VIETNAM INFOMATION


About Vietnam
It is quite strange that more than a decade after Vietnam opened the doors to the travel and tourists and investors, who want to travel to Viet Nam, the information of this country is still so poor and unsystematic.

People wonder what is behind an Asian nation that had been under a thousand years of feudalism, and a century of two bigger Indochinese Wars. And above all, it's still a communist state. 

Việt Nam


A SHORT PROFILE

Country: Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Cities: Hanoi is the Capital. Ho Chi Minh City (normally called Saigon) is the largest city and more exciting industrial centre. Hue, the Capital of the last Kingdom up to 1945 is still maintaining traces of the old reigns. Danang, the most important city in Centre of Vietnam, with close town Hoi An and My Son. Halong with the World Natural Heritage Halong bay. 
Population:
 84 millions. 54 ethnics. The Kinh (or Viet) ethnic forms around 85% of population and mostly inhabit in larger towns. A larger Chinese community of less than 2 millions inhabit mainly in Hochiminh City.
Area: 331,211 km square, roughly the area of Italy or Japan
Shape:
 Neither boot-shaped nor gathering hundreds of islands.
A huge "S" lying half-facing the Pacific Ocean as per a proud local expression
Land Borders: North to China, upper West to Laos, lower West to Cambodia, East and South to Pacific Ocean.
Sea Borders: Northeast to East Sea or so-called South China Sea, Southwest to the Gulf of Thailand.
Climate: Tropical monsoon. 4 seasons in the North, dry and rainy seasons in the South. Conditions vary North to South with elevation changes.
Geography: 75% of the territory is limestone mountains, the rest are river deltas, fertile highlands, and small deserts
Language: Vietnamese. Don't ask the local people do they understand Chinese naturally. Vietnamese is a tonal language using Roman letters together with tone markers - main problems of foreign students. English is the most popular foreign language and French, Chinese, Japanese are expected to speak at service points. Literacy rate is 88%
Religion: Figures are different. Estimated 60% – 70% of population believe in Buddhist tenets with strong Confucian and Taoist influences. Catholic account for perhaps 8% – 10% of the population. Cao Dai and Hoa Hao, local sects of Buddhism, are strong in the Mekong delta.  Small group ( of about 50,000 people ) are Islamic followers living in the central part of the central coast of Vietnam.
Government: Sole-party Socialist Republic under the leadership of the Communist Party. Important persons to name are the Party's General Secretary (Mr. Nong Duc Manh), the country's president (Mr. Nguyen Minh Triet), the Prime Minister (Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung). The leading offices are Politburo and National Assembly.

Economy: Market-based economy. Second world leading rice exporter and coffee exporter. Other exported goods are rubber, timber, garment, shoes, seafoods, tea, crude oil, coal, and electricity.   

Festival: New moon and full moon days are main anniversaries at temples. Main Festival of the year is the Lunar Calendar New Year ("Tet") which often falls in mid-Feb. For 5 days to a week most of businesses closed except tourist points. Flower markets every where before the Eve. Temples and shrines are exciting with traditional anniversaries and pilgrims before and after Tet.

Public Holidays are
Jan 01     : International New Year Days
Mid Feb   : Lunar New Year
Mid Apr   : Country Anniversary of the first King
Apr 30     : Liberation Day
May 1      : Labour Day (May Day)
Sep 2       : National Day