For a major part its history Vietnam has felt the pinch of outside
domination. The country was ruled by China for 1,000 years. In 1945,
it declared its independence under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh from
France, which ruled it for 60 years. 1954 witnessed the division of
Vietnam into the communist north and the US-backed south Vietnam under
the Geneva Accords of 1954. The country's war of independence finally
ended in 1975 with victory for the north.
In 1978-79 Vietnam invaded Cambodia which resulted in its isolation
from the West world. As a corollary, its dependence on the Soviet Union
increased. The isolation came to an end with the Cambodian settlement
of October 1991, which allowed Vietnam to implement more fully the policy
of economic renovation (doi moi) that had been enacted in 1986.
Vietnam borders with China in the north while it shares its border
with Laos and Cambodia in the west. The South China Sea lies to the
east and south.
Today Vietnam’s stability has made it an exciting travel destination.
Elegant Hanoi and its equally dynamic counterpart Ho Chi Minh City attract
the visitors drawn by the fine blend of old and new. Retaining the influences
of French colonial era, Ho Chi Minh City is now attracting the attention
of business world. Economic reforms have been adopted on a fierce pace.
With a 3400 kilometre coastline and mountainous terrain covering 75%
of the country, Vietnam is home to two huge and fertile river deltas
which are inhabited by the most of the population. These two deltas
are the Red River in the North and the Mekong River in the south. The
mountainous north and central regions are relatively sparsely population.
Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of
Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia
Climate: tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season
(May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
Total Area: 329,560 sq km
Total Population: 84,402,966
Population Growth Rate: 1.02%
Sex Ratio: 0.98 male(s)/female
Ethnic Groups: Kinh, Tay, Thai, Muong, Khome, Hoa, Nun, Hmong,
Irrigated land: 30,000 sq km
Languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Chinese, and Khmer
Time Zone: UTC+7
Vietnam has many tourist attractions including beautiful monuments,
national parks, and stunning scenic beauty.
Vietnam's former capital was Hue. The imperial capital takes you back
to a time of legend and fantasy. Once the capital of Annamese, Hue is
located about halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
If you are a nature lover, a visit to northwest vietnam (Sapa and surr.)
is not to be missed. You can pay a visit to the Cat Tien National Park
that has the rare Javan rhinoceros. The tropical rainforest region of
Ba Be National Park should also be on the itinerary. And, in the South
China Sea, a visit to the 3000 chalk islands in Ha Long Bay is not to
Other tourist attractions of Vietnam include the Phong Nha Cave, Ban
Gioc waterfalls and the monuments at My Son in the ancient kingdom of
Champa. While on a tour to Vietnam, you can enjoy the shopping shopping
at the Bac ha Market and visit the cities of Dalat, Dien Bien Phu, Hanoi
and Ho Chi Minh City formerly known as Saigon,
The Ho Chi Minh Trail and Memorials to the Vietnam War are other historic
landmarks of Vietnam.
Travel and Tourism Industry
With a fascinating history of more than 4,000 years and a vibrant vulture,
Vietnam has been attracting more and more tourist arrivals from the
world. In 2005, the international tourist arrivals were four million,
an increase of 25% from 2004.
Neighbouring countries: Cambodia, China and Laos
Major Sports: Soccer, chess, kungfu and shooting.
Type of govt.: Communist state
Head of Govt.: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan DUNG
Major Political Parties: Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV
Participation in International Organizations: ACCT (observer), APEC,
APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU,
ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL,
WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Major Agricultural Products: paddy rice, coffee, rubber, cotton, tea,
pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; poultry; fish,
Natural Resources & Minerals: oil and gas coal, iron, bauxite, etc
Industry & Transport: Food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building;
mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil,
Major Trade Partners: US, Japan, Australia, China Singapore, Germany
Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand
Major Business: machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer,
steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles, crude oil, marine
products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes
Exports = $32.23 billion
Imports = $36.88 billion