Basic facts

More information about Vietnam

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The previously rather closed country opened up for tourists in the beginning of the 1990:es and has since than become a popular target for travellers.

Vietnam has a long and interesting history , sometimes forgotten, as the country often is connected with cruel and bloody wars. 

First the long french occupation, later the tragic ”Vietnamwar”. The small country, nearly one third of the surface of Sweden, is now slowly recovering from the wars.

The vietnamese are welcoming tourism and has a lot of interesting things to offer. The people are, mostly, very friendly and it is rather easy to travel around.

My base was Hanoi for discovering the northern part of the country. 
I made some very nice and interesting excursions from here.

The capital Hanoi, is a busy and interesting old city with nice temples and green parks. In the center of the city you can find several parks with small lakes. On an island in the lake Hoan Kiem lies the beautiful Noc Son-temple, The temple of the Jade-mountains, from the Tran Dynasti (1225-1400). The temple is located in the Than Long centra, once the capital of Vietnam.

Do not miss a performance by one of the Watermarionette - groups, they represent a cultureform with heritage from the 10th century.

A cruise in the Halong Bay, with its more than 3000 sugar loaf- shaped islands, on the UN World Heritage-list, is an experience you never forget.

A visit at the island of Cat Ba and its national park with rare mammals and the ”waterlandscape” close to Cue, reachable only with boats, are also well worth to visit. There is an island in the ”waterlandscape” with more than 100 different pagodas. The most famous is the ”Perfume Pagoda” dated to the 13th century.

I only stayed little more than one week in Vietnam, on my way to the Yunnan-province in China but I am sure that I will come back one day.

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The Long Bien bridge.

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Small restaurant.

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Halong Bay

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Children chewing sugar canes.
Viet Hai

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Boats at Cat Ba

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Ngoc Son temple.

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Flower lady.


Basic facts:

Conventional longform:  
Cong Hoa Chu Nghia Viet Nam

Area, total: 331 210 sq km
3 444 km (mainland)
91 520 000 
Population/sq km:
(In Song Hong delta 2000)
Capital / Population:
Hanoi / 1 491 000

Lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
Highest point: Fan Si Pan (3 144 m)
Largest rivers: 
Mekong, Song Hong 
Largest lakes:

Pop. growth rate: 1.05 %
Infant mortility rate:
(deaths / 1 000 live births)
Life expectancy at birth (years):
Male / Female
  73 / 77

Ethnic groups: Kinh (Vietnamese) 85.7 %, Tay 1.9 %, Thai 1.8 %, Muong 1.5 %, Khmer 1.5 %, Mong 1.2 %, Nung 1.1 %, other ethnic groups 5.3 %
Religions: Buddhist 9.3 %, Roman Catholic 6.7 %, Hoa Hao 1.5 %, Cao Dai 1.1 %, Protestants 0.5 %, Muslim 0.1 %, atheists 80.8 % (Census 1999)
Vietnamese (official), Chinese, English, French, Khmer, other
Literacy; % of pop. over 15 years:
Male / Female 96.1 / 92.0

Independence: September 2, 1945 from France
National holiday:
 September 2, Independence Day

GNP/capita: USD 1 156
Population below poverty line: 10.6 % 
New Dong (VND)
Tourists (annually): 4 254 000

Mobiletelephones: 154 000 000
23 382 000
Railways: 2 347 km
171 392 km

Source: CIA World Factbook 2012/02


Map of Vietnam

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The vietnamese flag was introduced in april 1976,  after the declaration of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Before this,  it was the flag of   North Vietnam.

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The crest was introduced together with the flag.
The red colour represents the revolution and the blood of the vietnamese people. The star is the symbol for communism and unity between workers, farmers, intelectualls, youth and soldiers. The garland if rice is representing the most important farmingproduct, the cogwheel stands for the industrialisation.

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This page is updated 2012-08-22

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