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Travel Guide

General Information of Vietnam

Full Name in English: The Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Foundation Day: September 2nd, 1945

National Flag: Red Flag with a Gold Star (Red represents revolution and victory while star represents five main classes in Vietnamese society including intellectuals, farmers, workers, businessman and militaries)

Capital City: Hanoi (the second largest city in the country; the largest city is Ho Chi Minh)

Total Area: 331,211.6 square kilometers

Administrative Demarcations: 58 provinces and 5 municipalities

Population: About 87 million (by 2011)

Number of Ethnic Groups: 54 (Kinh Nationality accounts for 86% of total population in the country)

Major Religion: Buddhism

Official Language: Vietnamese

Currency: Vietnamese dong (Paper notes include: VND 500,000; 200,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500; 200 and 100)

Internet Domain: .vn

International Dialing Code: +84

Time Zone - Standard Time Zone: UTC/GMT +7 hours



Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries located on the eastern part of the Indochina Peninsula. China borders Vietnam to the north, Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea to the east and south, Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, Cambodia and Laos to the west. The land of Vietnam shaped like the letter “S”, it boasts a long coastline of 3,260km. Total length of this strip of land from north to south is 1,650km, and its narrowest width, stretching from east to west, is 50km only.



Archaeological findings indicates human settlements on this land can be dated back to about half a million years ago and a cultural history of over 20,000 years, thus Vietnam is one of the countries with long history in the world. Cooperation in constructing hydraulic systems, trade exchange and the fights against invaders led to the creation of the first Vietnamese states in 2879 BC. The land was then governed by foreign rulers and disrupted off and on for thousands of years, untill July 1976 that Vietnam achieved reunification.



Vietnam is a country with single-party socialist republic framework, the one-party system led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. National Assembly is the highest authority in the country, and its permanent body is the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. President of Vietnam is the head of state, elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term. Government is the country's highest administrative organ, and the Prime Minister of Vietnam is the head of it. President of Vietnam has right to nominate candidates for Prime Minister, who is finally elected by the National Assembly.



Vietnam is reported as a development success story after decades of struggling to speed up its economic recovery and reconstruction efforts. In 1986, Vietnam launched political and economic reforms (Doi Moi), through which it becomes a lower middle income country from one of the poorest countries. Over the past decade Vietnam has had one of the best-performing economies in the world including fast-rising GDP and per capita income rates. The economic growth rate of Vietnam continues to grow even facing the economic slowdown and high inflation in recent years.



Folkway in Vietnam is simple and citizens are polite. People there usually nod a greeting or shake hands while meeting with others. Deeply influenced by Chinese culture many Vietnamese believe in Buddhism, which has been the largest religion in Vietnam, and there are about 20 million Buddhists in the country. Clothing in Vietnam is not flamboyant, men wear business suits and women dress ethnic style "gowns" (similar to cheongsam) and trousers on formal occasions. Vietnamese’ dietary habits is similar to that of some ethnic groups in China’s Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces, they use chopsticks and prefer light diet. Taking a group photo of three people or lighting cigarettes consecutively for three people is considered unpropitious in Vietnam.


Important Holidays

Foundation Day of Vietnamese Communist Party: 3rd day of February

Vietnam Liberation Day: 30th day of April

Ho Chi Minh's Birthday: 19th day of May

National Day: 2nd day of September

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