In a country like Vietnam, where outdoor celebrations are rampant with almost any occasion, New Year’s Eve is especially amazing. In an already very busy District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, millions of people pour into the heavily decorated streets, lighting up sparklers or holding glow sticks and having a few drinks to ring in the occasion.
Some of the main areas to go in Saigon include Ben Thanh Market along Pham Ngu Lao, where there are large holiday displays and even live music to keep folks entertained for hours. Another place to certainly check out, if you can manage to squeeze your way there, is on two major streets, Nguyen Hue intersecting with Le Loi, where numerous vendors are pushing holiday gear (lights and such) as thousands of people countdown to the New Year. Just be careful not to drive or try and hop on a motorbike, as most streets in the area will be closed off.
Although Ho Chi Minh may win the prize for most exciting New Year’s experience in Vietnam, places like Hanoi also holds up as great place to ring it in. In Hoan Kiem District, which surrounds the Hoan Kiem Lake, there will be large crowds of folks dancing during an open-air celebration that will contain a concert with several regional musicians and performers.
Larger hotels like the Hilton are also usually a good time and will host a fine dinner this year. Press Club Hanoi is also hosting an event at their venue with a contemporary western menu on offer from one of the best chefs around, Chef Marcel Issak.
- Contributed by John Reality