tet) is much higher this year than ever.

Many taxi and Grab drivers told me they'll stay home for at least one week. Only one restaurant has a sign "Không nghỉ Tết" on its interior wall.

Wadey :

You sure do get about there.
Wadey

We do, and right now have a bronchitis to show for our gallivanting.  It takes a lot more effort (and quite a bit of failure) to do half of the things we did without preparation just 3 years ago.  Old age is not for the birds.

Whoever called it "the golden years" didn't know what they were talking about.

Unless, of course, they were talking about the cost of health care.

My wife's hometown is ... Saigon Q8.
She's no immigrant, so no bus ride to the province.

Tết is the best time of the year to go out and about in Saigon.
My motorbike has only seen about half the districts here, so my New-Year's-week resolution is to go on day trips to the other sides of this sprawling mass while the roads are only half-full of maniacs.

gobot :

My wife's hometown is ... Saigon Q8.
She's no immigrant, so no bus ride to the province.

Tết is the best time of the year to go out and about in Saigon.
My motorbike has only seen about half the districts here, so my New-Year's-week resolution is to go on day trips to the other sides of this sprawling mass while the roads are only half-full of maniacs.

Check out the area around Hoc Mon, which will take you into rural areas of D12. There is a ferry in Hoc Mon that will take you across to Binh Duong.

gobot :

My New-Year's-week resolution is to go on day trips to the other sides of this sprawling mass while the roads are only half-full of maniacs.

Excellent idea.

How about 10 days after the 1st of Tet?  the market, restaurants, and shopping will be normalized?

luna2000 :

How about 10 days after the 1st of Tet?  the market, restaurants, and shopping will be normalized?

Traditionally, Tết begins on Dec 23 and ends on Jan 7.  Those are the dates when Tết pole (cây nêu) is raised and lowered respectively.  Jan 10 is no longer Tết so everything is definitely returned to normal then.

Large supermarket chains are closed only for a few days, from noon of Dec 30 to Jan 2nd or 3rd.  Also, businesses that are owned by and staffed with only family members (not relying on hired employees) are often not closed for longer than a few days.

Ciambella :
luna2000 :

How about 10 days after the 1st of Tet?  the market, restaurants, and shopping will be normalized?

Traditionally, Tết begins on Dec 23 and ends on Jan 7.  Those are the dates when Tết pole (cây nêu) is raised and lowered respectively.  Jan 10 is no longer Tết so everything is definitely returned to normal then.

Large supermarket chains are closed only for a few days, from noon of Dec 30 to Jan 2nd or 3rd.  Also, businesses that are owned by and staffed with only family members (not relying on hired employees) are often not closed for longer than a few days.

Clarifying:

You are referring to dates on the lunar calendar, correct?

If so, I'm guessing this Saturday, January 25 corresponds to January 1st on the Gregorian Calendar (or is it December 31st, as "the eve of Tết"?)

I think you already explained this last year... 😉

OceanBeach92107 :

Anyone care to share your plans for the upcoming Tet holiday period?

I can't decide if I want to stay in Vung Tau or head to HCMC and experience Saigon as a ghost town.

I decided to follow my housekeeper's lead:

She is taking a one-week Tết holiday leave starting this morning, after faithfully insuring that all of my shirts and pants are laundered and ironed, and cooking my delicious vegetarian breakfast... 🤩

So I'll take the high-speed catamaran water taxi to HCMC in a few hours.

My regular favorite hotel agreed to a great discount over the next week, since there are a lot of vacancies in Saigon during Tết.

I love to walk and it will be nice to do that with much less traffic (so I've been told).

I'll keep one eye peeled for Gobot on his motorbike 😎👍

Today, January 24th

OceanBeach92107 :
Ciambella :

Traditionally, Tết begins on Dec 23 and ends on Jan 7.

Clarifying:

You are referring to dates on the lunar calendar, correct?

:lol:
Good that somebody clarified that uncertainty.

OceanBeach92107 :

If so, I'm guessing this Saturday, January 25 corresponds to January 1st on the Gregorian Calendar.

:top:
Only the opposite way around.

I am going to Dannag and planning to go Bana hill, is there anyone have been there? I wonder how look like the top of the hills.

gobot :

Tết is the best time of the year to go out and about in Saigon.
My motorbike has only seen about half the districts here, so my New-Year's-week resolution is to go on day trips to the other sides of this sprawling mass while the roads are only half-full of maniacs.

Good plan.  I'm lucky that my work takes me every day to a new part of the city.  From Long An to Binh Duong to Bien Hoa, I'm in a different part every day but most of the suppliers are in the "low cost rent districts".  I'm luckier yet because I don't have to drive!  Dinners with suppliers at least once or twice a week takes me to D1, 5 and 7 a lot and I live in D2 so have been all over it.  I'd like to spend more time in D9 because it's still more "country" like where I grew up.  I have one friend that grew up in the party and worked in government and now invests in real estate that has a huge sprawling estate in southern D9.  Maybe 20,000-30,000 square meters that is now sculpted into gardens and lakes.  It's beautiful. It's interesting to see how the other half lives.  We have been there several times for parties and he is the perfect host, always welcoming and generous.

Contem talk :

I am going to Dannag and planning to go Bana hill, is there anyone have been there? I wonder how look like the top of the hills.

its fantastic

AkaMaverick :
OceanBeach92107 :

If so, I'm guessing this Saturday, January 25 corresponds to January 1st on the Gregorian Calendar.

:top:
Only the opposite way around.

I definitely twisted that around the wrong way 😁

OceanBeach92107 :

Clarifying:

You are referring to dates on the lunar calendar, correct?

If so, I'm guessing this Saturday, January 25 corresponds to January 1st on the Gregorian Calendar (or is it December 31st, as "the eve of Tết"?)

I think you already explained this last year... 😉

Tết is a lunar festival so it's lunar calendar on which everything is based.  And you're correct, I'm shortening my explanation this year as we had such a long thread last year with many Q&A and every custom explained in detail.

On the Gregorian calendar this year, Jan 17 was the first day of traditional Tết, the first day that the word Tết is used in conjunction with the date  (23 Tết - 30 Tết)  This tradition has always been acknowledged in all government writings in both ancien and nouveau régimes, to use THIJV's favourite term. 

Jan 25, 2020 is the first day of the Three Principal Days of Tết (Mồng 1 Tết, Mồng 2 Tết, Mồng 3 Tết) and Jan 31, 2020 is the last day of traditional Tết.

Lunar months have 28, 29, or 30 days, never 31.

This lunar year is a leap year; there will be 384 days in the year with two months of April.  The result is next year's Tết will be in Feb instead of Jan on the Gregorian calendar.

Ciambella :

Jan 25, 2020 is the first day of the Three Principal Days of Tết (Mồng 1 Tết, Mồng 2 Tết, Mồng 3 Tết) and Jan 31, 2020 is the last day of traditional Tết.

I just purchased my water taxi ticket.

Normally, as a senior, the price is ₫170,000 VNĐ.

Today (January 24th) the ticket agent said, "Because today is a holiday the price for you with senior discount is ₫240,000 VNĐ"

I had already seen the higher price on their website so I know she wasn't trying to extort lucky money 😉

For me it's still a very affordable deal, holiday or not.

Ciambella :

This tradition has always been acknowledged in all government writings in both ancien and nouveau régimes, to use THIJV's favourite term.  ....................

I see you do read my posts.   :D  I use the term ancien regime out of sensitivity to the government censors who I am sure are reading the forum. :cool:   I am not sure if the name of the old southern government is forbidden but I know the flag is.  I remember one girl who came to the public middle school where I did most of my work wearing a yellow jacket with three red stripes.  I was standing next to the discipline person when she passed by.  I looked at him, a young man born after unification, and he just smiled and said "She probably doesn't even know."

Ciambella :

Jan 25, 2020 is the first day of the Three Principal Days of Tết (Mồng 1 Tết, Mồng 2 Tết, Mồng 3 Tết) and Jan 31, 2020 is the last day of traditional Tết.

I have read that on rare but recurring occasions, Vietnamese New Year and Chinese New Year can actually be on different days due to differences in longitude.  I didn't check a map but I suppose Beijing is west of Hanoi.  The same thing is true of Korea which is even farther west.  Being a stickler and insisting that they are not the same is not only a political matter but astronomical as well.

THIGV :

I see you do read my posts.   :D  I use the term ancien regime out of sensitivity to the government censors who I am sure are reading the forum. :cool:

It's a good choice of words although it brought back to mind my high school French history class, of the 1789 Revolution and its massive result that lasted for a century thereafter. 

The seemingly accepted term to call the old regime in VN is "Chính quyền Sài Gòn".  I've seen it often on government sanctioned media.


THIGV :

I have read that on rare but recurring occasions, Vietnamese New Year and Chinese New Year can actually be on different days due to differences in longitude.  Being a stickler and insisting that they are not the same is not only a political matter but astronomical as well.

The one day different happens every 23 years (except on leap years) and is caused by time zones.  North VN has always been on GMT+7 but South VN was GMT+8 up until 1975.  After 1975, all the clocks in Saigon had to be turned back one hour as the symbol of unification.  China, OTOH, has always been GMT+8. 

The lunar calendars used in VN and China are also not identical.  Have not been for 980 years now.  Due to the calculation of leap year (very different between the two countries), there were times when Tết and Chinese New Year arrived more than 30 days apart.  In 1985, for example, Tết was on Jan 21 (Gregorian calendar) while Chinese New Year was on Feb 22.

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