Tet Day 2 – All Quiet in Saigon


This Tet is unusually quiet when compared to Tet a year ago. The streets are deserted, shops still closed, hardly any life in the city right now. At night the food vendors come out, this being their most profitable time of the year. Even the backpacker area is more quiet than normal.

I needed to buy some blank CDs so I could burn some FreeBSD images on them. It took me awhile but I finally found one open computer shop.

Quiet Tet Day in Saigon, Vietnam

(Computer area in District 1 is dead during Tet)

Quiet Tet Day in Saigon, Vietnam

(Normally this area is quite busy all times of the day in District 1)

Quiet Tet Day in Saigon, Vietnam

(Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in the distance)

Quiet Tet Day in Saigon, Vietnam

(Another normally busy street deserted)

Quiet Tet Day in Saigon, Vietnam

(This CO-OP Market is normally one of the most busiest in all of Saigon)


  1. Only the second TET in Saigon for me and I agree, the streets(and sidewalks) are eerily nearly traffic free. It reminds me a bit of how it was when I first was here in 2004. The density of the traffic around where I live has increased radically in the last three years.

    I hope that they institute vehicle free zones here in District 1 soon, especially at night around the Ben Thanh market and Le Loi and Nguyen Hue streets. I would guess that most of those driving around in the evenings around here are just out “cruising”, “joy-riding” around to see, and be seen. They can do that on foot a lot safer and causing less pollution.

    Dalat has closed their old town area to vehicles on the weekends and it is very nice.

  2. Still quiet even today. I will head out for a late lunch. Maybe get some more pictures without worrying about someone grabbing my cell phone 🙂

    I heard that Le Loi and Nguyen Hue will be closed to traffic but not sure when. It will be nice actually.

  3. @Kham: It was something I think many people noticed this year. Last year there were a lot of parties. This year, really nothing. People left the city, many traveled to Cambodia and Thailand. I think this may become the norm again as people are exhausted by the post-WTO accession development IMHO.

    @Thuy: I think it was a Tet year ago that we met, right?

  4. Kevin, this is your year! (year of rat)! Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

    in case you’re wondering where people are. walk around in your neighborhood, you’ll see them in groups playing cards (for real money)! this is one of the Tet’s traditions! but don’t participate, they will clean you up!

  5. Where did you guys go? I was looking forward to seeing the empty streets, and everywhere I went in District 1 it was full of people. Was I supposed to wake up before 11am or something?

  6. @Viet: Yep, I know. I live in an alleyway but this year many left the city. I heard that because many got higher bonuses so were able to leave the city.

    @Huy: Outside of District 1 away from the Nguyen Hue area 🙂 I avoid that area all the time during Tet. major tourist attraction during Tet…

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