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Boo! It’s October: Best Saigon Events This Month

You blink and it’s October! But not to worry, this month has enough to offer. From spooky Murder Mysteries to sporty Saigon runs, October is filled with exciting events.

The best events in Ho Chi Minh City this month (scroll down for awesome kids events)

October 1: Live concert: Disney Jazz

The New York swing band Professor Cunningham and his Old School band, are touring in Asia and will be bringing a jazz filled evening to Saigon. Enjoy all your favorite Disney movies songs in a groovy and swinging way on this Disney Jazz Live Concert. (District 3)

October 2: Networking night

Fresh Catch Vietnam and IamHCMC are hosting a Saigon Networking night where expats and locals can meet. Tapas and drinks are on the menu and so are some potential great new contacts. (District 1)

October 5: Live music at a secret spot

The 20th edition of Sofar is coming up! This expanding network of artists and music lovers brings live giggs to people all over the world. After signing up, you’re contacted a day before with the time and place of this pop up concert. Music and mystery…we love it! (District unknown yet)

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Saigon Outcast goes hippie style. 

October 12: Flea market

Everyone’s favorite playground is organizing a 90s themed flea market. With vendors, food  drinks and activities for young and old. And of course a lot of pre-loved items. One man’s trash is another mans treasure! (District 2)

October 18: Murder in Margaritaland

While most enjoy their vacation at the exclusive resort Margaritaland, for one unfortunate soul, it will mean the end of their travels altogether. Yep,  LHerbanyste is hosting a Murder Mystery and you’re all invited. Well…40 of you because of limited seats. Starting at 7pm. (District 2)

October 20: Vietnamese Women’s Day

An important day in Vietnam, Women’s day is celebrated twice! In March, during International Women’s Day and on October 20th. People tend to give flowers and gifts to the women in their lives. Come on, spread your love! 

Co-Space is celebrating this day with their Saigon Ladyboss Workshop on October 19th. 

October 20: The Lakes Race

The Lakes Race in Saigon is back! A fantastic run to do alone, with friends or together with the kids, as there are Baby Races, Kids races, 5 km, 10 km and 21 km races. Proceeds go to orphanages in HCMC. 

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Run Forrest run!

October 31: Halloween

And of course, we’re in full anticipation of Halloween! Multiple events are organized this month. On Halloween night, various neighbourhoods have trick or treat walks. Make sure you’re well prepared and check out where to find the spookiest outfits. You’ll find them here!

Awesome kids events this month

October 6: MIS Sunday Funday

Don’t miss this fun morning at Montessori International School! Free for kids up to 10 years old. Entertainment by the Bubble Man, waterslides and lots of games. Pack some dry clothes and a towel, because there will be free splashing! (District 2)

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Have a splashing time at the MIS Funday

October 14-25: Autumn Camp

Vinspace is offering an autumn camp for all kids who like to get creative this school break. Painting, drawing, sculpting, kids of all ages can see where their imagination will take them. Aprons available. (District 2)

October 26: HOW-oween Charity event

Anne Hill International school is organizing their HOW-oween Charity bazaar on Saturday October 26. It includes Halloween food and drinks, face-painting, games and a raffle for a good cause. And it’s pet-friendly too! Starting at 11am. (District 2)

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Let’s scare and care!

October 26: Halloween Jump Rave

Let the kids blow off some Halloween steam at Jump Arena, where there is a Neon Halloween Rave on Saturday, October 26. All centers are participating. Best costume competition, games, treats, jumping – this sounds like every kids dream! (District 2, 7, 10)

Best events in Ho Chi Minh City in November

Yep, we’re looking ahead because the spots for these 2 fantastics event are filling up.

November 2-3: River Rituals

 La Holista and Chi-Bu Vietnam are organizing their second edition of  River Rituals. Two lovely days, filled with yoga, meditation, music, healthy food and bonfires, on the banks of the Ông Kèo river. 

November 18: Mandala Retreat in Hue 

For everyone who can use a deeper recharge; Mandala Wellness organizes a unique retreat at the Alba Wellness Valley in Hue. Morning mediations, restorative yoga practices, lovely vegetarian meals, energy and sound healing mixed in with the serenity of the healing Alba hot springs, blissss… Options for 3,5 or 7 days.

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Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam – We Are Over The Moon!

One of our favorite cultural events in Vietnam is the radiant Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival. Lanterns, children singing, sharing food- what’s not to love? Good news, it is here! And whether you’re a newbie or a long time resident, this is a festival worth knowing about. So here goes - five must-knows about Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam.

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Local Celebrations: All You Wanted To Know About Hungry Ghost In Vietnam

Vietnam has its share of interesting traditions and celebrations. For example, did you notice an increase in the number of altars and burning incense alongside the Saigon streets? This is because of Hungry Ghost, the lunar month in which the ghosts are visiting the land of the living. Say what?

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Our Favorite Teacher Gifts: This Is The List You Need

Can you believe that the schools in Ho Chi Minh City are almost out and the end of the year is near? That’s right, this school year flew by in no-time! Time to brainstorm Thank You and Farewell Gifts for those awesome teachers.

It’s not easy finding a great present for your kids’ teacher. You want to give something special, but not over the top. You would love to give something personal, but what does he or she like to do? We hear ya; we all struggle with this. So we came, we saw, we brainstormed. Our conclusion? The best teacher gifts are heartfelt, practical, and generally fall into one of two categories: things that that tell them how you appreciate them, or teacher gifts that make their job a little nicer — think relaxing things here. Here’s our all time favorite list.

Personalized teacher gifts

Giving your kids teacher something personal is always nice. A personalized water bottle is even better – let’s face it, schools are to water bottles what the Bermuda triangle was to ships. We love these personalized water bottles by Hamper Vietnam. Looking sleek, re-usable, made of natural materials and uber practical, this is the perfect gift for the modern day teacher!

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Message in a bamboo bottle

Teacher gifts of appreciation: A Bouquet of Compliments

At the end of the year, it’s especially nice to hear from the students themselves. Hand out some plain cards to all the class pupils and ask them to write, draw or craft a heartfelt compliment for their teacher on it. Buy a nice bunch of flowers, like the ones at Ted&Anna and tie every compliment to a separate flower. Your teacher will be over the moon with this beautiful bouquet of compliments!

World class cook book

This is one of the best personal teacher gifts for first graders and up. If your kid’s teacher is into cooking or baking, have the students make their own cook book. Ask them to write down their favorite recipe, decorated with drawings, images or whatever they feel like. Paste it in a nice notebook – check the paper shop above An Phu Supermarket or check these paper and print stores – or bundle it up. Add a recipe overview in the front with some images of the little chefs; Donna Hay eat your heart out!

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Or rather message in a box?

Gift boxing to the max

This personalized gift box is too cute for words! Tell the class to hand in their favorite image, add some school pics and head to lovinbox to make your own gift box, personalized with all your images. You can even add a little present or note inside.

Relaxing teacher presents

If you’re feeling less creative, are pressed for time (hey, it’s a busy month!) or just rather buy a nice teacher gift than make it, we say go for it. You can always add a lovely card for the personal touch. But what to buy? You can never fail with a gift voucher from the stunning spa Apothiquaire or one of the other great massage salons in Saigon.

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Finally some well deserved relaxing time

House of Barbaard

But pampering isn’t something only women enjoy… House of Barbaard has refined the art of creating a man’s haven in the form of a barbershop where men can relax and unwind. A movie voucher or tickets for The World of Heineken will also score you some bonus points with your mini-me’s teacher. The WOH has one of the most spectacular views of the city and is a museum, an experience, a bar, and some more. And no kids around. 🙂

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No kids around at The World of Heineken

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Top Things To Do With Kids This Tet Holiday

Staying here this Tet Holiday and looking for fun things to do with the kids? No need to panic, because the days of total Saigon shut down during Tet are over. To be honest, having the city to yourself without any school traffic jams sounds rather nice doesn’t it? And to soak up some real Vietnamese traditions during the stunning Tet flower markets plus experience the Lunar New Years fireworks, is also a great treat. That said, one could always use some inspiration to keep the little piggies occupied during this school holiday!

Best kids things to do during Tet: which venues are open? 

While some venues, such as Let’s move, Vertical Academy and Vin Space are closed, there are still lots of nice things to do for kids in Saigon.

If your kids are into cooking and cuisine, let them join the awesome pizza making workshop at Pendalasco. It starts on 1030 am, every Saturday and Sunday, also during Tet.

Older kids will love Timezone, an electronic gaming hall in Estella Place. Just opened and full of interactive experiences and the newest electronic games. Combine it with a lunch at this new shopping mall and you are all set!

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Climbing to new heights at Estella Place

Not so much into gaming? Check out the interactive climbing wall at level 4 at this new Estella shopping mall. Your offspring can choose between 9 interactive walls. Make sure they wear their sneakers though, flip-flops are a no go. 

Yeahhh! Jump Arena is also open this Tet, only closing on 4 and 5 February. Let the kids blow off some steam at one of their trampoline halls in District 2, 7 or 10, while you have a coffee or soda upstairs. Don’t forget the socks!

Fun things for the whole family this Tet

Superbowl in District 1 has regular hours during Tet, so you can practice your strike all holiday long! 24 lanes, modern equipment, fried chicken wings & lots of fun awaits you! Footwear and socks can be rented, so don’t worry about bowling on your Havaianas. We love the special ‘ball glider’ they have for the smaller kids, so they can easily join in the fun.

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Ice cold fun at Snow Town

No time to go skiing in Niseko, but still a need to cool off this Tet? Pack the family and hit the road to Snow Town. This amusement park has been decorated in Tet style with red and gold ornaments everywhere, setting the perfect Lunar New Year mood. Riding your sleigh, check out the selfie corner, do some ice cold climbing – all is possible at this winter wonderland at the other side of the Hanoi Highway. Only closed on 4 and 5 February. Buy your tickets online. 

DIY Lunar New Year crafts and baking at home

Holidays at home are also the perfect time to do some home crafting with the family. You are rushing the whole year, so let’s ditch that To Do list and get zen. Even if you are not the arts and crafty type, you will surprise everyone (including yourself) with these yummy baked piggies and cool Lunar New Year lanterns.

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This little piggy went…

Yes its the year of the pig. The pig stands for wisdom, optimism and energy. How cool would it be to serve some baked piggies for lunch or snack time? Or bring them to school for the Tet lunch in class. Admiring looks are guaranteed! Cafechocolade makes them with dough, but we used store bought pastry and it worked just as well. There are limits to our powers 😉

Lunar New Year is all about lights and lanterns and how cool is it to make your own? The kids will love to craft these pretty lanterns made from colored paper by thetruesea.com, perfect for all festive holidays.

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pretty paper lanterns by: you

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Great Father’s Day Gifts That Dad Will Love

It’s almost Father’s day (June 16), the day that we put the man of the house in the spotlight. Let’s wow the other half of the team aka the (vice)captain of the family aka the coolest dad in the world and show him we think he’s grand by buying him the best Father’s day gift or take him out on a cool day out.

Take Dad out for a super cool experience

There’s nothing wrong with the usual shirts and shaves gifting, or the old whiskey bottle, but we figure the Dad of the 21th century is more into an experience with the family. Ho Chi Minh City has various great adventures to offer, so this Father’s day gift is sorted. For example, did you know you can go up the Landmark? That’s right, take Dad up the top level of tallest building of South East Asia to see the best view of Saigon. It will be a wow experience, complete with helmet and a safe suit. You can buy tickets (a hefty 500,000 VND but hey, it’s Father’s Day) at the reception at B1.

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Give Dad some different perspective on things

Great Father’s Day Gift: Exploring with Dad

Another great experience is to take Daddy into town. After all, there’s still much to explore in this ever changing city. What about a nice boat tour on the Saigon River or a Saigon mystery tour that you can solve together? And if the man in your house is a sporty one, he might like to do a biking tour around HCMC! Check with mr Biker Saigon if there’s a family ride you can do.

Take Dad for a spin

For car crazy Dads, there’s nothing better than the Go karting experience at Let’s Move. Treat him to some great coffee next door (on the same premises) to get him started and then you’re off! Let’s Move has electric karts for the smaller kids and gasoline karts for super fast Daddy and his buds! There’s also a great indoor playground if the circuit get’s too hot. A great Father’s Day gift that the whole tribe will enjoy.

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Daddy will feel like a regular F1 driver with this Father’s day present!

Father’s Day Brunches

If the Dad in your home is a foodie, you have it easy! Surprise him with a super duper breakfast in bed. We found you some inspiration for father’s favorites here. Not so much of a kitchen princess yourself or just rather go out? Not to worry, there are plenty of places in Saigon that offer a great brunch. We love the brunch at Mad House and Cafe Marcel in District 1, but if you want to spoil your old man in style, we recommend brunch at The Deck.

Or skip brunch and let Dad, with some of his Daddy mates, have the greatest night at Social Club. They’re doing a Social Night For Cool Dads; a special edition of their deli night where they pair fine whiskeys and premium wines with plates of cold cuts and cheeses, while enjoying jazzy tunes by a live band. He will love you even more for this cool Father’s day gift!

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Spoil your dad this Fathers day with the food he loves (Madhouse)

The best presents for your cool dad

Yep, there’s value in saying “thanks for everything”, whether is with a home cooked meal, a DIY card or a gift. If you like the idea of giving a present best, we’ve  put together some brilliant Father’s Day gift options for you. These are all presents you can get in Saigon.  We’re sure your Dad will love all your spoiling and care!

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Your Guide To Mother’s day: Best Brunches, Blooms And Beautiful Gifts

Mother’s Day Saigon is coming up soon (May 12)! While she probably loves the hugs, kisses and occasional pasta-necklace best, some spoiling is in order for this special woman in your life. So let’s do a little brainstorm of how you could pamper her. From the best gifts to brunches, flowers and me-time for mom, we’re making a list. Pssst moms, feel free to forward this one.

Get her flowers for Mother’s Day, but not just any

Let’s start with giving mom some lovely flowers this Mother’s Day in Saigon. At Ted & Anna on Xuan Thuy St. in District 2 you will find the most beautiful blooms. Do as we do and show them an image of the bouquet you like and they will make sure mom will wake up and smell the roses on Mother’s Day morning! Rather order online? Padma de fleur is a florist and flower cafe in one and they do beautiful bouquets.

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Woo your mom with some flower power

Arrange a care free morning for Mother’s Day at these great spas

No kids, no fuzz, just me-time and relaxing, all these words will probably sound like magic to most moms! Luckily Ho Chi Minh has its fair share of great spas, beauty salons and massage studios who can provide just that! For great massages try Spa La Sen or Villa Aestetica. In district 1 we love to go to the Intercontinental. And a gift voucher from the stunning spa Apothiquaire will definitely get you some bonus points. Or better yet, just book the appointment and make sure mom gets into relaxing mode this instant.

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Oooh yes, let the pampering begin at l’ Apotiquaire

Get fancy with brunch this Mother’s Day

If your mom is anything like us, she’ll love edible pampering! Get fancy and take your mum for brunch. At Novotel, the chef is cooking up all his mother’s favorites for a special Mother’s Day Buffet. In district 3, the Hotel des Arts does a great Champagne brunch that your mom will surely love. In district 2, head down to Mad House and order the brunch platter. There’s also a vegetarian one. Sleeping in? Take mom to one of these great lunch places instead.

Even more fancy; pamper mom with a high tea

We’re in celebration mode this Mother’s Day so let’s go all in. Scones, muffins, sandwiches and cup cakes, all these things sound like music to our ears! Villa Royale provides all the ingredients for a perfect high tea with mom. Or take your mom to the line up of yummy cupcakes at Sweet + Sour and let her have her pick.

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Let us have cake!

Spoil mom with this ultimate DIY gift

Of course boys and girls (and dads), there’s nothing that says I love you more than that self-made gift. And although most moms love your pasta-necklaces and hand prints on a tile (often still slightly wet) this is what moms really like: a photo album with pictures of all those family moment together. Not only do we love to flip through them together, but this To Do has been on our mom list forever! Try www.photobookvietnam.com, the templates are cool and more importantly, the software is super easy. Note that delivery takes a week at least so start early.

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Egg-cellent! It’s Easter in Ho Chi Minh City!

We love Easter! Egg hunts, Easter family brunches, being surrounded by chocolate bunnies, it’s all a joy! But how to celebrate Easter in Vietnam? This year the Easter bunny hops into Saigon on April 21st & 22nd. Here’s your guide to an egg-ceptional Easter in Ho Chi Minh City!

Easter family brunches

Easter is the perfect excuse for egg-stra long brunches! Have friends over for an Easter Feast and decorate the tables with freshly baked breads, eggs and fruit. The Annam Gourmet Market is well stocked with Easter yummies at their various locations in D1, D2, D7 and Estella Place. Bakery Saint Honoré as well as the Crumbs bakery in district 7 provide you with delicious breads and quiches. By the way, at Saint Honoré and Crumbs you can order online as well. Smoked salmon and other seafood can be found at La Poissonerie.

Easy DIY Easter Brunch dishes

To smarten up your brunch, add some of these easy peasy (but tasty) brunch dishes: this chorizo zucchini quiche by Donna Hay is always a winner in our house. For a vegetarian Easter brunch, replace the chorizo by goat cheese. Your guests with a sweet tooth will love this chai spiced carrot cake. After all, it’s not Easter without carrots. 🙂 Add your Easter branches or some fresh flowers to the table and you’re sorted. It will feel like a real Easter in Ho Chi Minh City!

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Staying in or brunching out this Easter in Ho Chi Minh City?

Brunch out to celebrate Easter in Ho Chi Minh City

Rather sit back, relax and let someone else cook the Easter treats? We hear ya! Park Hyatt is organizing a lavish Easter brunch on 21 April. Seafood, lamb, Easter themed desserts… There’s so much food, you’ll probably roll from your table like a regular Easter egg!

Or join the famous Sunday lunch at Mad House. Sitting outside on their lovely terrace is a treat already. Their brunch platter is filled with delish egg tortilla, fruit, breads and spreads. They have a vegetarian brunch platter as well, so much to choose from. Easter in Ho Chi Minh City has never been this easy.

You can also do it completely different and have a freestyle brunch at The Other Place in district 1. The international team behind this hip spot brought a new way of brunching from Australia to Saigon. You won’t find a traditional Easter brunch here this April. Stepping away from the traditional eggs Benedict, The Other Place offers a bold and exciting menu based on local ingredients. And for Easter they’re  whipping up something special!

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Let’s find those eggs

Chocolate mania & egg hunts In Ho Chi Minh City

It’s not Easter without our friend the Easter Bunny and his egg hunt! Centrally organized egg hunts are hard to find in Vietnam, but there are a few. Check our April event calendar to get the latest updates. Actually we’re big fans of the smaller  Do It Yourself egg hunt at home. Not to worry, it’s not too complicated. Just invite your friends, load up some chocolate eggs, have the kids bring their own baskets (or make them at the spot) and you’re done. Make sure the kids spot all your chocolate eggs before they melt or even better, replace them with plastic ones for the time being. This blog on Easter hunts is full of extra tips if you want to up your game.

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DIY Easter bunny wabbit decorations are so much fun!

Make some egg-stra cool decorations

Speaking about baskets, the kids will love to make their own. So let’s start the Easter mania a few days before with some awesome decorations. We made these simple but adorable Easter bags last year and they are fun to make with your little ones. Take a paper bag, cut out some ears, add some whiskers and eyes and your first bunny bag is a fact!

These eggholders are also perfect for DIY beginners and will look adorable on your brunch table. But the best Easter craft must be decorating eggs! Whether you paint them green, yellow and blue or go to the next level and make emoji and chick easter eggs, this is the time to do it.

Hoppy Easter in Ho Chi Minh City!

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The Best Lovey-Dovey Valentine’s Day Dinner Spots

Starting to feel red rosy already? Valentine’s Day is coming up in Ho Chi Minh and soon the red roses and fluffy heart pillows will start popping up on every corner. Whether you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day or not, in either case it’s a great chance to surprise your McDreamy with a romantic dinner at one of Ho Chi Minh’s nicest restaurants. Here are our fav sweetheart spots!

French Bistrot Atelier des Rêves is hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner with a mouthwatering 6-course ‘menu Saint Valentin’. Good thinking Frenchies, we’re on board!

Jane’s Bistro in District 7 is not only the perfect place to gaze into each other’s eyes all night, the food is more than delish and made with luvvv. Reservations only!

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Cosy it up at a romantic dinner for two!

What better place to cosy up than a restaurant with a spectacular view overlooking Smoochy Saigon? At Japanese restaurant Sorae they know how to do it right. Try the smitten sushi, the tender teriyaki and the snuggly sake. And book a window table.

You can also have a romantic date with your other half and with nature at the same time. Veggie restaurant Hum is the place! Hum is intimate and cozy and what’s more romantic than veggin’ out on your couch together after your dinner of sweet potatoes and kissable kale?

Another good option is to go to the picturesque Villa Song Saigon in District 2. You sit outside watching the stars and large amounts of bushes floating up and down the Saigon river while enjoying yummy food and a vino or two. You’ll have one helluva romantic Valentine’s Day dinner!

Listening to Italian music while sharing a pizza or pasta is the recipe for an intimate night. Italian is the language of love after all. At Namo they know how to set the perfect atmosphere with their cozy interior and beautiful food & wines. Now how’s that for romantic?

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to give your smooth operator a little extra lovin’

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Where To Watch Tet Fireworks And Flower Markets In Ho Chi Minh

During and before Tet the city will be bustling with events! But where to go exactly to sniff up some Tet atmosphere? And what are the best locations to watch the Tet fireworks in Ho Chi Minh?

Visit these Tet celebrations with the family to get in the Tet mood

If you really want to get the hang of this great Vietnamese tradition, why not pack up the kids this Tet holiday and enjoy some celebrations?

Great to take the kids up and down the always energetic Nguyen Hue street where beautiful Tet displays will be up from 7-10 pm on February 2-8. This year is all about the pigs, so you will be able to see lots of pink friends. Go early, because it will get crowded. 

Also great to do; visit the flower festival at Tao Dan Park in district 3. This Tet festival will have a flower and fish exhibition, games and calligraphy and a traditional martial arts performance. 

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Festive Tet flower market in Ho Chi Minh

See the traditional flower markets for Tet

It’s tradition to visit one of the beautiful flower markets in Vietnam and there are more than 125 this year! They open from January 28 till February 4.  One of the biggest flower markets in Ho Chi Minh is in district 1 at 23/9 Park on Pham Ngu Lao Street (near Ben Thanh Market). Another traditional market is Dinh Park, on the corner of Nguyen Kiem Street and Nguyen Thai Son Street.

If you want to go a bit off the beaten track and see an old flower market, popular with locals, check out the Ben Binh Dong Flower Market in district 8. The flowers here are brought from Mekong Delta by boat and sold on the riverside.

In district 7, the area around the Crescent Mall is always bustling: the Crescent Tet Flower Street & Market is open from 7 pm on 29 Jan to 3 Feb. Next to flowers, there will be traditional Tet food and a Vietnamese traditional music performance every night. 

The best spots to watch the fireworks in Ho Chi Minh

Are you here this Tet? Lucky you! You will be able to enjoy the beautiful Tet fireworks in Ho Chi Minh. We found the best spots for you to watch them:

  • District 2: Thu Thiem Tunnel
  • District 9: Historical Cultural Park
  • District 11: Dam Sen Park
  • Nha Be: Hiep Phuoc Industriel Park

In district 1 you can watch the fireworks from these hotspots: Ham Nghi Street, Dong Khoi Street, Nguyen Hue Street. Or even better, have drinks at one of the great rooftop bars that Ho Chi Minh has to offer and sit front row to the fireworks show!

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New to Tet? Here’s a crash course on the do’s and don’ts during Tet in Vietnam

Just moved to Saigon? Check out this list of tips & tricks!

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It’s The Year Of The Pig: How To Celebrate Tet Holiday In Vietnam

You can tell that Tet is approaching when Vietnam is getting into celebration mode and decorations are popping up all over town. Many venues will close, but we found several things to do with the kids this Tet holiday.  And here is lots to do in town during and after Tet. But for now, the year of the Pig is coming, what is this all about? Let’s take a crash course together!

Tet is the start of the new year

Tet is short for “Tet Nguyen Dan”, meaning “The Feast of the First Morning of the First Day.” Not a day to think light of, because it marks the beginning of the New Lunar Year, the start of spring, and it’s basically the official birthday of everyone (yes everyone) in Vietnam.

For some of us, TET means days of leave and taking off on that big family holiday, but of course that’s not what it’s all about. TET holiday marks the start of beginning the year all fresh and new, with lots of home cooking and visiting your loved ones. And if you want any luck the coming year, you should do a thorough clean up and replace your old furniture. This will encourage the good spirits of your ancestors to visit your home (and that’s a good thing!). It’s also important to settle your debts and disputes. The clean up should not only be taken literally, with a spotless and revamped house, but also figuratively. New beginnings for everyone please!

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Going out with a bang this Tet celebration!

Tet trees and fireworks

After cleaning and redecorating your home, enter the bamboo tree. Vietnamese families will have bamboo trees decorated with lucky red paper ornaments, red lucky envelopes and bells. The color red stands for fire, which represents warmth, light and good luck. After the 7th day of Tet, the tree is removed during a special ceremony.

Another tradition is to make lots of noise to scare the bad spirits away on the night of Chinese New Year. People used to light firecrackers themselves, but this has been regulated by the government in 1995 and is now organized centrally with some nice fireworks.

Things you should do this Tet

No filled stockings here, but good old cash. All younger family members will receive red envelopes with lucky money, or li xi, as they call it here in South Vietnam. You should also give your most eldest members of the household red envelopes, to bring them good health for the coming year. Make sure you stuff them with an even number of notes, preferably in crisp, new bills. And did you know that during Tet, kids are allowed to gamble with their lucky money?

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Putting on your best Ao Dai will be much appreciated

Other important must do’s during Tet

For the best luck this year of the Pig: smile often, go shopping to revamp that house, this is your excuse- and set an animal free. At the local temples, birds are sold solely for this purpose. But it might be a great idea to go to ARC instead and adopt a cute kitten or dog. They probably prefer your welcoming home to total freedom.

Also a good tip; wear red. Or at least, avoid black and white, as they are associated with bad luck during Tet. Wearing the beautiful Vietnamese traditional dress, the Ao Dai, is not necessary but often much appreciated. There are Ao Dai’s for kids as well as adults. You can buy them at these shops: Ninh Khuong, which has a store at 34 Le Loi and at the Vincom Mega mall in district 2. Next to Meatworks in district 2 is a small shop which has ao dai’s and of course you can find them at the Ben Thanh market.

So, there you go, you are all set for Tet. One more thing; make sure the first person you receive in your home in the new year is a nice person, because the Vietnamese believe that the karma of your first visitor will become your own. Chuc mung nam moi!

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These are the top things to do with the kids this Tet holiday

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve In Saigon

The Vietnamese celebration of the New Year is of course during TET, but for everyone who celebrates New Year’s Eve on December 31, there are plenty of options to end 2018 with a bang. Here is our lineup with the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Saigon in style!

Celebrating New Year’s Eve at a rooftop bar

Party like it’s 2019! A rooftop party is always a good idea and especially on New Year’s Eve. Watching the fireworks with a glass of bubbly in 25 degrees on a rooftop in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, what a life!

Leave it to Broma not a bar to organize a good party. Their New Years Eve rooftop party starts at 7.30 pm and we expect it to end late! There’s a package deal for the rooftop level including free flow of beers & mixed drinks. The VIP top loft tickets have the same deal, but you can enter the top loft, which means an even better view.

One of the best countdown parties of Saigon must be at this place. Free flow of champagne & cocktails on New Year’s Eve at one of the hippest rooftop bars in Saigon, yes please! If you can splash the cash, the Social Club sure knows how to throw a glamorous NYE party.

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Celebrate NYE in Saigon on one of Saigon’s best rooftops!

New Year’s Eve on a boat

Here’s a nice one- celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Saigon river. The views will be spectacular and the absence of traffic jams is a nice start of the new year. Reserve your seat with the Saigon Boat Company. Kids from 5 years up are welcome and finger food, free flow of wine, beer and soft drinks are included. Bon voyage!

Another option is Bonsai Cruise, with a New Year’s Eve cruise from 9.15 pm – 12.15 am and live DJ. Dinner buffet, free flow beer, wine, soft drinks and fruit juice included. Beats to get you on your feet, while cruising away? We are in. Adults only.

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New Year’s Eve on the Saigon River- a unique experience

Dinner & party on New Year’s Eve

Take a bit more time to commemorate 2018 and combine your Saigon New Years Eve party with dinner first.

Celebrate the New Year in Spanish style and go to Tomatito’s NYE party. What to expect? Food, drinks, dance & party – ¡Ay Caramba!

But there are more options:

Wear your sparkliest dress and head over to the SKY restaurant, where they combine a New Year’s Eve Buffet with a live band to get you on your feet. There are only 60 seats, so book well in advance.

Want to celebrate New Year with the family? The original hotel The Myst on Dong Khoi in D1 hosts a New Year’s Eve for families and will make sure everyone will have a good time.

Or go counting down at the Pullman Saigon Centre’s. They are preparing an awesome New Year Eve’s buffet with free flow of drinks and a live band. And bring the kids, they are most welcome.

The Equatorian Hotel organizes a New Year’s Eve with a grand buffet and a magnificent countdown party afterwards.

Last but not least, check out the festive NYE night at The Log, there’s a New Year Eve’s party done right!

All in all, enough choice to spend the last few hours of 2018 and to go out with a bang!

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Some Saigon sparkle on New Years Eve

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Get festive this Christmas – we have the best tips on how to celebrate Christmas in Saigon

For more kids activities this month, check out The Coolest Fun Things To Do With Your Kids

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