Geography, Culture & Language

Geography, Culture & Language
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, shaped like the letter "S" with 330,991 sq. km of land area and 1,000,000 sq. km of seawaters, lies in the eastern part of the Indochina peninsula and shares borders with China to the north (1,400km), Laos (2,067km) and Cambodia 1,137km) to the west, and the East Sea and Pacific Ocean to the southeast.

Geography

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, shaped like the letter "S" with 330,991 sq. km of land area and 1,000,000 sq. km of seawaters, lies in the eastern part of the Indochina peninsula and shares borders with China to the north (1,400km), Laos (2,067km) and Cambodia 1,137km) to the west, and the East Sea and Pacific Ocean to the southeast. The country's total length, from the northernmost point to the southernmost point, is 1,650 km. Its width, stretching from east to west, is 600km at the widest point in the north, 400km in the south, and 50km at the narrowest part in the Quang Binh province on the central coast. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in the country.   

There are nearly 4,000 small and large islands, of which Truong Sa and Hoang Sa are the largest archipelagos while Phu Quoc and Con Dao are the largest islands. Vietnam is also a transport junction from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Vietnam features 3,200km of coastline bordering the East Sea stretching from Mong Cai in the north to Ha Tien in the south with many spectacular beaches.

Diversified with rivers, mountains, plains, highlands and islands, Vietnam is divided into 3 various regions: the northern region consists of the northern plain, formed by the Hong and Thai Binh rivers; the northwest mountainous region with various mountains and highlands runs from northwest to southwest with Phansipan mount, the highest peak in Indochina with 3,143m; and the north east region covered with arrow-shaped limestone mountains, of which the Dong Trieu arrow being submerged into the sea, forms the mountain cliffs of Halong Bay, also called Bai Tu Long. The Center of Vietnam is a narrow region, covered with a mixture of mountains (the Truong Son range), hills, rivers and coastal plains. The southern region features some low hills and mountains near Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) and the western region of Kien Giang province; the Dong Nai river Delta and the Mekong River Delta (the latter is the largest delta in the whole country).

Culture

A multi-cultural country with a long and proud history of 4,000 years, Vietnam is a fascinating blend of the Orient and the Occident, the old and the new.

Despite the modernization process taking place day and night, villages with traditional customs, festivals, farming methods, folk arts and ancient monuments still play an important role in Vietnam’s present-day society. Visitors can discover the idyllic charm of varied scenes of everyday life, from simple peasants in conical hats tilling their paddy fields with rudimentary tools to innocent children riding and tending water buffaloes at sunset or sunrise.

For visitors seeking hill tribe cultures, the presence of different minority groups, e.g. the H’mong, the Thai, the Dao, the Tay, the Nung, etc. in the northern highlands or the K’ho, the Edeh, the M’nong, the J’rai, the Bahnar, etc. in the central highlands will bring amazement at their simple life style, from primitive villages clinging to mountain sides to traditional customs being kept intact. In addition, the Cham ethnic group in the coastal plains has made its complex of countless brick towers in My Son, a World Heritage.

For the gourmet, Vietnamese culinary art, acknowledged a superb cuisine worldwide, is a wonderful balance of yin and yang featured in the harmonious formula of green vegetables and fresh meat seasoned with mild spices.

Apart from their rich culture, the warm friendliness of the gentle Vietnamese people also makes travels to Vietnam a well of joy beyond compare.

Language


Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. Learning foreign languages, particularly English, is currently popular among young people in Vietnam. English, French, Cantonese and Japanese are spoken by hotel staff. Guides and interpreters speaking English, French, Russian, Japanese, German, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Thai, Italian, Spanish, etc

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