In Photos: The Purr-Fect Spots To Usher In The Year Of The Cat In Vietnam | Vietcetera
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Jan 20, 2023
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In Photos: The Purr-Fect Spots To Usher In The Year Of The Cat In Vietnam

It’s raining cats and cats! From District 1’s Nguyen Hue Flower Street to District 7’s Phu My Hung park, Ho Chi Minh City is Tet-ready.
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In Photos: The Purr-Fect Spots To Usher In The Year Of The Cat In Vietnam

Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera

The Lunar New Year is approaching, and countries that celebrate are already gearing up to welcome the Year of the Cat if you’re in Vietnam. And Rabbit, if you’re elsewhere in Asia.

Vietnam and other countries share 10 of the zodiac calendar’s 12 signs — the rat, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig — but the Vietnamese zodiac honors the cat instead of the rabbit and the buffalo instead of the ox.

While no one knows exactly why Vietnam includes cats and not rabbits, we did a little digging and found several theories from published books and legends. Here’s everything to know about the Tet celebration.

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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera

Since 2002, Nguyen Hue Flower Street has become a Tet landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, bringing hope for a brighter new year.

On Thursday night, the 600-meter-long street officially opened its gates to the public for the Lunar New Year 2023 celebration.

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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera

This year’s must-see, besides the cats, is the 30-meter-long wooden bridge crossing a flower bed. There are also sculptures of a mother cat and her kittens, surrounded by a patch of colorful flowers and mascots made of foam. When you see arcs or bridges, don’t forget to look up and catch felines in hunting mode.

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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera
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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera
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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of flower street, which has become one of the city’s major tourist spots during Tet. It will be open until the 26th of January, the fifth day of the first lunar month.

So, if you’re staying in the city for the week-long holiday, we know the best spot for that Instagram-purr-fect Tet photo. Paw-don the pun.

The grand and colorful Tet display doesn’t start and end in Nguyen Hue. There’s also a famous Calligraphy Street at Ho Chi Minh City Youth Cultural House in District 1.

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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera
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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera

This is the first Tet after Vietnam reopened its borders to international travelers. Seeing foreign visitors embracing the Vietnamese culture is a sign that the tourism industry is recovering.

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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera

Last year, because the threat of the virus was still high, strict health protocols were implemented. Security officers were everywhere, and each person must register through the PC-COVID app with their information before they could get into the area.

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A gigantic cat display in one of Saigon's busy streets. | Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera

Phu My Hung in District 7 is also a place worth visiting at this time of year. People of all ages and family members parade their ao dai with big smiles on their faces, this time without masks on.

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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera
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Source: Bobby Vu and Khoa Nguyen for Vietcetera