Vietnam Country Information

Vietnam Country Information

Vietnam is a Communist state regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies. It is bordered by China to the north, Cambodia to the southwest, and Laos to the northwest. The country’s topography consists of densely forested mountains and hills. Most of the highlands can be found in the northern area of the country. Its south side is where one can find the coastal lowlands and extensive forests.

The densely populated country has a unique and exotic atmosphere that makes it a popular tourist destination in Asia.

Quick Vietnam Facts

Total Area: 127,123 square miles
Capital City: Hanoi
Major Cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Can Tho, and Da Nang
Government: One Party Communist State
Language: Vietnamese. Other languages spoken include: Khmer, Chinese, French, English, and tribal dialects such as Malayo-Polynesian and Mon-Khmer
Currency: Vietnamese Dong. Denominations are: 100 / 200 / 500 / 1,000 / 2,000 / 5,000 / 10,000/ 20,000 / and 5,000
Main Religion/s: Buddhism
Weather and Climate: Tropical Monsoon Climate with Humidity Average of 84% all year round. Southern Vietnam has tropical weather while Northern Vietnam has monsoonal weather. Occasional typhoons from May to January.
National Anthem: Phleng Chat Thai

Society, Language, and Culture

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam and is widely taught in schools but most minority groups have their own spoken languages and writing systems. The official language is a tonal language that has similarities with Chinese, Thai, and Khmer. In fact, about a third of the vocabulary is lifted from the Chinese. Initially, the Vietnamese were expressed in Chinese characters. It was under the French rule that the nation adapted the Romanized alphabet.

Vietnam has a unique and exotic culture rooted in various influences throughout many centuries. But despite this the country and its people have maintained and developed culture and customs that they can call their own. Art is highly influenced by Chinese, with ceramics, engraved furniture, and silk weaving as the most popular forms.

A large percentage of Vietnam’s population live in rural villages where they make a living as rice farmers.

Mass Transportation

The government of Vietnam is making efforts to improve its transportation system. Currently, the country has 1,615 miles of standard, narrow, and dual gauge railroads, 24 airports, and 57,977 miles of roads.

The railway system of Vietnam runs along the coast from Ho Chi Minh City going to Hanoi. It links with Haiphong and other northern regions. Trains with odd numbers run south while the ones with even numbers head north. Tourists pay higher surcharges so those traveling from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi might find it cheaper to fly instead. The country does not have any train lines connecting Vietnam with its other nearby countries.

While there are no official passenger ships and ferries, passengers are allowed to ride cargo ships heading to Da Nang, Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh from Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore.

Economy and Industry

Post-war, Vietnam’s economy struggled. To help the economy survive, the government encouraged private ownership in commerce, industries, and agriculture. Through this, foreign investment flourished and the country enjoyed growth in manufacturing and information technology.

As much as 65% of the country’s labour force is in agriculture with wet-rice agriculture being the most important part of the Vietnamese economy.

Tourism and Recreation

Vietnam boasts of scenic and historic places that interest lots of tourists. Hanoi is popular for its lakes, pagodas, and historical monuments. Ha Long Bay is frequented for its grottoes and sea rocks. There are just too many places to explore in Vietnam that showcases the country’s natural beauty and rich history.

Gambling in Vietnam is rampant, but it is generally illegal. Legal forms of betting include greyhound racing, international football, horse racing, and lotteries. There are over 30 brick-and-mortar casinos in Vietnam. However, the entrance to these is exclusive to foreign passport holders. Vietnam-based gamblers can access several gambling websites that offer live dealer games and slots.

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