I arrived overland in Cambodia from Laos on the 19th of January and the Immigration guy put 19th of February on my visa (a bonus extra day!) so that's the day I'll cross the land border from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Last night for no particular reason I happened to look up "Tết" not thinking it was any time around now but it turns out the main day of Tết in 2015 is February 19! Celebrations last a while and this will be right in the middle. I believe this is the major family festival/holiday/celebration in Vietnam and that huge numbers of overseas Vietnamese from the diaspora come home. No doubt it's also a very popular time for tourists to visit and experience the festivities.

This makes me a bit concerned. Normally I don't book accommodation, especially since I'm hitchhiking so don't know which town I'll get to by nightfall or which date I'll arrive in a major destination.

Just how busy does accommodation get?

Will it be OK in small towns but hopeless in Ho Chi Minh City for instance?

(I know it can be near impossible to find a bed in Sydney for New Year's Eve, or in Tokyo during sakura season, for comparison.)

2 Answers 2


Tet like Song Kran in Thailand (and I refer to the actual Song Kran not the tourist fork) is pretty much of a family holiday. People travel back to be with family during the holidays, so public transport likes buses, trains, etc are packed during the days leading up to Tet and the days afterwards.

But the Vietnamese tend to stay with family when they come home, so small town hotels are not usually over run. But that is not a guarantee, as better off Vietnamese may prefer comfort of a hotel over the basic house of their parents, as well as those who might have foreign spouses not used to sleeping on floors.

A lot of tourists come during Tet to see the festivities in the big cities, so bigger tourist destinations will be packed.


As Tom said, Tết is a family holiday, so most people would return to their hometown and stay in their houses, therefore hotels and guesthouses would be rather empty those days. In major cities like Ho Chi Minh city or Ha Noi it will be quite deserted and quiet unlike normal. However other touristy places like Đà Lạt, Nha Trang, Vũng Tàu... would be very crowded because some people don't want to squeeze themselves on the overly packed vehicles going home and choose to go "backwards" instead and visit their hometown another time, and finding a bed in those cities would be a pain

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