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Vietnam tourist attractions open for free, offer diverse activities during Tet

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:01 GMT+7

A number of relics in Hanoi, Hue, and Hoi An Ancient Town will be open to tourists for free during Tet (Lunar New Year), while a myriad of activities are poised to take place in several other localities to celebrate the holiday.

Many cities and tourist attractions across the country will brim with life thanks to a slew of exciting activities during the upcoming Tet – the country’s largest holiday.

This year’s Tet kicks off on February 19.  


The Hanoi People’s Committee has decided six of the capital’s relics and scenic spots will be open free to visitors on Lunar New Year’s Eve and the first two days of the new year, or from February 18 to 20.

The spots are Ngoc Son and Quan Thanh Temples, Tay Phuong, Thay and Huong Pagodas, and Duong Lam Ancient Village.

Pyrotechnic shows are also expected to light up 30 spots in the city on Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Five high-range firework shows are set to sparkle over Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake, Thong Nhat Park, Lac Long Quan Garden, Van Quan Lake, and My Dinh National Stadium.

The other 25 low-range firework shows will take place in other areas.


Lush peach blossoms are in seen in Hanoi's iconic Nhat Tan Garden in this Tuoi Tre file photo. 


A farmer is pictured watering his citrus plants, a common Tet embellishment, in this Reuters file photo.

Hoi An

Authorities in Hoi An City, located in the central province of Quang Nam, have decided to provide tourists with free entry to UNESCO-recognized Hoi An Ancient Town and other relics in the vicinity for four days over Tet.

Free entrance to the ancient town will be available on Lunar New Year’s Eve and the first three days of the lunar new year, or February 18 to 21.

Twenty-one other relics will also be open for free during these four days, including Cau (Bridge) Pagoda, Cam Pho Temple, Quan Cong Shrine, local museums, Quan Thang, Duc An, Phung Hung and Tan Ky Old Houses, the Tran Lineage’s house, Chinese souvenir houses, and three tombs dedicated to Japanese merchants Gu Sokukun, Tani Yajirobei, and Banjiro.


Lanterns designed for Tet are seen in Hoi An City in central Vietnam's Quang Nam Province in this 2013 file photo. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Festive activities are also to run in Hoi An Ancient Town, including a “neu” (long bamboo pole) erecting ritual, which will take place in several relics from Lunar New Year’s Eve to the 7th day of the new year, or February 18 to 25.

A “neu” erection, which sees different objects of symbolic meaning hung onto a lanky bamboo pole, is a long-standing Tet rite to worship gods, ward off evil spirits, and pray for good luck.

A Tet fair will kick off at 10:00 pm on Lunar New Year’s Eve at Hoai River Square and in Hoi An Garden.

Performances of “bai choi,” a folk game and form of art found in 11 provinces in the central region, will also be held at cultural centers in Hoi An from Lunar New Year’s Eve to the 3rd day of the new year.


According to the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, free entry will also be offered at several of the relics belonging to the UNESCO-recognized Hue Complex of Monuments, located in central Vietnam’s Thua Thien-Hue Province, on the first three days of the Lunar New Year, or from February 19 to 21.

A host of activities will also liven up several spots in the country’s imperial capital during Tet, including royal games, lion-dragon-kylin dancing, and performances of calligraphy, traditional music, and martial arts.

Khai Tuong Edifice, part of the An Dinh Secluded Palace, which was inaugurated in late December last year, is also open to tourists for free from January 20 to March 30.


Foreign tourists are shown watching the re-enactment of a royal procession during Tet at Hue Royal Palace in central Vietnam's Thua Thien-Hue Province in this 2014 file photo. Photo: Tuoi Tre


A "neu" (long bamboo pole) erection rite is seen at Hue Royal Palace in this 2013 file photo. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Da Nang

Four spots in the central city of Da Nang will also glitter with spectacular 15-minute firework shows on Lunar New Year’s Eve.

The spots are Hai Chau District’s Nguyen Van Troi Bridge, Ngu Hanh Son District Sports Center, the area in front of Lien Chieu District’s Administrative Center, and Hoa Vang District’s Monument.

The local People’s Committee announced on Friday last week that one of this year’s Tet festivities is a major flower street which will span from Bach Dang Street to the west side of Rong (Dragon) Bridge.

The street will run from February 9 to 24 and costs some VND5 billion (US$233,013).

Part of it will be dedicated to a light garden, which features five towers of glasses, large circles of LED lights, and bouncing music.

The city will also host street music performances along Bach Dang Street and “tuong” (traditional opera) plays.


A night view of Rong (Dragon) Bridge, one of Da Nang City's icons in central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City

The southern hub will also burst with life with scores of festive activities during the Tet holiday.

One of the highlights is the city’s iconic Tet Flower Street, which will be relocated to Ham Nghi Street from its usual downtown venue, Nguyen Hue Street, local authorities announced in late December last year.

The flower street, which will span from the section adjacent to Quach Thi Trang Roundabout to the Ho Tung Mau-Ham Nghi intersection, will be adorned with a wide variety of blooming flowers, as well as gorgeous flowery and leafy artificial arrangements shaped as goats – the Lunar New Year’s zodiac sign.


Part of Ho Chi Minh City's signature Tet Flower Street is captured in this Tuoi Tre file photo. 

Tran Hung Viet, CEO of Saigontourist, a local travel firm and head of the Tet flower street’s organizing board, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday that the construction of the large and smaller artificial arrangements and adornment have been 70-80 percent complete.

The street will bloom with over 65 artificial arrangements and around 130,000 flower tubs of various breeds.

The construction of a goat family, which will be arranged in a dominant position at one end of the flower street, has been almost finished.

The goats stand between 1.2 and 2.7 meters tall.

The flower street will open to the public at 7:00 pm on February 16 and close at 10:00 pm on February 22 – or from the 28th day of the final lunar month to the fourth day of the Lunar New Year.

Another highlight is the city’s Tet book street, which will go on in sync with the flower street.

The book street, with “Ban Sac Viet-Hao Khi Vietnam” (Vietnamese Identity-Vietnamese Spirit) as its theme, will take place on a section of District 1’s Ham Nghi Street which spans from the Ho Tung Mau-Ham Nghi intersection to Ton Duc Thang Street.

The book street will feature sections of e-books, children’s books, books for the visually impaired, and rare, critically acclaimed tomes.

One of the key sections will showcase photos, archives, maps, and other historical evidence as well as the latest materials on Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes.

Firework shows are also expected to glitter over eight spots on Lunar New Year’s Eve, namely District 2’s Thu Thiem Tunnel, District 1’s Bitexco Financial Tower, District 11’s Dam Sen Park, the District 12 Culture Center, District 9’s Historical, Cultural Park, Hoc Mon District’s Nga Ba Giong Relic, Binh Chanh District’s Lang Le-Bau Co area, and Can Gio District.

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