Tet off to sedate start in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City

By Giang Huy, Gia Minh   February 12, 2021 | 03:28 pm GMT+7
Streets in Hanoi and HCMC are empty and silent on the first day of the Lunar New Year, pandemic-related inhibitions adding to the usual absence of migrants.
A senior citizen walks his bicycle by the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi early Friday morning.

A senior citizen walks his bicycle by the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi early Friday morning.

Several hundred meters away, the famous Trang Tien Street wears a deserted look.

Several hundred meters away, the famous Trang Tien Street wears a deserted look.

Nha Chung Street in downtown Hoan Kiem District is also devoid of people, but the national flag is out as residents welcome Tet.

Nha Chung Street in downtown Hoan Kiem District is also devoid of people, but the national flag is out as residents welcome Tet.

Some young people take photographs with and of a tram carriage exhibited on Dao Duy Tu Street. Hanoi used to have a tram network built and operated by the French early in the twentieth century.

Some young people take photographs with and of a tram carriage exhibited on Dao Duy Tu Street. Hanoi used to have a tram network built and operated by the French early in the twentieth century.

A local family on their way to relatives’ homes, the mother and two boys wearing ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese tunic.

A local family on their way to relatives’ homes, the mother and two boys wearing ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese tunic.

Hanois famous Ta Hien beer street, which is usually jam packed with people, provided ample space Friday morning for young people to take photographs and selfies.

Hanoi's famous Ta Hien beer street, which is usually jam packed with people, provided ample space Friday morning for young people to take photographs and selfies.

The Nguyen Trai Street that runs towards downtown Hanoi is a ghost of its usual crowded self.

The Nguyen Trai Street that runs towards downtown Hanoi is a ghost of its usual crowded self.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the Vo Van Kiet Boulevard looks vast and spacious without any traffic.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the Vo Van Kiet Boulevard looks vast and spacious without any traffic.

The Ben Thanh Market, one of the busiest spots in HCMC, looks lost in time Friday morning.I’ve heard that Saigon is usually deserted on the first day of Tet, but such a tranquil atmosphere is still a complete surprise, said Kim Anh, 24, who has not returned home to the central province of Thanh Hoa for Tet celebrations this year.

The Ben Thanh Market, one of the busiest spots in HCMC, looks lost in time Friday morning.
"I’ve heard that Saigon is usually deserted on the first day of Tet, but such a tranquil atmosphere is still a complete surprise," said Kim Anh, 24, who has not returned home to the central province of Thanh Hoa for Tet celebrations this year.

A handful of people are glued to their cell phones as they enjoy iced coffee in the sidewalk across the Notre Dame Cathedral in HCMC.The HCMC administration last week shut down bars, karaoke parlors, cinemas and discotheques, and banned religious events following a new Covid-19 outbreak.

A handful of people are glued to their cell phones as they enjoy iced coffee in the sidewalk across the Notre Dame Cathedral in HCMC.
The HCMC administration last week shut down bars, karaoke parlors, cinemas and discotheques, and banned religious events following a new Covid-19 outbreak.

Fourteen-year-old Vu Nguyen Tuong Vy, dressed in a colorful ao dai, strikes a pose as her mother, also wearing the traditional dress, takes pictures in front of the HCMC Post Office. During Tet in previous years, my parents always took me on a tour some place or back to Da Nang (central city) to visit my relatives, but because of the pandemic, all plans have been canceled and we will spend Tet in HCMC, Vy said.Vietnam is dealing with a new wave of Covid-19 community transmissions that emerged on January 28 after 55 clean days.

Fourteen-year-old Vu Nguyen Tuong Vy, dressed in a colorful ao dai, strikes a pose as her mother, also wearing the traditional dress, takes pictures in front of the HCMC Post Office.
"During Tet in previous years, my parents always took me on a tour some place or back to Da Nang (central city) to visit my relatives, but because of the pandemic, all plans have been canceled and we will spend Tet in HCMC," Vy said.
Vietnam is dealing with a new wave of Covid-19 community transmissions that emerged on January 28 after 55 clean days.

 
 
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