To TET, or not to TET ?  That is the question.


Most travel advice will tell you that it is not a good idea to visit Vietnam during TET. And I can certainly see why…  

But let me explain to you first: What is TET ? TET, is the lunar new-year festive season in Vietnam. During which Vietnam virtually shuts down. Almost everything is closed in that period – even big malls close down.

And the usually super busy cities become very quiet… Even finding an open restaurant can be challenging.


Vietnam during Tet

Typical TET decor… seen all over town in Saigon

Vietnam during Tet

another example of TET decor in downtown Saigon

Vietnam during Tet

The Flowers of TET


Flowers, flowers and yet more flowers.


There is a particular charm, and actually a lot going on during TET. The people of Viet Nam are all in a very festive mood.

And the most outstanding thing about TET is the abundance, or should I say glut, of flowers everywhere. Everything is decorated – a little bit like Christmas in the Western world.

I have been privileged to capture some of the atmospheres of that period in pictures.


Vietnam during Tet

yet more flowers…

Vietnam during Tet

TET accessories and decor on sale in Saigon’s China town

Vietnam during Tet

TET decor in front of a shopping mall

Vietnam during Tet

and more of this




Part of my mission during this Vietnam visit was to tame my new beast: The Sony @ 7 r II , which I purchased just a few days before my departure.

And what a beast it is. Steep learning curve !

I am very impressed by this camera and the possibilities it offers. Is it perfect ? Nope, at least not with a Metabone adapter. I missed a few shots ‘coz occasionally the ability to autofocus disappeared and I had to restart the camera… 

Certainly not something I could afford doing during a wedding.

Let’s see in the near future when I get some Sony glass if indeed the Metabone adapter is the culprit.

I’ll keep you updated.

Lens wise I brought the current ‘Primadonna’ of the 50ies – Sigma 50 / 1.4 Art and my wide-angle darling: Tamron 15-30 / 2.8.

A perfect choice as it turned out.  One thing that I love about my Sony cam is that I can switch it from full-frame to APS-C and then sim-sala-bim the 50 becomes (almost) a 85…



Vietnam during Tet

Very Chinese but with Vietnamese characteristics

Vietnam during Tet

outside a shop window

Vietnam during Tet

Nightscene during TET on Saigon’s main bulevard


At first, I was not too happy about my visit to Vietnam coinciding with TET. But after 2,3 days I completely changed my mind.

Now looking back I think I was fortunate to come during TET and to witness the lovely festivities during this special period of the year. 

So to answer the question: To TET or not to TET? I may well come again during TET and have my next tete-a-tete with Vietnam.

Truly’ – DOMINIK

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