60 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Vietnam | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- The official name of Vietnam is the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
- Vietnam shares a land border with China to the north, Cambodia and Laos to the west and Gulf of Tonkin and South China sea to the east.
- The capital city of Vietnam is Hanoi, with an estimated population of about 7 million. It is the second largest city in Vietnam. The largest city is Ho Chi Minh City which has a population of about 8 million. The distance between Ho Chi Minh (Southern Vietnam) and Hanoi (Northern Vietnam) is more than 1,500 km (930 miles)!
- Vietnam has a population of 92 million and land area of 128,565 square miles. Official Language is Vietnamese.
- Two rivers in Vietnam, the Mekong in the south and the Red river in the north of the country reach the sea spread over huge swampy delta plains. The lands in these areas are very fertile, ideal for growing rice and other crops and is home to the majority of the country’s population.
- Amazingly Vietnam is one of the least religious countries in the world with 82% of population Non-Religious. Buddhist are 8% while Catholics are 7%.
- Fansipan, also known as The Roof of Indochina is the highest mountain peak in the region.
Flora & Fauna
- Vietnam has a high level of bio diversity; it is home to approximately 16% of the world’s species.
- In Vietnam, they say that they were dominated by the Chinese for 1000 years, the French for 100 years and the Americans for 10 years.
- France gained control of Vietnam in 1890, with Japan briefly taking the nation during World War II. In 1945, Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party, declared Vietnam independent. After fighting between the French and communist Vietnam ended in 1954, the communist North and non-communist South were separated.
- The Vietnam War or the Second War of Indochina started as a conflict. It involved the communist government of North Vietnam in alliance with the Communist China & Russia against the government of South Vietnam with support from the Americans. Amazingly it lasted from 1954 to 1975 continuing under five different American presidents. At the end country was reunified under a communist regime. In hindsight it is considered a mistake and tragedy that could have been avoided. It cost Americans about 200 billion US dollars and estimated 2 million civilians and 1.3 million soldiers died. The two countries resumed formal diplomatic relations only in 1995 after USA recognized Vietnam’s independence.
Places / Architecture
- The My Son Sanctuary is a structural display of Hindu tower temples developed over ten centuries.
- Hoi an ancient town was a trading port from the 15th century that has endured up to date.
- Vietnam is also home to the world’s largest cave, Son Doong.
- The Perfume River is so named due to the scent of the tropical flowers that fall onto the water during autumn.
- The Dong Tam snake farm and living museum established in 1979 is responsible for conserving the species and finding antidotes.
- The tunnels of Cu Chi are a network of underground pathways that were used as a military base for the Vietnam soldiers in the war with USA.
- The Ha Long Bay has such a scenic beauty that it was included as one of the New seven Wonders of Nature, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Forbidden Purple City is a walled fortress and palace in Hue that was only accessible to the royal family and their eunuch servants.
People Customs & Culture
- Their culture is a complex adaptation of Chinese, Japanese, French and American colonial influences.
- Their famous Dong Son drums are a relic of the sophisticated Bronze Age culture between 500 BC and 300 AD.
- Water puppetry is another popular art form that dates back as far as the 11th century.
- In religious construction, pagodas are for worship and offerings, while temples are built to honor historical figures.
- Tet Nguyen Dan (or simply Tet) is the most important festival in Vietnam. It celebrates rebirth, and is an equivalent of the Lunar New Year.
- Speed dating has been prevalent in hill tribal life for decades. Hill tribes from all over the regions will meet at ‘love markets’, where the local young single people will come together with the intent of finding a mate.
- Vietnam has more than 37 million registered motorbikes and only 2 million cars mainly due to 100 to 200% tax on cars which only very wealthy can afford. Motorbike is in fact used like a car.
- Quan Ho folk songs are love duets between male and female singers considered by UNESCO to be a great cultural heritage.
- The script of the language has 29 alphabets, which are very much similar to the English language’s alphabets. The language is not related to other languages, making it linguistically unique.
- The Vietnamese language has six different tones. A change in tone changes the meaning of the word which makes it difficult to learn.
- The country has a literacy level of 94% and internet users about 50 million (53%).
- The Vietnamese keep potbelly pigs as pets.
- Tet Nguyen Dan is the ‘Festival of the First Day’. It celebrates Christmas , birthdays and New Year together. Amazingly it is celebrated in January /February and date changes every year. The Ancestral spirits are welcomed and families reunite in the hope that the coming year will bring good fortune upon everyone.
- Vietnamese are fond of Lizard fishing which are caught in the arid halls of the south central coast. A hook is set on a long bamboo fishing pole and bait is dangled on the boulder.
- Nguyen (Pronounced ‘win’) is the most popular family name in Vietnam, used by around 40% of the population and is also the birth name of the famous Ho Chi Minh.
- School children are summoned by traditional gongs instead of bells.
- In Vietnam White is considered the ideal skin color and tanned skin is frowned upon. As a result, Vietnamese cover up as much as possible when in the sun, whether they’re working the fields or at the beach!
- Amazingly when Vietnamese drink tea or water or anything, they always leave 5 to 10% in the cup after drinking. They don’t empty their cups.
- Vietnamese usually don’t take a shower in the morning but take it in the evening.
- It is common for locals to ask your age, nationality and marital status even on the first meeting.
- The weird thing is that dogs and cats and snakes are very popular to eat in this country. Dogs eaten may have been raised at home to be eaten when they become 2 years old. In fact, Vietnamese also buy stray dogs from other Asian countries like Thailand only to eat them. Kidnapping and killing animals is very common in Vietnam.
- Loud eating is considered as rude in most countries on the world. But not in Vietnam and also in China. Also Vietnamese has a habit of littering all over in the place they eat. You will find Vietnamese restaurants very dirty.
- It is easy to get confused with Vietnamese currency won as 1$ fetches 20,000 dong. You may pay a million won for a stay in the hotel. Such big figures are very confusing to tourists and Vietnamese people may take advantage of this.
- Vietnamese people love tortoises.They believe that they are bringing luck and health.
- Amazing thing is Vietnamese people don’t hate Americans after the Vietnam war. Their leader Ho Chi Minh told that they shouldn’t blame American citizens for the war as the American leaders were responsible for the war.
- Smoking is very common as more than 25% of Vietnamese smoke cigarettes.
- France gained control of Vietnam in 1890, with Japan briefly taking the nation during World War II. Vietnam declared independence from France on 2nd September 1945. After fighting between the French and communist Vietnam ended in 1954 the communist North and non-communist South were separated.
- 1957 to 1975 saw war between North and South Vietnam. Countries including the United States for South Vietnam, and Russia and China for North Vietnam became involved. The country was reunified under a communist regime after 1975.
- Ho Chi Minh led the fight for independence against the French and the Japanese and against USA. In his memory after unification in 1976, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
- Ho Chi Minh (‘Uncle Ho’) has been dead for over 40 years now displayed at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi for only 9 months of the year as the place shut from September to December as Uncle Ho makes his annual amazing journey of 8000 miles to Moscow for ‘maintenance’.
- Vietnamese flag consists of a golden star with five points to represent farmers, workers, intellectuals, youth and soldiers. The red background pays tribute to the bloodshed during the wars.
- Foreigners have the option of applying for a Temporary Residence Card, which is cheaper and easier to process than a visa.
- LGBT rights are getting more progressive, with a recent uplifting of the ban on same sex marriage.
Economy & Corporates
- The currency of Vietnam is called the dong.
- Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashew nuts (37% of the World) and black pepper in the world. The country is also the second largest exporter of rice behind Thailand.
- Vietnam is the second largest exporter of rice behind Thailand.
- Vietnam is one of the biggest producers of cashew nuts in the world.
- Vietnam owns about 20% of the coffee market share, and is the second largest producer in the world after Brazil.
- Football is the most popular sport in Vietnam.
- Takraw, or kick volleyball, is a traditional sport in Vietnam. Here, a ball is passed from player to player by hitting it with the head and feet. Takraw also is widely played in Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team