Chill your weekend at the Lantern Neighborhood

attractions - Ha Noi: Nov. 1, 2013

Luong Nhu Hoc Street, District 5, HCMC

Rising in the middle of China town, Luong Nhu Hoc street has been bustling these days with colorful lanterns hanging in front of several stores throughout many tiny valleys within the neighborhood.

Not knowing when, the street has been an indispensable part of Tet Trung Thu (Mid-autumn festival) for Saigonese besides festive events in town. Just 300 meters long, it has displayed all shapes of lanterns with blazing lights of hundreds of neon lights, candles and winking LEDs from battery-run toys. There are probably a lot of places for buying lanterns, but elbowing others out in a crowd to get the best lantern for their kids has become an interesting activity to many young fathers and brothers on this street. Couples are also finding this occasion as a chance to take picture together.

Local insight: don’t spend too much time taking picture in front of a certain store because you are disturbing their business.

Hang Ma Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

to heKnown as the cradle of Vietnamese culture, Hanoi has much more to let the world know how traditionally Hanoian celebrate the festival.

At weekend on the occasion of Tet Trung Thu, people from everywhere rush to Hang Ma street to buy lanterns, take pictures and enjoy the art of “tò he” (knewding colored dough into paste animals). Although it costs only 10,000VND for each, “tò he” has been losing its position to other modern toys from China which is worth 10 times of its cost.

Around 30 years ago in Hanoi city, “tàu sắt tây” (a ship made of steel) was once a most popular toy for Hanoian kids. By using milk cans, waste bronze and paints, craftsman created moveable ships to thrill them during Tet Trung Thu. The ship has a boiler inside, which is burnt, will transfer the heat to a small pipe. Then, the pipe makes water hotter and hotter until creating pressure to make the ship move. While most of vendors find them unprofitable to promote in their store, a few individuals are enthuasiastic to keep them alive.

to he

Local insight: if you are trying to see these 2 special toys, keep an eye on every corner of the Hang Ma street for “tò he” or head up to Hang Thiec street to grab “tàu sắt tây”. Be patient since you might spend a whole day to look for them.

The Price

Lanterns during this occasion will be very expensive and different from stores to stores, types to types. It you are into the spirit of Tet Trung Thu, you can spend less than 100.000VND for a lantern. We suggested that you visit couple of stores before paying for your favorite one.

The price of the ship fall in the range of VND 250,000 – 350,000, lots of travelers buy them from the store #33 Hang Thiec street.

Never ever bargain on these days!