Are you ready for Tet in Vietnam yet?

Unless you’re in solitary confinement, you know Tet is coming. Yes, folks, it’s that time of the year for giant sound systems, end of year parties, shopping madness and babies hanging off the front of motorbikes in the cutest brand new clothes mum could find. Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, begins on the 16th of February (Western calendar) 2018. It’s both one of my favorite times of the year and frequently the most stressful. The shops are jammed full of locals stocking up on food, gifts and offerings for the celebrations that occur over the four official days of Tet. Please note that stocks of little red envelopes for the lucky money run out pretty quick too. If you’re part of the non-75% complaining expat crowd, Tet is a fun time to be around. Lots of party invites, unless you’re Daniel Hauer and off the A-list. And with many Vietnamese out of town, it’s a rather quiet time.  As I’ve mentioned recently in other articles, you need to plan for the biggest national holiday of the year. ATMs run out of money and are sometimes not re-stocked for a few days.  Banks and plenty of expat and local businesses shut and half the population head back to their hometowns to spend time with relatives and take a break from the relentless pace of life in Vietnam. It’s surprising just how much goes on at this time of year.  Flowers and fruit trees, cherry blossom branches and other deco items fly… [Read full story]

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