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Jan 31, 2022 / 17:56

Foreigners excited to celebrate Tet holiday in Vietnam

Expats in the country believed that the health crisis is behind them and this new year will be a better one.

Foreign business leaders and expats shared with The Hanoi Times about their plans to celebrate Tet holiday and their expectations for the new year.   

Philippe Le Bourhis, General Manager of Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc

 Philippe Le Bourhis, General Manager of Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc (L) and his team. Photos: Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc

I am looking forward to celebrating my 3rd Tet holiday in Phu Quoc, which is the most important time of the year for Vietnamese people. It is the time when families of all generations come together to celebrate the new lunar year. The streets come alive with vibrant colors of hope and joy as people celebrate the new year. It’s simply a magical atmosphere. 

I had the opportunity to taste some of the traditional Tet specialties and every year we organize a Chung cake-making activity on new year's day for our guests and employees.

As I am far from my family, I consider my team at Mövenpick Resort to be my family and I am happy to celebrate this special time of the year with them. 

This year, I will celebrate this holiday in the resort. It promises to be a more auspicious celebration as we are already fully booked during this period. It is great to see that people feel more confident to travel after months of restrictions and a successful vaccination program. This is definitely a positive start to the year of the Tiger.

 Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc will receive a number of visitors during Tet

On Tet occasion, our team and I at Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc are ready to welcome you with appealing recreation activities, accompanied by lively spring welcoming parties. We hope to bring a special Tet atmosphere, warm moments filled with laughter, and a series of interesting culinary and entertainment experiences that will be hard to forget for your spring trip to visit the island's “sunset season” with loved ones. 

I sincerely hope that we are now coming out of the pandemic crisis and this new year will be more prosperous for everyone. 

I am optimistic that the hospitality and tourism industry will benefit from this recovery in Vietnam and around the world.  

Natalia Kovalenko, Managing Director, Lendtop

This Lunar New Year is my 4th anniversary of the Vietnamese New Year holiday. Although the pandemic has affected people's lives quite a lot, during this Tet, I am very happy and grateful to the Government of Vietnam for its positive efforts to control the pandemic, helping everyone have a peaceful, warm and joyful “new normal” Tet holiday.

 Natalia Kovalenko and her children

If compared with Bew Year in Russia, I think each way of New Year celebration has its own beauty. But what I find most special about the Vietnamese New Year is the Vietnamese people’s optimistic spirit to welcome new things. Each resident shows enthusiasm, joy and excitement when preparing to welcome Tet. Vietnamese New Year also has a cozy and peaceful color of reunion, different from the hustle and bustle of the New Year celebrations in my country. 

Russians welcome the new year with the saying “S Novim Godom” (Happy New Year), while Vietnamese people send each other wishes towards the future, for a new year of luck and harmony.

I plan a short two-day trip to Dalat. The last time I visited there was in 2020. I love Dalat no matter how many times I’ve been there. There is much to explore in and around Dalat. The weather is often very good to travel to Dalat on Tet holiday.    

I will stay at my old friend’s home to enjoy the holidays. I hope we can do some touristy things too such as walking up to Langbiang peak. The views are amazing there!

I hope that in the New Year 2022, Vietnam’s economy will quickly recover, people will restore the jobs they missed in the past year.  

Paul Evans, Health Safety & Environment Manager, Hyundai E&C - Ghella Joint Venture, Hanoi Pilot Light Metro Line 3

I found that in spite of a difficult year due to the prolonged impacts of the pandemic, Hanoians still have their own ways to welcome Spring. It is like a warm breath of life in these winter days.

 Paul Evans, Health Safety & Environment Manager, Hyundai E&C - Ghella Joint Venture

I had celebrated the Tet holidays twice during my time in Vietnam, both pre-Covid and post-Covid era. Prior to the pandemic, Tet 2019 was my first time to experience this annual festive holiday and I found it very fascinating, and a great experience.

Working with lots of Vietnamese people on the project, many of them came from both north and south of Vietnam I could see how important this holiday was for them and how much it meant to them to travel far and wide to get home. 

Of course, with so many people leaving Hanoi for the provinces I also got to experience how quiet Hanoi was during this period, and I really enjoyed that too. Hanoi without horns was something to cherish! 

I would also receive many gifts from people before the Tet holidays something I am not used to coming from the UK. There was just a very happy obvious buzz in the air everywhere I went leading up to the holidays, I could see and feel a different spirit in a lot of people. Vietnamese people are warm, hospitable and friendly. I have worked in many parts of the world, and this is one of the warmest and most welcoming places.

It has been a very difficult two years since Covid-19 started to disrupt our lives and many people have suffered physical and financial hardship, and many thousands, continue to struggle financially and mentally. 

Louisa Walsh, Communications Champion, RMIT University Vietnam

This will be my fifth year in Vietnam celebrating Tet. To date, we have always remained in Ho Chi Minh City during Tet and I have enjoyed the quiet streets and fresh air while the city slows down.

 Louisa Walsh and her elder daughter

This year I feel like the appropriate measures have been taken to limit crowds and maintain social distancing measures around the usual Tet activities. I also feel safer in Vietnam as everyone is very respectful and compliant about wearing masks - something that is not as common in other countries.

For the first time, my family will travel during Tet. We will take a private car to Mui Ne, we are avoiding airports during this busy travel period to stay safe, so my children can enjoy a beach holiday after many months of elementary online school. 

As a family, we love taking the opportunity to decorate our home with traditional Tet flowers, decorative signs with the zodiac animal of the year, and ensure we tidy the apartment before New Year’s Day to bring good luck. Respecting our host country's culture is important to us as expatriates and we want our children to understand and be active participants in Vietnam’s Tet traditions. 

Personally, we look forward to the opportunity to visit our own families in Australia who we have been separated from for over two years. We are grateful to have been fully vaccinated in Vietnam and look forward to more domestic travel - particularly to central and northern Vietnam.

Sonya Firsova, Russian actor, singer, songwriter 

I spent a total of three Tet holidays in Vietnam. My first Tet was in Ho Chi Minh City in 2018. It was super beautiful. Many people walk in beautiful Ao Dai in the city center and the whole of Nguyen Hue Street was decorated with amazing flowers and statues/installations made of flowers. 

 Sonya Firsova, Russian actor, singer, songwriter

My second Tet, this time in Hanoi, was also very beautiful. Many girls strolled around Hoan Kiem Lake and wore beautiful Ao Dai. But then a few days after Tet, Covid-19 broke out, so everything was shut down.

However, in Vietnam, I still see positive things amid the pandemic. It’s a chance to show how Vietnamese people are united supportive and friendly to each other here. 

I received a gift package from Hanoi organizations and free lunch as well as fruits and food gifts. I saw many people helping each other. My fiancé and I also want to support some poorer people in any way we can. Everyone supports each other in any way they can amid the pandemic. It seems like even if someone has little, they are still willing to share it. 

Personally, what I love the most is buying a peach tree and cumquat tree as well as Tet holiday food and treats (like mut and o mai). I also like the idea of giving lucky money to the younger. 

As a songwriter, I’d love to write my own songs in Vietnam. It would mean a lot to me to contribute to the Vietnam music industry with my creative work. I hope to collaborate and work with more and more talented people in Vietnam and share love and positivity through my creations with people.

Lynette Chong, Head of Accounts Management, GoFood, Gojek Vietnam

This is my second year in Vietnam for Tet! Due to Covid-19, I haven’t visited my hometown for two years! I miss my family and wish I could be around them during this festive season, but I am also used to spending my time with my friends and colleagues in Ho Chi Minh city.   

This year, I think I really need the days off to chill, perhaps lazily streaming Netflix and treating myself to some nice Chung cake. And I also look forward to the first day we come back to our Gojek office to celebrate the new year and get LIXI - lucky money from our General Manager.

 Lynette Chong, Head of Accounts Management, GoFood, Gojek Vietnam. Photo: Gojek Vietnam

I hope that the vaccination rate in Vietnam increases to the extent that the Vietnamese Government is confident to open itself to the world, and people located outside Vietnam can finally come back to this lovely country for traveling, living, working, or just to move back to their family for overseas Vietnamese!

The pandemic has led to changes in consumer behavior, including the shift to online services, and an increased focus on health and safety. Leading a team taking care of the growth of our business partners on GoFood, an online food delivery platform of Gojek, I’m happy to be able to join hands to support our partners, especially small and micro businesses to be part of this shift. 

Our focus for 2022 will be on improving the experience on our platform to deliver greater convenience to users, strengthening initiatives around health and safety, and helping more businesses to digitize and grow. We will also continue to explore new initiatives as part of our commitment to creating positive social impact across the Gojek ecosystem.