Top 09 Best Things to Do in Saigon During Tet Holiday

Mar 08, 2024

When coming to one of the biggest Vietnamese occasions, there are various fantastic Things to Do in Saigon During Tet Holiday. If you’re planning a trip to Saigon during Tet, here are the top 15 best things to do that will make your holiday truly memorable.

1. Explore Tet Markets – One of the best things to do in Saigon during Tet Holiday

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Saigon’s Tet markets during the Lunar New Year holiday. These markets offer a fantastic opportunity to experience the cultural richness and traditions of Tet. As you wander through the bustling stalls, you’ll find an array of traditional delights and unique gifts.

Ben Thanh Market and Binh Tay Market are two popular destinations where you can explore a wide range of Tet-related products, such as traditional food, flowers, decorations, and handcrafted souvenirs.

From the aromatic flavors of banh chung (sticky rice cake) to the vibrant colors of Tet flowers, the markets are a feast for the senses. Engaging with the local vendors and immersing yourself in the festive ambiance will provide an authentic and unforgettable Tet experience.

things to do in Saigon during Tet market

Tet Market in Saigon

2. Visit Temples and Pagodas to Witness Time-Honored Traditions

Saigon’s temples and pagodas come alive with a sense of spiritual devotion and cultural significance when talking about Things to Do in Saigon During Tet. Paying a visit to these sacred places allows you to witness the time-honored traditions that are an integral part of the Lunar New Year celebration.

The Jade Emperor Pagoda, with its intricate architecture and serene ambiance, provides a glimpse into the religious rituals and practices observed during Tet. Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, a symbol of Saigon’s rich history, offers a unique blend of Western and Vietnamese architectural styles and holds special masses during the holiday.

Giac Lam Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas in the city, welcomes visitors with its tranquil gardens and ornate structures. Exploring these temples and pagodas during Tet not only allows you to admire their beauty but also offers an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual and cultural fabric of Saigon.

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3. Indulge in Tet Cuisine: A Gastronomic Delight

Tet is a gastronomic delight in Saigon, as families come together to prepare and enjoy a feast of traditional dishes. This is the perfect time to indulge in the unique flavors and delicacies that are synonymous with the Lunar New Year celebration for Things to Do in Saigon During Tet.

Banh chung, a savory sticky rice cake filled with mung beans and pork, is a must-try dish during Tet. The crispy and flavorful nem ran (fried spring rolls) and the sweet and chewy mut (preserved fruits) are also popular treats. To experience the full range of Tet cuisine, venture into the local restaurants and street food stalls, where you can savor the authentic flavors and textures of these festive dishes.

From the bustling streets of District 1 to the vibrant neighborhoods of District 5, Saigon offers a culinary adventure during Tet that will leave you with lasting memories and a satisfied palate.

things to do in Saigon during Tet banh chung

Banh Chung of Vietnamese

4. Experience the Spectacular Tet Fireworks

As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, the skies of Saigon light up with dazzling fireworks, marking the beginning of the Lunar New Year. Watching the Tet fireworks is a mesmerizing experience that shouldn’t be missed in the top best Things to Do in Saigon During Tet.

The city offers several prime locations to catch this breathtaking spectacle. Nguyen Hue Walking Street, with its wide promenade and vibrant atmosphere, is a popular spot where locals and tourists gather to witness the fireworks display. Thu Thiem Tunnel, which connects District 1 and District 2, provides a unique vantage point to enjoy the fireworks against the backdrop of the Saigon River.

For a panoramic view of the city, head to the observation deck of Landmark 81, the tallest skyscraper in Vietnam. Remember to check the schedule and arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, as the Tet fireworks draw large crowds eager to celebrate the arrival of the new year in style.

things to do in Saigon during Tet firework

Enjoy Firework in Lunar New Year Eve

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5. Join Colorful Street Parades and Cultural Performances

Immerse yourself in the vibrant street parades and cultural performances that take place throughout Saigon during Tet. These lively celebrations showcase the rich traditions and artistic heritage of Vietnam. Nguyen Hue Walking Street, a pedestrian promenade in the heart of the city, is a hub of activity during the holiday season.

Here, you can witness dragon dances, lion dances, and traditional music performances that fill the streets with energy and excitement. District 5, also known as Saigon’s Chinatown, offers a unique perspective on Tet celebrations, with its vibrant parades and cultural activities that highlight the Chinese-Vietnamese heritage.

In addition to the street parades, check out the Saigon Opera House or local theaters for Tet-themed shows that feature traditional music, dance, and theater performances. These cultural showcases provide a deeper appreciation of Vietnam’s artistic traditions and offer immersive Things to Do in Saigon During Tet.

6. Take a River Cruise to Enjoy Saigon’s Festive Lights

One of the best Things to Do in Saigon During Tet is to take a river cruise along the Saigon River. As evening falls, the city comes alive with a dazzling display of lights and decorations. A river cruise allows you to admire the illuminated landmarks and enjoy the enchanting ambiance created by the festive decorations.

Many tour operators offer special Tet-themed cruises that include live music, traditional performances, and a delectable dinner featuring Tet specialties. Glide along the river, passing by iconic landmarks such as the Bitexco Financial Tower, Saigon Opera House, and the colorful Dragon Bridge.

The combination of the glittering city skyline and the joyful spirit of Tet creates an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of Saigon’s Lunar New Year celebrations.

7. Participate in Traditional Tet Activities

To fully immerse yourself in the spirit of Tet, take part in traditional activities that are cherished during the holiday season. Joining a calligraphy session, for example, allows you to witness the art of writing meaningful phrases and wishes in beautiful Vietnamese characters.

Local artists and calligraphers set up stalls in various locations, providing an opportunity for visitors to have personalized calligraphy works created. Another popular Tet activity is playing folk games, such as bai choi (a traditional Vietnamese board game) or danh chan (a card game). These games are not only entertaining but also offer a chance to interact with locals and learn about their customs and traditions.

Additionally, you can visit a local family during Tet and participate in their traditional customs, such as offering incense at the family altar or exchanging lucky money envelopes with children. Engaging in these activities allows you to connect with the local culture on a deeper level and create meaningful memories of Tet in Saigon.

things to do in Saigon during Tet Vietnamese traditional

Vietnamese people with traditional clothes

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8. Enjoy the Festive Decorations and Lights at Iconic Landmarks

Saigon’s iconic landmarks undergo a dramatic transformation during Tet, adorned with festive decorations and lights. Take a stroll around the city to admire the spectacular displays and capture the magical moments. Nguyen Hue Walking Street, with its towering Tet-themed installations and vibrant flower displays, is a centerpiece of the city’s festive decorations.

The trees along the street are adorned with colorful lights, creating a mesmerizing sight after sunset. Dong Khoi Street, known for its upscale shops and elegant colonial buildings, also showcases elaborate decorations and festive lights during Tet.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit shopping malls and hotels, which go all out in their efforts to create eye-catching displays and enchanting atmospheres. Saigon Center, Vincom Dong Khoi, and Landmark 81 are just a few examples of places where you can experience the grandeur of Tet decorations and immerse yourself in the festive spirit.

9. Relax and Rejuvenate at Saigon’s Spas and Wellness Centers

After indulging in the festivities and exploring the city, take some time to relax and rejuvenate at Saigon’s renowned spas and wellness centers. Treat yourself to a traditional Vietnamese massage or pamper yourself with a luxurious spa treatment.

Saigon offers a wide range of wellness options, from upscale spas to boutique wellness centers, where you can unwind and recharge. Experience the soothing effects of a hot stone massage or indulge in a revitalizing body scrub infused with local ingredients. Many spas incorporate traditional Vietnamese techniques and rituals into their treatments, providing a unique and authentic wellness experience.

Take this opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in a tranquil oasis of relaxation. Saigon’s spas and wellness centers offer the perfect balance between indulgence and self-care, allowing you to start the new year feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

things to do in Saigon during Tet relax in spa

Relax in Spa in Saigon

In conclusion, Saigon during Tet offers a wide array of exciting and culturally immersive activities. From exploring Tet markets and savoring traditional cuisine to witnessing breathtaking fireworks displays and joining colorful street parades, there are plenty of things to do in Saigon during Tet holiday. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and embrace the rich traditions of Tet as you create unforgettable memories in this captivating city.

Asia Encounter is the premier tour company for tailor-made trips to Saigon during the Tet holiday. With our expertise, we can curate a personalized itinerary that includes a variety of unique experiences. From exploring Tet markets to indulging in festive cuisine and witnessing traditional customs, Asia Encounter ensures a seamless and unforgettable journey for the best things to do in Saigon during Tet holiday.

What are you waiting for? Let’s contact us to create a memorable travel experience that showcases the best of Saigon’s vibrant culture and celebrations during Tet.


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