It has just been officially announced by the Vietnamese Government that the 2015 Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday will begin on February 15 and end on February 23. State employees will have to work on Saturday (February 14) to compensate for the extra day off (Monday, February 16).
Previously in November 2014, Ministry of Labor submitted two options for the Tet holiday – 7 days or 9 days – to Vietnam Prime Minister N.T.Dung. The latter was then approved since it would create an uninterrupted holiday with a relatively even number of days off both before and after the holiday itself (4 and 5 days).
Due to the long and extended holiday, tourists should be aware of some unexpected inconveniences as follows.
• It is expected that 70% of restaurants in Hanoi and HCMC will bring down the shutters for at least 4 days starting from February 18. Most of them will reopen again on the 4th and 5th day of the lunar New Year, that is February 22 or 23.
• As in previous years, all the banks are planning to close during 9 days of the national holidays. Banks’ business operation will not be resumed until Tuesday February 24. Therefore, it is well advised for tourists to exchange enough money for planned activities during Tet holidays.
• Another problem is that ATMs often run out of money due to the significantly growing demand of residents. Although banks with empty ATMs will be fined by State Bank of Vietnam, foreign tourists should search for several ATMs in the area in case ATMs are not timely refilled at busy spots.
• It is also noticeable that transportation is constantly full and/or massively more expensive than usual. So the advice is early booking for all the traveling or touring services from February 18 to 21. If not, you should just stay at one spot and enjoy the festivities with local people.
Given that, many tourists said that it is still wonderful to visit Vietnam during Tet. This is a rare chance in the year tourists can see roads in Hanoi deserted of people because locals leave the city to go home for the holidays. Beside, many cultural activities held during Tet will get additional exposure to the country’s customs and celebrations (Keep you updated with these festivities by looking at this page).
More than that, nothing is better than an invitation to visit a Vietnamese family during Tet to see the busy run-up for the holiday. For many reasons the preparation is the most exciting part when people are in the bustle of heading for flower markets, decorating the house and cooking traditional Tet food. If possible, take a tour with us before Tet and ask our members to host you. They and their family are always willing to give you a warm welcome and want to share with you Tet customs in Vietnam.
Lastly, Hanoikids will not provide tours from February 16 to February 22, 2015 (Please kindly read the whole announcement by clicking on this link). But you may want to know that our members will have 3 weeks off from university, which will certainly result in more tours we can provide before and after the holiday time.
Hope that our above information will aid you in planning your trip in Vietnam for the coming holiday.
Reference: ThanhNienNews, Tripadvisor