7 Vietnamese markets where the colors of Tet are yours to buy

By Minh Minh   February 8, 2018 | 11:25 am GMT+7

From Hanoi to Saigon, the vibrancy is undeniable.

Quang Ba Market, Hanoi

A woman holds a peach blossom branch as she waits for customers at Quang Ba Market in Hanoi. Photo by Cao Anh Tuan

A woman holds a peach blossom branch as she waits for customers at Quang Ba Market in Hanoi. Photo by Cao Anh Tuan

Quang Ba Flower Market on Au Co Street, Tay Ho District, is one of the best places to look for peach blossoms during the Lunar New Year festival, also known as Tet. The holiday peaks on Friday next week and every house in Vietnam will be filled with flowers, and peach blossoms are a favorite in Hanoi.

The market opens every day from 3 a.m. and is usually frenetic during the festival. Last year, it was listed by CNN as one of the best places in the world to celebrate Lunar New Year. “The sights and sounds mixed with the fragrance of street food makes for a heady New Year sensual overload,” the network said.

Buoi Market, Hanoi

Flower pots are on display at Buoi Market in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An

Flower pots on display at Buoi Market in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An

Buoi Market is one the three biggest flower markets in the capital, standing near the corner of Hoang Hoa Tham and Buoi in Ba Dinh District. The market offers different kinds of flowers in all colors and sizes.

The market will be open until Wednesday, two days before the New Year, so be sure you make some time to experience the atmosphere.

Hang Ma Antiques Market, Hanoi

People check old items at the antiques market on Hang Ma Street, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An

People check out old items at the antiques market on Hang Ma Street, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An

The antiques market on Hang Ma Street in the Old Quarter is an exclusive holiday market as it only opens 10 days ahead of the Lunar New Year, showcasing items up to centuries old. It draws nostalgic people who can leave with a cool collection to show off during the holiday.

Hang Luoc Flower Market, Hanoi

A woman choose a peach blossom branch as kumquat plants are on display at the Hang Luoc Flower Market in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An

A woman choose a peach blossom branch in front of a kumquat display at Hang Luoc Flower Market in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An

This market also opens just for the holiday, usually a week in advance, and there are all kinds of bonsai and kumquat on offer here. The market is a real attraction in the Old Quarter as it stretches along Hang Chai, Hang Ma and Hang Dong.

Carp Market, Saigon

A man pours carps into one of many large basins at Binh Dien wholesale market in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A man pours carp into one of many large basins at Binh Dien Market in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Each Vietnamese family has its own Kitchen Gods who ride a carp to heaven a week before the Lunar New Year to report the family's affairs to the Jade Emperor. As a result, carp sell like hot cakes at most markets across the country at this time of year.

Binh Dien Market in District 8 has been up all night selling tons of carp this festive season.

Chinatown, Saigon

A man picks a chain of golden coin tokens at the Thiec Market in Chinatown, Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

A man chooses a chain of golden tokens at Thiec Market in Chinatown, Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

Thiec Market in Saigon’s Chinese community in District 5 is filled with bright colors at the moment. Red lanterns, golden tokens and plants, yellow paper flowers and paintings of dogs for the upcoming Year of the Dog bring the market’s vibrancy to the next level.

Many Chinese and Vietnamese people believe that these colors bring luck.

Ho Thi Ky Flower Market, Saigon

A man picks a bunch of sunflowers at Ho Thi Ky Market in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

A man picks a bunch of sunflowers at Ho Thi Ky Market in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

This 30-year-old market down an alley on Ho Thi Ky Street, District 10 opens every night and has been more awake than ever this holiday. It is possibly the biggest flower market in the commercial hub, sourcing supplies from the Central Highlands’ flower kingdom of Da Lat and villages outside Saigon.

 
 
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