As one of countries starting with V, Vietnam is a large elongated country in southeastern Asia. With more than 90,000,000 inhabitants, Vietnam is in the top fifteen countries with the most inhabitants in the world. Ho Chi Minh City alone is home to more than 7,000,000 residents. The majority of residents in Ho Chi Minh City travel on mopeds. This makes for a very chaotic street scene.
More than ninety percent of the population in Vietnam is engaged in agriculture. Rice cultivation is the country’s main source of income. Furthermore, grains, beans and peanuts are grown here. Tourism is starting to play an increasingly important economic role here. On average, the country is visited by four million tourists a year.
Large parts of Vietnam have long been part of China. It was not until the eleventh century AD that an independent empire emerged here. It remained this way until the French added large parts of the country to Indochina in the eighteenth century. Indochina consisted of large parts of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Other parts of the country then still belonged to China. After World War II, the northern part of Vietnam declared its independence. This created the dichotomy of the country and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Nearly ten years later, the southern part of the country proclaimed the Republic of Vietnam. This can be seen as the start of the Second Indochina War, better known to us as the Vietnam War.
After the withdrawal of the American troops in 1973, the two Vietnamese parts were reunited in 1976 in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Hanoi becomes the capital of the country and the city of Saigon is renamed Ho Chi Minh City. After several years of political unrest and several wars, including one with China and one with Cambodia, there is now a form of political calm in the country.
In recent decades, Vietnam has sought more and more contact with the western world, which has given it better trading positions and has made it a more prosperous country.
The biggest attraction in Vietnam is without a doubt Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon. It is the largest and most important city in the country and has everything you would expect in a modern oriental city. Much of the French colonial period can still be found in the city. Moving through this city is best done on a moped or motorcycle.
Compared to Ho Chi Minh City, the capital Hanoi is an oasis of tranquility. Small parks have been laid out everywhere in this city and there are several lakes. In this city you will come across several Buddhist temples and the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh.
The Mekong Delta is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. This area is easiest to visit by boat. In the Mekong Delta you will find the rice fields so typical for Vietnam. The protected natural park Ha Long Bay is definitely not to be missed. The Unesco-protected natural park consists of more than 3,000 large and small islands, mainly composed of limestone. You can make beautiful boat trips through this area.
Of course, during a visit to the country, you should not miss the beautiful old temples that can be found throughout the country. Some of these temples have been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Those in need of some peace and quiet can relax in the seaside town of Nha Trang. You will find beautiful white beaches and a clear blue sea here. There are several small islands off the coast of Nha trang.
Vietnam has a total of seven inscriptions on the World Heritage List. In almost all cases these are old temple complexes or nature parks. In 1993, the complex of Hué monuments in the province of Thừa Thiên-Huế was listed first. In the years that followed, Ha Long Bay, the ancient city of Hoi An and the Mỹ Sơn shrine followed.
In 2003, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was added to the list. This national park is known for its many limestone caves with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.
In 2010, the central sector of the Imperial City of Thăng Long was credited, and a year later, the Ho Dynasty Citadel in Thanh Hóa Province was added.
There are two tropical climate types in Vietnam. Most of Vietnam has a tropical savanna climate and the Vietnamese lowlands have a tropical monsoon climate. The China climate occurs in the extreme north of Vietnam in the Annamese mountain range. All these climates have a rainy period that lasts from April to October. However, the amount of precipitation varies greatly per region. Due to the large amounts of precipitation, floods can occur here. This can also be the result of heavy precipitation in neighboring Cambodia or Laos.
The average precipitation is highest in the Vietnamese lowlands and the windward side of the Annamese mountain range.
The average daytime temperature in the southern parts of Vietnam is above thirty degrees Celsius all year round. In the more northerly parts of the country, there is more variation in the average annual temperature. In the winter months it cools down here and the average day temperature is just above 20 degrees Celsius. In extreme cases, it can even freeze here in the winter. This certainly applies to the highest parts of the north of Vietnam.
Vietnam is located in the southeasternmost part of mainland Asia. Vietnam has land borders with the countries of China, Loas and Cambodia. Vietnam is located on the Gulf of Tonkin, the South China Sea and to a small extent on the Gulf of Thailand. The northwestern part of the country consists for the most part of the Annamese mountain range, with the highest point of Vietnam at 3143 meters, Mount Fan-si-pan. Vietnam is a long, narrow, stretched country that is only fifty kilometers wide at its narrowest.
The two most important rivers of Vietnam are the Red River, which flows into the Gulf of Tonkin and the Mekong River, which is no longer called Mekong here. However, people here still talk about the Mekong Delta. Several smaller rivers flow within this Mekong Delta. Of these, the Tiền, the Hậu and the Bassac are the best known.
Several islands belong to Vietnam, the most beautiful and best-known of these is Phu Quoc in the Gulf of Thailand, which is located half off the coast of neighboring Cambodia. Other famous islands that belong to Vietnam are Cat Ba the largest island in Ha Long Bay, Nha Trang which is better known among tourists as the Whale Island and the Con Dao Islands.
Hanoi may be the capital of Vietnam, but Ho Chi Minh City is the largest and perhaps also the most important city in the country. Other major or important cities in Vietnam are Haipong, Can Tho, Da Nang, Da Lat, Hue, Phan Thiet and Sapa
The travel advice for Vietnam has been on the status of being vigilant for some years now. This is especially true in the large cities where tourists are regularly robbed. Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur throughout Vietnam during June through December. During this time, you should be vigilant and keep a close eye on the weather forecast.
Flooding can occur in the north of Vietnam during the rainy season. These floods can cause landslides. Traveling through this area in the rainy season is not recommended.
Traffic in Vietnam is known for being particularly chaotic and dangerous. There are many accidents with mopeds, motorbikes and buses here, with all the consequences that entails. Anyone who dares to drive a car in Vietnam must be in possession of a Vietnamese driver’s license.
For a visit to Vietnam you must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least another six months on the date of departure from Vietnam. This is to prevent problems if you have to stay longer in the country due to unforeseen circumstances.
In addition, you must be in possession of a visa. You can apply for this visa at the Vietnamese embassy in The Hague, but for short-term trips to Vietnam you can now also simply apply for your visa online. Applying for a Vietnam visa in Dutch is also possible. This can be done via the various Dutch visa sites that also arrange Vietnam visas. Longer visas are available, but are more expensive. The maximum period of validity of a visa is six months. There is also the possibility to buy the visa at the border or at the airport with an official approval letter.
|Phone (country code)||84|
|Language(s) (colloquial)||Vietnamese and sometimes people speak English or French here|
|Religion(s)||Buddhism, Confucianism, and a Catholic Minority|
|Time difference summer||In Vietnam it is five hours later than in the Netherlands|
|Time difference winter||In Vietnam it is six hours later than in the Netherlands|
|Daylight Saving Time Control||nee|