Travel Guide For Tet Holiday In Vietnam

Explore Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, and delve into Vietnam’s cultural celebrations. Knowing about Tet holiday in Vietnam will help you to save a lot of time and money in planning a tour that can run smoothly. This is your go-to guide during this special holiday.

What is Tet? And when does Tet occur? 

Tet is like a combination of Christmas and New Year celebrations in Western cultures, bringing people together to welcome the arrival of spring. It’s a festive time filled with cultural activities, homage to ancestors, scrumptious food, and heartfelt traditions. Tet, indeed, is the occasion for people to reunite with family and friends, reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new year with new dreams, joy, and happiness.

It usually occurs between late January and early February, based on the lunar calendar. In 2024, Tet falls from 10 Feb to 12 Feb, which is the best weather in the year of Vietnam, however, in reality, Tet lasts for longer. Tet may bring about potential closures and altered schedules. Therefore, it is essential to plan a tour with potential closures and altered schedules.

What Vietnamese people often do during Tet?

  • Tradition & Custom

Each region, each family has different traditions in welcoming Tet holiday. For most people in Vietnam, they will have their tradition in paying to ancestors, visiting temples and pagodas to pay for the peace, luck and success of the year.

Tet is a time-honored celebration deeply rooted in Vietnamese tradition. In this holiday, the older would like to give the children and the younger lucky money envelopes (lì xì), offering warm wishes together.

  • Cuisine

Tet in Vietnam is not just a celebration of new beginnings but also the feast of sense. The cuisine during Tet is an integral part of the festivities, with iconic dishes symbolizing good luck and prosperity. Each region in Vietnam has its own distinctive dishes. However, in general, signature dishes include:

Banh chung

No Tet celebration is complete without Banh Chung. This square-shaped sticky rice cake, wrapped in banana leaves, symbolizes the Earth. Filled with a savory blend of mung beans, pork, and pepper, it undergoes a meticulous cooking process, resulting in a flavorful centerpiece for Tet meals. An interesting fact is that in the Northern region, Banh Chung is commonly wrapped in square-shaped, while in the Southern region, it is crafted into round shapes.

Xoi, or sticky rice, comes in various forms during Tet. Sweet or savory, Xoi is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or dessert. Topped with mung beans, shredded coconut, or served with mung bean paste, Xoi showcases the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.

Thịt Kho Trứng (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs)

This dish involves braising premium pork cuts with quail eggs or duck eggs. In the South of Vietnam, it is widely believed that this dish brings peace and good health to all members of the family.

Tet is also a time for indulging in sweet treats like Mut. These candied fruits and seeds, presented in ornate trays, symbolize a sweet and prosperous year ahead. Varieties include candied kumquats, lotus seeds, coconut, and ginger, creating a colorful array of confections.

Essential Tips for Traveling During Tet Holiday In Vietnam

For travelers, this is an exciting time to experience the rich culture of the country. However, traveling during this festive season requires some careful considerations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Here are essential tips for your clients planning to explore Vietnam during Tet:

Tips for travelers: Let’s be open to adjusting plans.

Expect Crowds and Closures

During Tet, many restaurants and shops, local markets may close for about 2-3 days or even longer. Therefore, make sure you have a shopping list on your hand and buy your necessities such as clothes, food,…

Despite that, popular tourist attractions such as temples, pagodas… might experience increased crowds because it is the tradition of most Vietnamese. Furthermore, there would be some shops or restaurants open soon to welcome guests.

Make sure you are overwhelmed by these.

Tips for travelers: Check the operating hours of their desired destinations in advance


Tet is a peak travel period. Public transportation might be busier than usual, and certain services may be limited during Tet. You should search  for private transportation options, like pre-booked taxis or car rentals, to avoid the crowds and ensure a more comfortable commute.

Make sure to book your plane tickets soon, especially for flights between big cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang. If you wait too long, the prices might go up five times.

If you’re flying from Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, get there 5 or 6 hours early because traffic can be really bad. You might end up waiting in line for a long time to check in. If things don’t get better, consider walking to the airport from your taxi. Bring something to do while you wait, as flights, especially on cheaper airlines like Vietjet and Jetstar, often get delayed.

Before New Year’s, there are fewer people flying from north to south, and after the holidays, there’s less crowd going from south to north.

Money & Exchange 

Banks in Vietnam close during Tet Holiday, and ATMs may run out of cash. It’s a good idea to withdraw enough money a few days before Tet to last for 4 to 6 days.

Tips for travelers: It is a good idea to have both local currency and major credit cards.

Pagoda visit

At the beginning of the New  Year, people often visit pagodas to seek good luck and peace. Particularly, famous pagodas such as Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi, Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi, and Ngoc Hoang Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City attract a large number of visitors. If you plan to visit some pagodas or temples during your New Year’s trip, it is crucial to show respect and adhere to etiquette standards regarding behavior and modest attire. For instance, avoid wearing excessively short skirts or pants and revealing tops.

Sightseeing tourist spots

Numerous tourist attractions shut down during holiday periods. Check carefully the attractions you plan to visit, particularly regarding their opening hours and ticket prices.

Eating & dining

During the Tet Holiday, several restaurants and coffee shops temporarily close. Some may shut down for the entire week, while others close for 2 to 3 days. A few restaurants may remain open, but expect higher prices, including service charges.

Insight tips

Take it easy. Let’s join everyone to take part in traditional activities, exploring beautifully decorated temples, and savoring delicious Tet dishes, lively parades…. This is a chance for you to add cultural richness to your customers’ experience in Vietnam during the festive season.

Let be familiar with local customs. Greet others with:

  • Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Happy New Year),
  • An khang thinh vuong (Security, good health, and prosperity),
  • Van su nhu y (May myriad things go according to your will),
  • Suc khoe doi dao (Plenty of health),
  • Cung hi phat tai (Congratulations and be prosperous),
  • Tien vo nhu nuoc (Many money flows in like water): used informally

… and consider offering small gifts as a gesture of goodwill.]

Best places to visit during Tet Holiday

Choosing Tet for your visit to Vietnam might not be ideal due to the holiday’s significance to the local people, leading to potential challenges in services. During this time, experiencing the usual bustling daily life may be limited. However, it can be a more opportunity for culture enthusiasts. In major cities, the population decreases as people return to their hometowns during Tet, resulting in a less crowded environment. This provides an opportunity for you to experience tranquility and a more relaxed atmosphere. If invited to join local celebrations, embrace the opportunity and enjoy the experience.

The Vietnamese Tet New Year is marked by a return to family and hometowns, creating a quieter atmosphere in major cities. Here are some recommended places to visit.


As the capital, Hanoi provides diverse activities during Tet. While most monuments and museums close, New Year celebrations around Hoan Kiem Lake come alive. Markets offer flowers, unique foods, and gifts, with the blossoming peach tree symbolizing Tet in the north.

Ho Chi Minh City

Tet in Saigon offers a unique experience with quiet streets and vibrant nightlife. On New Year’s Eve, bustling bars and fireworks illuminate the city. Don’t miss the Tao Ban Flower Festival and the Nguyen Hue Flower Festival, featuring pink flowers, delectable food, folk music, and games along the river.

Hoi An

Hoi An stands out as a popular Tet destination, with many shops and restaurants remaining open during the holiday. The old town transforms into an energetic hub with illuminated lanterns, lively festivities, and street food vendors. As the night progresses, the Old Quarter becomes busier, and residents gather for a festival next to the lake, featuring people in national costumes moving to the beat of drums

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc, with its captivating beaches, is a distinctive Tet New Year destination. While specific details may vary, the island generally hosts a blend of traditional and festive activities during this period. Despite the tranquil atmosphere associated with Tet, resorts and restaurants on the island remain open to cater to visitors, allowing them to take in the holiday spirit. The serene ambiance of Phu Quoc, coupled with its natural splendor, offers a unique Tet experience compared to the lively urban celebrations.

Ha Giang

Ha Giang, a remote province, emerges as an unexpected yet outstanding Tet celebration destination. Valleys adorned with peach blooming flowers offer a breathtaking sight, and observing ethnic minorities preparing and celebrating Tet adds a cultural richness to the experience.

Where can you find the smooth arrangements for traveling in Vietnam this Tet holiday?

How to have the best trip when traveling in Vietnam during Tet Holiday? You can plan by yourself for your journey but it would be much better if you have your local consults that know everything about traveling in Vietnam during Tet holiday.

There are many companies that organize tours to Vietnam during Tet holiday. At 365 Travel – a local DMC has been working for over 18 years, we provide you personalized tours depending on our customers’ interests and needs

Tags : First touris group to Hoi an
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