Tet Nguyen Dan, or Festival of the First Day, celebrates the Lunar New Year. It is the most important festival in Vietnamese culture. Ho Chi Minh City, formerly and sometimes currently known as Saigon, is a short ninety minute air-hop from Singapore across the South China Sea. Good reason to spend four days in HCM City just prior to the Tet Nguyen Dan in early February 2010.
Downtown HCM is a dazzling scene of lights, decoration and flowers for the Tet holiday. At night time the streets and sidewalks are packed with boisterous families buying New Year gifts, eating traditional foods and just enjoying the hoopla and the lights. Thousands of motorbikes, often carrying whole families, cruise the streets until late. The temperature was hot and the atmosphere hotter!
City Hall, or more correctly, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. In a former French colonial life the building was the Hotel de Ville.
A side view of the neoclassical Municipal Theater bordered by rather un-classical palm trees wrapped in red and blue decorative lights. Originally the Opera House, the name of the building was changed to better reflect the ideology of socialism.
Kathleen in the Tet mood - and hot!