Big trading centres and supermarkets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City reported soaring purchasing power during the week before the solar New Year Festival 2011.

Up-scale trading centres in Hanoi like Trang Tien, Vincom and Parkson attracted crowds of shoppers while supermarket chains such as Big C saw customers stream to buy processed and fresh food.

The BigC supermarket said its facilities in Hanoi increased their goods stocks by 40 percent over normal to meet new year consumption demand while the HCM City branch also registered a 40 percent growth in sales over previous weeks.

Many Hanoians made use of the three-day holiday to travel with favourite destinations being Lac village in Hoa Binh province, Moc Chau in Son La province and Tam Dao in Vinh Phuc province. Meanwhile HCM City people headed to resorts in neighbouring provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Khanh Hoa or popular entertainment areas in the city, including Suoi Tien, Dam Sen Park and Zoo./.