From the green rice fields to the fascinating natural beauty and breathtaking landscape, you will surely be encouraged to visit the beautiful country of Vietnam. Known because of its historical relics and rich culture, Vietnam is also the home of old temples and adventure. Aside from the hospitable and friendly people, Vietnam is considered to be a safe destination by most visitors. The country also have tons of beautiful beaches with clear blue water and white sands. Of course, one should not miss the impressive bustle of Mekong Delta. Another impressive thing Vietnam can offer is the rice terraces in Sapa which is made thousands of years ago.
Important and Interesting Facts about Vietnam
- Is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia.
- Vietnam’s land is mostly hilly and densely forested, with level land covering no more than 20%. Mountains account for 40% of the country’s land area, and tropical forests cover around 42%.
- The northern part of the country consists mostly of highlands and the Red River Delta. Phan Xi Păng, located in Lào Cai Province, is the highest mountain in Vietnam, standing 3,143 m (10,312 ft) high.
- Vietnam is one of twenty-five countries considered to possess a uniquely high level of biodiversity. It is ranked 16th worldwide in biological diversity, being home to approximately 16% of the world’s species
- According to a December 2005 forecast by Goldman Sachs, the Vietnamese economy will become the world’s 21st-largest by 2025, with an estimated nominal GDP of $436 billion and a nominal GDP per capita of $4,357.
- Vietnam has been, for much of its history, a predominantly agricultural civilization based on wet rice cultivation.
- Ha Long Bay, in northern Vietnam near the Chinese border is one of the world’s natural wonders. The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500sqkm. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, for many visitors, this surrealistic place is like something right out of a movie.
- The large central sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site just in time for Hanoi’s millennial anniversary in 2010. The ancient site was the political centre of the country for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries.
- Hoi An is more than just a charming seaside town; it was one of the most important trading ports connecting Asia and Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. Though large-scale trading had long moved elsewhere Hoi An has been successful in preserving and restoring its charming roots.
- Ho Chi Minh is probably the most popular leader of Vietnam and known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes). Started in 1973, the construction of the mausoleum was modeled on Lenin’s mausoleum in Russia.
- The Cu Chi Tunnels are basically a huge war museum offering visitors a sneak peak at the underground life of Viet Cong-era soldiers. Comprising more than 120km of tunnels, they were first started around 1948 when the Viet Cong were fighting the French. The work never stopped and resulted in a massive collection of tunnels.
- My Son Hindu Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a great sample of the ancient Champa civilization located in the southern part of Vietnam. It was an independent state from around the 2nd to the 17th century, at which time it was occupied by Vietnam.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Vietnam
- Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashews in the world, and the second largest exporter of rice.
- Instead of bells, traditional gongs are used to call the Vietnamese children to school.
- Although Vietnam is a developing country, it has a literacy rate of 94%.
- Among all developing countries, Vietnam has one of the lowest unemployment rates.
- You can find a B52 American Bomber Wreck in Vietnam’s West Lake.
- An estimated ten million motor bikes travel on the roads of Vietnam every day.
- Slinkys were used in the Vietnam War as mobile radio antennas. They would sling the Slinky over branches and extend the range of their radios.
- Ruou ran (snake wine), a Vietnamese specialty of rice wine with a pickled snake inside, allegedly can cure any sickness.
- The Vietnamese keep potbelly pigs as pets
- At the end of the Vietnam War, the USS Midway crew pushed $10 million worth of helicopters into the sea so that a Cessna full of evacuees could land on the deck.
- There was a false belief during the war that the Vietnamese had a superstition with the Ace of Spades card, considering it to be a symbol of death and that they would flee at the sight of the Ace. Therefore the U.S. Playing Card Company shipped crates of this card to Vietnam, where they were scattered during raids in an effort to terrify the Vietcong.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Vietnam
- The Vietnamese are descendants of nomadic Mongols from China and migrants from Indonesia. According to mythology, the first ruler of Vietnam was Hung Vuong, who founded the nation in 2879 B.C. China ruled the nation then known as Nam Viet as a vassal state from 111 B.C. until the 15th century, an era of nationalistic expansion, when Cambodians were pushed out of the southern area of what is now Vietnam.
- The Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter the area. France established its influence early in the 19th century, and within 80 years it conquered the three regions into which the country was then divided—Cochin-China in the south, Annam in the central region, and Tonkin in the north.
- France first unified Vietnam in 1887, when a single governor-generalship was created, followed by the first physical links between north and south—a rail and road system. Even at the beginning of World War II, however, there were internal differences among the three regions. Japan took over military bases in Vietnam in 1940, and a pro-Vichy French administration remained until 1945.
- Veteran Communist leader Ho Chi Minh organized an independence movement known as the Vietminh to exploit the confusion surrounding France’s weakened influence in the region. At the end of the war, Ho’s followers seized Hanoi and declared a short-lived republic, which ended with the arrival of French forces in 1946.
- The Vietnam War is the commonly used name for the Second Indochina War, 1954–1973. Usually, it refers to the period when the United States and other members of the SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) joined the forces of the Republic of South Vietnam in contesting communist forces comprised of South Vietnamese guerrillas and regular-force units, generally known as Viet Cong (VC), and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA).The U.S. suffered over 47,000 killed in action plus another 11,000 noncombat deaths; over 150,000 were wounded and 10,000 missing.
- Rice is the dietary staple which most people eat three meals a day. Rice is usually consumed jointly by family members. The common practice is to prepare several dishes that are placed on a tray or table that people sit around. Individuals have small bowls filled with rice, and then take food from the trays as well as rice from their bowls with chopsticks. Vietnamese often accompany these
- Adults take a generally indulgent attitude toward children until they reach the age of five or six. At that point, they become more strict and begin more serious moral instruction.The general moral message is for children to learn to “respect order” ( ton ti trat tu ), a reference to knowing their inferior position in society and showing deference to their superior.
- Polite behavior is highly valued. One of the most important dimensions of politeness is for the young to show respect to their elders. In everyday life, younger people show this respect by using hierarchical terms of address when interacting with their seniors and parents regularly instruct their children on their proper usage. Younger people should also be the first to issue the common salutation chao when meeting someone older, should always invite their seniors to begin eating before they do, ask for permission to leave the house, announce their arrival when they return, and not dominate conversations or speak in a confrontational manner with their seniors.
- Denominational variations aside, the core of religious practice for almost all Vietnamese is the worship of spirits. The most important spirits are the souls of the ancestors. Almost all families have altars in their homes where they perform rites for family ancestors, especially on the deceased’s death anniversaries and the Lunar New Year.
- The most important ritual event in Vietnamese society is the celebration of the Lunar New Year ( Tet Nguyen Dan ) when families gather to welcome the coming of the new year and pay their respects to family ancestors. The first and fifteenth of every month in the twelve month lunar year are also important occasions for rites to ancestors, spirits, and Buddhist deities.
- Vietnam’s socialist government places a strong emphasis on the arts, particularly because it regards them as a prime vehicle for the propagation of socialist values. All of the main artistic forms such as theater, literature, cinema, and painting have state-controlled organizations that artists are encouraged if not forced to join.