Although the Vietnamese work long hours (a full day’s work is often 12 hours or longer), they also take their holidays seriously. Tết, the Vietnamese new year, is a major holiday. Saigon practically shuts down during Tết, as people return home to be with family.

We decided to leave Saigon to enjoy the new year in Hanoi.

Tet 2015

Hanoi had a Haight-Ashbury feel to it. The scenery was cool, but there were a lot of backpackers and other tourists in the city.

We stayed in the the Old Quarter area, which was centrally located and also a place tourists tend to stay.

People assumed a man out walking alone was looking for some, shall we say, “recreation.”

My attempt to take a long walk in the cool evening was frustrated. My thoughts were interrupted by locals asking me, “Want marijuana? Want massage?”

No drugs or boom-boom for me. I want to take in a view of the lake.

Hanoi lake

Hanoi was packed, as everyone wanted to see the fireworks display.

Mike Cernovich Hanoi

The fireworks display was spectacular.

fireworks Hanoi Tet

After the show we smelled paper burning. There were fires everywhere. The fires contain paper money.

The Vietnamese practice a form of ancestor worship.

The burning money symbolizes prosperity in the afterlife.

fires burning Tet Hanoi

Persians jump over a fire during the celebration of the Persian New Year, so one of my fellow travelers joined the fun.

Persians in Hanoi and they’re going gorillas.

fire Persian New Year

Hanoi has a nightlife scene. I went out just long enough to capture some photographs for you.

Hair of the Dog bar in Hanoi is where people to go for that YOLO.

Hair of the dog bar Hanoi

Trustafarians have been spotted in their natural habitat.

Trustafarian Hanoi Hair of the Dog bar

After a solid night’s sleep, we took in the view of Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

Hoàn Kiếm Lake

Lý Thái Tổ moved the capital of Vietnam to Hanoi.

Ly Thai To statue

We were unable to take in an opera, but we did enjoy the beauty from the outside.

Hanoi opera house

Happy 2015!

Happy Tet!

Now read about the caves of Dong Hoi, Vietnam.

11 Replies to “Happy Tết 2015 from Hanoi!”

  1. Glad to hear that you’re also here. I just sold my business, and everything else, and left Huntington Beach last June. I’ve met a lot of resistance for my decision, but it’s the right one for me.

  2. I’m going to be in Thailand with my woman from October – this is definitely making me want to pop on over to Vietnam. Love the pictures, Mike.

      1. Last time I was in Thailand was 2008 – I imagine it’s changed a lot since then. But I loved it. The people were friendly, the food was delicious, and the landscape was just stunning. We did a motorbike trip from Chiang Mai to a little hippy/stoner town called Bai that I would well recommend. It’s about 150km of roads with no rules and awesome scenery.

          1. That does not surprise me at all – I remember in Koh Phangan, every third person had bandages from quad or moto accidents. There was actually an old Thai dude on a sharp, dusty street corner spraying it with a hose and keeping it wet all day. There was a medical shop right next to him… Coincidence?

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