A very Vietnamese Halloween

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Vietnam's capital city and the southern metro prepare to party like a vampire

Pumkins are synonymous with Halloween throughout the world. Many hotels in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are gearing up to offer Halloween-loving families a place to party.

What began a remote pagan tradition in the British Isles has snowballed into a global party. It is not uncommon, in the month of October, to see children clutching plastic axes and grotesque rubber masks as they ride home on the back of their parents' motorbikes, waiting for the arrival of this queer American import.

On Sunday October 31 these costumes will be put to good use as the youth wander out Chi Minh City, looking for places they can trick-or-treat.

This year, more hotels and HCMC are gearing up to offer these Halloween-loving families a place to party.

Ghostly atmosphere in Hanoi

The HeartLink Development and Investment Joint-Stock Company and Hanoi National University's International Cultural Research Center are gearing up to offer an evening of fun and excitement.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on October 31 at West Lake Park. It promises many games as well as a few lessons for Vietnamese children about the customs and festivals in Western countries.

Tickets will be sold at HeartLink, located at 9 Giap Nhat Street, Nhan Chinh Ward, Thanh Xuan District. To get more information about the festival, students or customers can call the following number: (04) 3 858 9385.

Hair-raising in Saigon

Halloween will virtually turn HCMC upside down this year. Its myriad luxury hotels will be decked out in skeletons and spiders.

Buffet flames will flicker under the weight of spookily-named dishes and the free-flowing liquor will find purchase in the glasses of those Saigonese daring enough to get dressed up for the party.

The Legend Hotel Saigon's renowned Atrium Café is busy stockpiling treats for the special evening. The buffet will include holiday punch and limitless wine, beer and other beverages.

The hotel's much loved Jamm'n Essence Band have planned a full evening of holiday-themed tunes. The event will open on Halloween night and run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Café Central Nguyen Hue in District 1 has planned a Halloween party for the whole family. The staff will be decked out in full Halloween regalia and the café itself will be transformed for the party.

Kids will have a rare opportunity to trick or treat at the café's haunted house. Parents, in the meantime, will be challenged to guess the weight of mixed bags of candy.

Good guessers will be awarded... well, candy.

Café Central Nguyen Hue will open Halloween party from 7 a.m. to midnight.

The Windsor Plaza Hotel in District 5 has planned the most bawdy event of the evening.

The hotel plans to deck out its expansive America Discotheque with Halloween finery.

At midnight, the hotel will turn off the lights in the ballroom for a full fifteen minutes to summon the Halloween spirit.

The Halloween night will promise much fun in other restaurants or bars.

At M-Bar in the Hotel Majestic Saigon, there will be a fancy dress party on the night. Those with the best costumes will win prizes.

The Caravelle Hotel in District 1 plans to drag out spooky decorations, holiday games, sweet Halloween drinks and shock-inducing shots.

Customers can enjoy Halloween at the following addresses in Ho Chi Minh City:

Atrium Café at Legend Hotel Saigon
2A-4A Ton Duc Thang St., Dist. 1
Tel: (08) 3 823 3333
Open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., October 31
Ticket: VND741,000++ for adults; VND370,500++ for children

Café Central Nguyen Hue
In Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Dist. 1
Open from 7 a.m. to midnight, October 31.

America Discotheque
3rd floor, Windsor Plaza Hotel, 18 An Duong Vuong St., Dist. 5
Open from 7 p.m., October 31 Tel: (08) 3 833 6688

8th floor, Hotel Majestic Saigon, 1 Dong Khoi St., Dist. 1
Open from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., October 31
Ticket: US$26.00 net for an adult (around VND520,000), $13.00 for children below 1.4 meters (around VND260,000)

Golden Palace Restaurant
56-66 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Dist. 1 Open from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., October 29-31
Tel: (08) 3 829 2860
Ticket: VND350,000++ for adults, VND175,000++ for children below 12-years-old/1.2 meters

Saigon Saigon Bar
Caravelle Hotel, roof top via 9th floor, 19 Lam Son Square, Dist. 1
Tel: (08) 3 823 4999
Cocktail party on October 31
Ticket: VND1 35,000+ +/drink

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