Few Interesting Facts About Vietnam
Area: 331,212 km2
Capital City: Hanoi
Population: estimated 94.6 million (2016)
Language: Vietnamese is the national language. English is also understand in most cities.
Climate: Vietnam’s Climate can be divided a tropical and a temperate zone. The northern parts of vietnam have essentially four distinct seasons while the southern areas have two distinguishable seasons.
Weather in the North
- Spring season: March – April
- Summer: May – Mid September
- Autumn: Mid September – November
- Winter: December – February
Weather in the South
- Dry Season: October – March
- Rain Season: April – September
Religion: The majority religions in Vietnam is Folk Religion (73.2%). The second is Buddhism (12.2%) and others are Catholicism, Caodaism, etc
Currency: Vietnam’s currency is Vietnam Dong (VND). Exchange Rate: 1USD = 23,000VND
The Vietnamese literature and language are strongly influenced by China due to more than 1000 years of colonization. The Vietnamese written language originally made use of Chinese characters until the 13th century when Vietnam developed its own script called chu nom, with the later adoption of Latin alphabet with diacritics in the 17th century. Spoken Vietnamese is tonal. Though the grammar of the Vietnamese language is relatively simple, 6 tones are quite challenging for learners.
Vietnam is Among The Top 5 Happiest Countries In The World
Vietnam is often described as a happy and optimistic nation. The UK-based Happy Planet Index reported that Vietnam is ranked 5th happiest nation in the world and second – in the Asia Pacific region in 2016. You’ll see no lack of smiles on Vietnamese faces when you come to Vietnam. Vietnamese are even more optimistic about the economic trend, holding second place according to the survey reported by Gallup International Association.
Incredible diversity of Vietnamese ethnic groups
Vietnam is a multiethnic country with 54 ethnic groups recognized by the government. Each ethnic group has its own language and culture. The Vietnamese (Kinh) people account for roughly 86% of the country’s population and mainly reside in deltas and coastal provinces. The remaining 14%, about 8.5 million people, are scattered over the mountainous and highland areas ranging from the North to the South. Minority groups have limited access to infrastructure, health service, and educational facilities. Ethnic minorities depend heavily on agriculture and have a small contribution to national economies as a whole.
Lotus is National Flower of Vietnam and Its Fascinating Meanings
Lotus was voted to become national flower of Vietnam in 2010. The chosen flower is widely grown in the country. Lotus is an aquatic plant, growing in muddy ponds. Leaves are waterproof and floating. Flowers rise above the water surface to get sunshine, bloom with remarkable beauty and emit a pleasant scent. Lotus is a symbol of the pure beauty that is not spoiled by the mud, and the strong spirit of Vietnamese who are going through all adversities to show their best traits to the outside world, regardless of harsh circumstances.
Snow in a Tropical Country
The climate in Vietnam is greatly impacted by the monsoon, which is characterized by many sunny days, rainfall and high humidity. Temperature ranges between 17-29 degrees Celsius all year round. However, you still can catch up snow at the right time at the right place. Sa Pa is a charming, mountainous town in the North of Vietnam along the border with China. Between Decembers and February, the temperature can drop below 0 there. Although snowboarding and sledding are not common in Vietnam, you can still have fun in Sa Pa with other winter activities such as making a snowman, snowball fighting or simply watching the snowfall.
The Country Has The Largest Cave in The World
Located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province of Vietnam, a newly -discovered cave system approximately 5.5 miles long, 650ft wide, and 500ft tall offers spectacular and enormous opportunities for cave explorers. The cave system is made up of more than 150 individual caves and has many awe-inspiring subterranean features such as a giant stalagmite, fields of pre-historic algae and cave pearls. It is debatable whether this is truly the world’s largest cave but it is definitely worth exploring.
Fun Fact about Motorbikes
On your first arrival in mega cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, the first amazing fact you’ll most likely notice is that motorbikes are everywhere. We really mean it. While the population of Vietnam is about 92 million people, it is estimated that there were about 45 million registered motorbikes in 2016. This means there is a motorbike for every other person. Vietnam remains one of the world’s largest motorbike markets. On the other hand, roughly 2 million cars are used in the country. The car is considered a luxury property of wealthy people because car tax in Vietnam is about 200-300%.
Vietnam Street Foods are Defined in Oxford Dictionary
Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by endless variety and extraordinary flavours. Banh mi and pho are two Vietnamese words that go directly into Oxford Dictionary instead of being translated into English. The former is the signature sandwich that is getting more and more popular with people around the world. Generally speaking, it is a loaf of bread with the filling of the three main components: meat (roasted pork, barbecue or grilled pork), vegetables (cucumber slices, pickled carrot, and cilantro) and sauce (chili, tomato or soy sauce). The latter is rice noodles soup served with a variety of raw or cooked beef, beef tendon or beef meatball, bean sprout and herbs. Pho is eaten at any time of the day but especially for breakfast.
Interesting Unknown Facts about Coffee
If you are a coffee lover, you may be surprised to discover that Vietnam is the second largest coffee exporter in the world today, after Brazil. Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam by the French and planted in highland areas in the 1800s with annual production capacity reaching at that time only about 80 tones. Coffer production has continued to increase after the Vietnam War. In recent years, Vietnam has produced more than 1 million tonnes per year. Weasel coffee, also known as Kopi Luwak or civet coffee in Indonesia and Philippines, is the most expensive coffee in Vietnam. The price for this specialty coffee is about USD150/kg and it is one of top 10 most expensive coffees in the world. What makes weasel coffee valuable and costly is the process of digestion. No mistake, you read correctly. That is digestion. Weasels consume the coffee fruit. Perfectly protected by a thin silk membrane, coffee beans survive through the digestion system of the animals and then are collected from the animal’s faeces. These coffee beans become extremely aromatic with vanilla smelling & sweet taste. Although the French introduced coffee to Vietnam, the Vietnamese have altered this black beverage into their own style, with slightly unusual yet delicious. Ground coffee is inserted into a metal drip filter which is placed on the top of a cup. Hot water is then added and hot coffee drops drip slowly into the cup. Entertainingly, most of Vietnamese like drinking black coffee with ice and maybe with condensed milk.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN VIETNAM
- In the Vietnamese culture as well as the culture of most countries in the world, greetings play an indispensable role when people meet each other. Especially, it will be greater if you greet a Vietnamese person in their language, such as “Xin Chao” instead of “Hello” or say “Cam on” instead of “Thank you” for their help. Those words in their language will indicate that you really respect them and feel extremely grateful to them.
- Each time you visit sacred places, e.g. temples, pagoda, or churches, it is important to wear modestly. It also means that you should not wear transparent clothes, shorts, short skirts, etc. Make sure your clothes must cover your legs, arms, and breast.
- When you give or take something to somebody, it is necessary to hold it in both hands. This is one of the important dos in Vietnam, presenting your respect towards people.
- While having tattoos on the body is common in the West, this is very strict in Vietnam. Especially, before entering the pagoda, make sure you must cover all your tattoos with long clothing items as Vietnamese people just think those images on your body are evil.
- A pepper gas will be ideal when you walk down in the street in case you get robbed at night.
- The bottle of mineral water you buy from a vendor must be carefully sealed in case you are cheated; some vendors can collect empty bottles along streets, fill them with water, and sell them for you.
- Before getting in a taxicab, consider the tax company, ask the price, and observe the meter in the car. Some trustworthy tax companies are Mai Linh, Vinasun, and Futa.
- When going shopping at the market, remember to bargain over the price of any possible item to get a good deal.
- It is better to choose a supermarket for your shopping instead of a local market as the prices for international tourists at the markets are far higher.
- Before entering the house of someone, don’t forget to take off your shoes.
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO IN VIETNAM
- At some attractions in Vietnam, you should not show off your valuable items as many robbers can be around you. It is actually among don’ts in Vietnam unless you want to come back without your properties.
- When getting on the bus and not having one seat, you should wear your bag in your front while you must stand during the drive. Otherwise, thieves can utilize their knives and get back all your belongings from the bag.
- In case of traveling with your partner or sweetheart, keep in mind that you should not express your love in public too much. Particularly, it will be considered as something inappropriate if you have intimate gestures, e.g. kissing, hugging, or touching.
- Losing your temper in any situation will make it worse. Try to keep your temper with the locals, and they will help you.
- When buying something or using some service, don’t rush people as they will feel uncomfortable and not serve you well.