Vietnam is a country that is 331,690 square kilometers in size. It forms a long strip on the eastern coast of Indo-China, sharing border with China to the north, Laos to the northwest, and Cambodia to the southwest. The land has been inhabited for thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation going back to Paleolithic times. It has suffered successive invasion and occupation by foreign powers, chief among them China in the ancient times and France in more recent history.
The capital of Vietnam today is the city of Hanoi, also spelled Ha Noi. It is the second largest city in the country, and as with all major cities of Vietnam, is rapidly growing and developing.
Visitors to Vietnam focus on the major attractions around Hanoi, such as Halong Bay, Sapa, Perfume Pagoda and Tam Coc. Some venture further south, to explore ancient cities such as Hue, Hoi An, Dalat, as well as Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest city in Vietnam formerly known as Saigon.
In Vietnam Travel Guide, I want to provide you an overview of this remarkable country, and take you through to all the major cities as well as the lesser-known ones. I hope that this website will provide you with the necessary information to explore and enjoy Vietnam.
Old Quarter of Hoi An http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HoiAnOldQuarter.jpg Jean-Marie Hullot
Planning your trip to Vietnam
There are three international airports in Vietnam - in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang. Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the busiest of the three. The visa to Vietnam is not cheap. A single-entry visa to Vietnam costs US$34 and is valid for a stay of 30 days. It takes 4-7 days to process. You can also get express visas, processed in 2-3 days, at twice the price. You can get it at the Vietnamese consulate in Battambang, Cambodia. You can also get your visa at the Vietnam Embassy in Bangkok for ฿1,800, done in 3 days. Elsewhere, you can get it at the Vietnam Embassy in London for £44 or at the Vietnamese Mission in New York City for US$80.
Landmark Tower, Hanoi http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LANDMARK72.jpg Soyoungah
Vietnam by Region
Northern Vietnam Home to some of the country's oldest temples and fortresses, this region is also blessed with picturesque mountain and seascapes.
Central Vietnam Located between the Truong Son Range ande the South China Sea, this region offers beautiful beaches as well as four World Heritage Sites.
South Central Vietnam Location of the ancient Kingdom of Champa, this is a densely populated region dotted with fishing villages.
Southern Vietnam Region dominated by the Mekong Delta, and includes pristine islands and beaches.
Vietnam Travel Information
Time Zone: 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Language: Vietnamese. English gaining popularity as a language for tourism and commerce.
International Dialing Code: 84
Population: 84 million
Religion: Mahayana Buddhism, Catholic, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam.
Electricity: 220V 50 Hz
Electrical Outlet: two round pins, some times three round pins. If you bring a laptop, get a surge suppressor to guard against current fluctuations. (See details here: http://www.kropla.com/electric.htm)
Driving: On the right side of the road.
Sungsot Cave, Halong Bay (31 August, 2006)
Vietnam Public Holidays
The following are public holidays observed in Vietnam:
New Year Day: 1 January
Tet (Lunar New Year): January/February, similar to Chinese New Year celebrated elsewhere.
Founding Day of the Coomunist Party of Vietnam: 3 February
Women's Day: 8 March
Youth Day: 28 March
Liberation of Saigon Day: 30 April
International Labour Day: 1 May
Victory Day: 7 May, commemorating the victory over France
Ho Chi Minh's Birthday: 19 May
Children's Day: 1 June
Memorial Day: 27 July
August 1945 Revolution Day: 19 August
National Day: 2 September
Teacher's Day: 20 November
Army Day: 22 December
Religion in Vietnam
After the years of suppression against religion in the early part of the 20th century, Vietnam today formally allows religious freedom. It recognises six religions namely Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Cao Dai and Hoa Hao. Other religions such as the Baha'i Coimmunity had to be awarded a "certificate of operation".
In Vietnam, you will see many temples that have distinct Chinese characteristics. The temples in Vietnam are often called "pagoda", even though they do not refer to the multi-tiered towers common in East Asia.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Festival http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lehoidendinh.jpg Kien1980v
Cities of Vietnam
Listed here are the cities in Vietnam arranged by population.
Thank you for visiting my website, Penang Travel Tips. Since starting it in 2003, it has become my own online encyclopedia. My name is Timothy Tye, you can call me Tim. I am a full-time website author writing only my own website, to describe things and places I am curious about. To know more about me, go to www.timothytye.com I have been living at home writing my websites full time since 2007. I describe my alternative lifestyle in my Happy Jobless Guy website.
As a Christian, I hope that through this website, I am able to deliver God's Good News to people all over the world.