Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest metropolis, has been selected on a list of the 18 best cities around the world to welcome the Lunar New Year 2019 from Skycanner, a popular UK travel site travel fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine.
A corner of HCM City during a firework display
The list will help travelers have a memorable Lunar New Year celebration with the noisiest firecrackers, most fabulous festive food, and longest parades.
The Lunar New Year is known as Tet in Vietnam and is one of the best times of the year to enjoy bustling Ho Chi Minh City. The streets are beautifully decorated with lanterns, flower displays can be seen all over town, and you can enjoy special Tet treats such as “banh tet”, or “banh chung”, according to the site.
“Banh tet”, or “banh chung”, is a Vietnamese traditional cake made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with a mung bean and pork filling, then boiled.
The Lunar New Year this year begins on February 5 and Vietnamese will enjoy a nine-day holiday from February 2 to 10. It’s the time for people, especially those who live away from home, to reunite with their family and enjoy traditional food and is very similar to Christmas.
Other cities on the list include Beijing and Shanghai, Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taiwan (China), Seoul, Manila, Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Sydney, Vancouver, and Helsinki.
Ho Chi Minh City also appeared on lists from prestigious media on top destinations last year, such as being one of the UK’s TravelSupermarket’s 15 fastest-growing tourist cities in the world by website, Lonely Planet’s best destinations in Asia, and Agoda’s top places for solo travelers.
Formerly Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and is known for its French colonial landmarks, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, made entirely from materials imported from France, and the 19th-century Central Post Office.
Known as a city that never sleeps, it boasts pedestrian malls with fountains and beautiful views and all-night coffee shops, while the backpackers’ area around Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien Streets has a range of pubs, bars, street food, and live music cafés.
The city welcomed some 29 million domestic visitors and 7.5 million international arrivals in 2018, up 16 per cent and 17.3 per cent year-on-year, respectively.