Summed up:

We were lucky enough to spend the Lunar New Year (Tet) in Ho Chi Minh. A unique and relaxing time to visit this chaotic, swarming, buzzing place, it’s much calmer as everyone deserts the city to head home and spend time with their families. With the city abandoned, we got to see a side of Saigon that few get to experience — an empty one. Flowers, decorations and fireworks added to the incredibly festive atmosphere.

Don’t miss: 

One of the city’s biggest and most attractive open spaces is Tao Dan Park, its bench-lined walks shaded with avenues of enormous tropical trees. It’s a little oasis with nooks and crannies to explore. Visit in the early morning so you can witness the fascinating daily flocking of the city’s bird lovers (mainly elderly gentlemen), who arrive, cages in hand, at what is universally known as the bird cafe. They chat about their birds whilst the birds chatter to each other!

The weather was:

Hot. Hot. Hot. Sunshine and clear skies every day. After a hot and dusty walk in the city mayhem, we were glad of a cooling dip in the tranquil hotel pool.

Best moment:

Bundling the girls out of bed at midnight to join the countdown to the Tet fireworks and celebrate the Lunar New Year with all the locals on the banks of the Saigon river. Spectacular fireworks and smiles all round.

Favourite eats:

During Tet around 95% of the restaurants close but we were lucky enough to find some gems still open. The wood-fired classic Margherita at 4 P’s Pizza was fresh, simple and delicious. The bustling, funky Tuk Tuk Bistro is Saigon’s newest Thai eatery serving up Asian favourites – the Pad Thai was a firm family favourite.

Our top tip:

If you’re travelling with little ones it’s worth splurging on a nice place to stay in such a busy, chaotic city. We splashed out on rare 5-star treat and checked into the luxurious Lotte Legend. We were so glad of the spacious pool and play areas to escape the hustle and bustle of this crazy, energetic city.

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