Vietnam National Day 2017
Vietnam National Day 2nd September 2016:
A quick guide for travellers
If you’ve been in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City for the past few days you might have noticed people scurrying about, putting up flags, trimming trees and shutting off roads. Don’t worry nothing’s amiss, people are just busy preparing for Vietnam’s 71st anniversary of Independence.
It’s a huge event. Hanoians are celebrating by opening a whole host of new walking streets and extending their alcohol license to 2am (woohoo!) and people in Ho Chi Minh will be getting some fireworks and a good old street party.
If you’re lucky enough to be here it’s a great time to mingle with the locals and have some good old fashioned fun. This guide tells you everything you need to know about Vietnam National Day 2017.
Vietnam National Day: A Brief History
On September 2nd 1945 Ho Chi Minh took to a podium in Hanoi, and declared independence from the French. It was a bold, bold action that sparked a decades long war for Independence and the death of million of citizens. It’s this declaration of Independence that Vietnamese still celebrate every year as their National Day.
Before the Second World War Vietnam was a French colony. It was a key part of French Indochina, a huge colony consisting of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Despite numerous rebellions and mutinies against the French, the Vietnamese never managed to put a dent in them.
That all changed during WW2. During the second World War the French formed the Vichy Government. Whilst originally independent it quickly became a Nazi puppet. In 1940 the Vichy Government granted Japanese requests to allow their troops to be based in Vietnam. Vietnam became a French Colony, occupied by Japanese Forces.
At the end of the second World War the Japanese retreated and the French were nowhere to be seen. Ho Chi Minh seized the opportunity and declared independence. The French did not go down without a fight. By the end of the year they had returned to Vietnam and began a long and costly war against Ho Chi Minh’s communist forces.
In 1954 the French accepted defeat and withdrew. They left Vietnam in two halves, the communist North and the Capitalist South. By November 1955 American troops had moved into Southern Vietnam to protect the South from Communist advances. The communists fought against southern Vietnamese troops and American and Australian forces to reunify the country. On September 2nd 1968 Ho Chi Minh Died. It wasn’t until 1975, 20 years later, that Vietnam was reunified.
The Vietnamese lost millions in a 30 year war for independence. It has left them fiercly patriotic and proud to be an independent nation. Every 2nd of September is an opportunity to celebrate that. If you’re in Vietnam make the most of it. Go out into the street and party alongside them.
Vietnam National Day in Hanoi: Walking streets and 2am drinking
To celebrate Independence Day 2016, Hanoi’s government announced new weekend walking streets and a later 2am alcohol license for all bars and restaurants.
From 2nd September, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday most of the streets around Hoan Kiem Lake will be shut off to traffic and bars, clubs and restaurants can stay open until 2am in the morning. It’s going to be fun 🙂
You can check out which streets will be closed for walking in the map below. Red lines are walking streets and blue lines are motorbike parking streets. You can also access free wifi whilst your walking around the lake (good for those pokemon go fans).
The walking streets will be full of activities, performances and street food. Get involved and enjoy the fun.
Vietnam National Day in Saigon (HCMC): Fireworks and fun
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) will hold a small fireworks display and a nice party on Nguyen Hue Street.
Fireworks start around 9pm and you see the best places to see them on the Map Below. We really recommend getting down to Nguyen Hue Walking street to pick up the best atmosphere. If it gets a little too crowded for you just duck down one of its alleys and explore the dozens of cool bars that line them.
A little word of caution
Make sure you get out there and enjoy the festive atmosphere but, like all tourist destinations around the world, pickpockets have been known to operate. Leave valuables in your safe at the hotel and try not to carry bags.