This was the most beautiful Lunar New Year (Tết Nguyên Đán) we’ve ever celebrated in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). I think it was the most enjoyable due to the fact that we truly embraced everything there was to experience.
It was extremely atmospheric walking into a sumptously decorated Tao Dan park in District 3 to a surprising array of competitive displays. There were bonzai trees galore, the traditional yellow-flowered trees of a southern Vietnamese Tet celebration, rocks and minerals and incredibly detailed minature garden scenes. It was great to see the traditional caligraphy created on demand for hanging at home, and there were lots of different dances and live music performances too.
I visited Dam Sen park for the first time, and what struck me the most was the wonderful feeling of space, carved out for holiday makers and family days out in the middle of a bustling city. The traffic was almost non-existent on getting there – I really recommend travelling around Ho Chi Minh City during Tet because it is so chilled out and peaceful.
Dam Sen has a lot to offer including an Aquarium, beautiful gardens, a lake, monorail, water park and loads more! We just pottered around this time and enjoyed the scenery. I felt a wonderful sense of new beginnings and tranquility walking around the quiet gardens near the water.
Nguyen Hue always delivers an impressive stroll through living, blooming sculptures and temporary gardens around the theme of the year’s animal. This year was the rooster, whose colourful plumage lent itself well to the decorations!
Beauty was everywhere and tranquility immersive as the traffic receeded, shops shut and people spent time just stopping to look, see and simply be.