Nguyen Hue Tet Flower Street during a previous Lunar New Year
While there is still time for the traveller to visit Vietnam for TET in 2015, if you want to experience Vietnamese New Year Celebrations without paying an arm and a leg for flights (let along land accommodation and touring) then now is the time to begin preparing for visiting Vietnam for TET in 2016.
In Vietnam, TET, or Vietnamese New Year, is celebrated in February, and lasts longer than the single night that many countries celebrate “New Years” on, during which time families gather, cities celebrate, floral displays become prominent and the continuance of life is celebrated across the country.
While this isn’t a solid event like the Edinburgh Tattoo or the Dawn Services at Gallipoli where one can travel see a specific timed event and move on, it is an event that can be experience, through encountering the cities and towns at this specific time, and seeing the public celebrations, as well as spending time with local families and seeing what this event means to the Vietnamese. To help the traveller do this we have developed a tour, specifically for this occasion.
Staring from Saigon, the most dynamic city in Vietnam, you will explore its historical attractions and colorful outdoor markets then visit the Cu Chi Tunnels – a famous place in the Vietnam-American – as a way to ambush approaching US troops, move supplies, deliver information and even as living quarters. After an overnight in the Mekong Delta cruising the narrow canals and join in the floating market you will continue your trip to the Central Vietnam Road of Heritages visiting Hue Citadel, Hoi An Ancient town. In the North Vietnam you will have more chance to learn of the Vietnamese culture at Hanoi before enjoying a marvelous stay overnight on a traditional junk in the Halong Bay. For full details read on …
Each year there are dozens of festivals and events world over that truly are worth attending, either as part of a larger visit to the destination that hosts them, or for the event itself. Officially every year on the 5th January, the Harbin Ice Festival begins, though in truth much of it is already on display before, and often well after the festival finishes. What though is the Harbin Ice Festival you ask! That is what we want to let you know about today.
Originally an Ice Lantern festival back in the 60’s it did lapse for a while and has since bloomed again into a massive international event, with Ice Sculptors from the world around descend on Harbin to prove themselves and display their skills with sculpting snow. In the frozen north a virtual city of ice arises, with sculptures ranging from icons to building, which of a night are lit up in a fantastic display. There are also Ski challenges, though these are less visited, the option of visiting Stalin Park, a chance to Ice Fishing, or Ice Swimming if you are as game as some of the locals. It is also a chance to visit the Siberian Tiger Park, a preserve dedicated to increasing the Siberian Tiger population, while not a draw-card in itself to get you to Harbin during the warmer months, during the winter it is a must see visit in connection with the Ice Festival. Harbin also boasts a Pole Aquarium, and is a fantastic chance to see Belugas, Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes and more.
This truly stunning event is limited to the winter season, for reasons that are obvious – Ice after all only lasts so long and under certain conditions – and is definitely the best time to visit the region. It is also a perfect time to combine Harbin with some of the more incredible sights of China, and encounter them in a way many won’t see, such as the Great Wall covered in snow. If this all sounds interesting just continue reading to see a suggested programme for the Harbin Ice Festival!