Skyscanner: Saigon high up on Lunar New Year travel favorites

By Nguyen Quy   January 8, 2019 | 01:37 am PT
Skyscanner: Saigon high up on Lunar New Year travel favorites
Folk artists perform a lion dance during the Lunar New Year holiday at a pagoda in HCMC's District 5. Photo by Shutterstocks/annguyen
UK travel site Skyscanner has named Saigon among the best places to celebrate Lunar New Year next month alongside Beijing, Bangkok and Taipei.

There are only three weeks left for the Lunar New Year, or Tet, Vietnam’s biggest and most important holiday.

Skycanner, a Scotland-based travel fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine, has come up with a list of the 18 best places in the world to welcome the Year of the Pig, stretching from Bangkok to Australia’s Sydney.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest metropolis, has won plaudits from the travel site: "The streets in Saigon are beautifully decorated with lanterns, flower displays can be seen all over the city and you can enjoy special Tet treats such as banh tet."

Banh tet is a Vietnamese savoury but sometimes sweetened cake made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with a mung bean or mung bean and pork filling, then boiled. 

Bustling District 5, home to the largest Chinese community in Vietnam, is a place not be missed in the lead-up to Tet with Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street dazzling with the red and yellow of parallel sentences, hand scrolls, lucky money envelopes, and lanterns.  

On New Year’s Eve on February 4 the city will light up the sky with fireworks shows at six locations, including a high-altitude display at the Thu Thiem Tunnel area, and the rest at Dam Sen Park, the Ethnic Culture Historical Park in District 9 and other locations in the outlying districts of Nha Be, Can Gio and Cu Chi.  

The Year of the Pig begins on February 5 and Vietnam’s government has approved a nine-day (February 2-10) break for the holiday.

Lunar New Year is a time for family reunions and is celebrated by Vietnamese and Chinese communities around the world.

The Skycanner list also includes Hong Kong, Paris, London, Seoul, Tokyo, and San Francisco.  

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