Welcome to Vietnam.
Most travellers to Vietnam are attracted by the country’s wonderful natural beauty: From green rice fields dotted with the conical hats of workers in Vietnam’s north stretching to the fascinating bustle of the Mekong Delta in the south. It’s a place where handmade water puppets spin elaborate tales, singing kites soar overhead, highland markets promise the hope of love to young villagers, and Mekong River markets float.
Shaped like an elongated ‘S’, Vietnam stretches along the east coast of the Indochinese Peninsula and shares a border with the Gulf of Tonkin, Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea alongside China, Laos and Cambodia. The lush Red River Delta and the highlands in the north, known for their magnificent scenery and colourful hill tribes, complement the agricultural plains and floating markets of the Mekong Delta in the south perfectly.
Vietnam’s history is very evident. The occupation by the French and the Americans as well as the impact of Japanese and Chinese trade means that visitors to Vietnam get to experience different cultures, architecture and food. The quaint town of Hoi An, once a major trading port, boasts the perfectly preserved architectural influences of the Asian merchants from the north, while the broad leafy boulevards of the capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are reminiscent of France.
Ancient temples and colourful pagodas are scattered throughout the urban centres, while among them stand hotels of modern luxury. Despite rapid economic expansion over recent years, Vietnam’s cultural roots remain strong. It is a country that reveres its past heroes, a nation that has collectively put the woes of war behind it, and houses a people who welcome visitors to their country with open arms and friendly smiles.
Information & Fast Facts
Population: approximately 90.5 million
Capital city: Hanoi (population 3 million)
Biggest city: Ho Chi Minh City
Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Electricity: Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type C (European 2-pin)
Country dialling code: +84
Religion: Mahayana Buddhism heavily mixed with Confucianism, Taoism and indigenous Vietnamese beliefs.