Vietnam Overview

In recent years, Vietnam, a South Asia country with stable security and reasonable cost, is one of the most worth – coming country in the world. In addition, this peaceful land is endowed with the vast of beautiful sites and time honored tradition.

Land area: 125,622 sq mi (325,361 sq km); total area: 127,244 sq mi (329,560 sq km) Population (2012 est.): 91,519,289 (growth rate: 1.054%); birth rate: 16.83/1000; infant mortality rate: 20.24/1000; life expectancy: 72.41; density per sq mi: 683 Capital (2009 est.): Hanoi, 6.5 million (metro. area), 2.6 million (city proper) Largest cities: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), 7,396,446; Haiphong, 1,907,705; Da Nang, 887,069; Hué 333,715; Nha Trang, 392,279 Monetary unit: Dong

Languages: Vietnamese (official); English (increasingly favored as a second language); some French, Chinese, Khmer; mountain area languages ( mountainous languages: (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian) Ethnicity/race: Kinh (Viet) 86.2%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.7%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer  1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nung 1.1%, Hmong 1%, others 4.1% (1999) Religions: Buddhist 9%, Catholic 7%, Hoa Hao 2%, Cao Dai 1%, Protestant, Islam, none 81% Time zone: GMT+7; DST is not observed Electricity: AC 220V/50Hz or 110V/50Hz; Europlugs with two round pins, American plugs with two flat blades or in some hotels the British plugs with three square pins are used Transportation: Railways: total: 2,632 km (2008). Highways: total: 180,549 km; paved: 133,899 km; unpaved: 46,650 km (2008 est.). Waterways: 17,702 km navigable; more than 5,149 km navigable at all times by vessels up to 1.8 m draft (2011). Ports and harbors: Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Vinh, Vung Tau. Airports: 44 (2012).

Geography & Topography

Vietnam or the S-shape country is located on the eastern of Indochinese peninsula. This country also has land border with China to the North, Laos and Cambodia to the west, the East Sea to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the east and south.


The S- shape country lies on the middle of the Southeast Asian region or exactly it stretches on the eastern of the Indochina peninsular and share the frontier with China to the North, Laos and Cambodia to the west and the East Sea and Pacific to the east and south.

Vietnam coastline stretches over 3260km from the north to the sound and covers a total area of land around 3730 kilometers. It also has a north – to – sound distance of 1650 kilometers, 600 kilometers of the eastern coast – to – western border excluding continental shelf and 50 kilometers at the narrowest part in the Quang Binh Province on the central coast.


Mountain and hill occupy three quarters of Vienam’s territory. Apart from some deltas and narrow plains, mountainous and hilly regions are main landscape in Vietnam. There are four separate mountainous regions with its own unique features. The first is Northern mountainous regions or Viet Bac which was a strong revolutionary base from 1945 to 1954 stretches from The Red River Delta to the Gulf of Tokin.  Besides the features of tropical forests, the nature rewards Viet Bac with beautiful and majestic sights such as Dong Nhat ( First – Rate Grotto), Dong Nhi ( Second – Rate Grotto), Tam Thanh beauty in Lang Son Province, Pac Bo Grotto and Ba Be Lake in Cao Bang, Ha Long Bay Bay and Yen Tu Mountain and Tay Con Linh with 2314 metres height above sea level,

The second is mountain range in the Northwest extending from the Sino – Vietnamese border in the North to the central coast of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh Province. This fantastic mountainous area owns one of the most beautiful landscape in Vietnam – Sa Pa resort lying on a high mountain slope of 1,500 meters above sea level in Yen Bai Province.

The third mountain zone is the North Truong Son Range, a long low mountain range running from the western part of Thanh Hoa province to the Hai Van Pass. The zone is reputed regionally for its picturesque Phong Nha Grotto and fantastic looking passes such as the Ngang Pass and the Hai Van (Sea Cloud) Pass. It is also known nationwide for being the location of the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail. The four and last mountain zone is the South Truong Son, a mountain range located in the western side of provinces situated on the southern end of the central coast. Behind these huge mountains is located a vast expanse of red soil known locally as Tay Nguyen (the Central Highlands). The legendary Central Highlands contains numerous mystic accounts of flora and fauna as well as the lives of the people of several different ethnic minority groups. The central highlands is proud of its idyllic mountain resort town of Da Lat, the most famous resort in Vietnam. Forests and forest land accounts for 50 per cent of Viet Nam's total land area. These forests are home to many kinds of plants and animals not found elsewhere in Southeast Asia or in many other parts of the world. The most valuable timber plants include lat hoa (chkrasia), dinh (markhamia), lim (ironwood), sen (madhuca pasquieri) and tau (tonkinensis), to cite just a few. Besides valuable timber Viet Nam's forests are also home to many other valuable forest products much sought after in overseas outlets. They include stick lac, cinnamon, pine resin, anise and tung oil.ect... Vietnam has several famous national packs such as Cuc Phuong, Ba Vi, the Cat Ba, Cat Tien and Con Dao as well as the submerged forests in the southernmost province of Minh Hai. These national parks are regarded as the preservation of tropical wildlife and a natural genetic preserve. Beneath the forests and forest land are valuable mineral deposits most of which remain untapped. They include gold in province of Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Quangnam - Danang; precious stones in the provinces of Nghe An and Lao Cai, zinc and silver in Tuyen Quang province antimony in the provinces of Quang Ninh and Bac Thai. Particularly Vietnam has large deposits of oil and gas in both the continental shelf and inland areas. Vietnam has two major deltas. They are the Red River delta in the northern part and the Mekong River delta in the south. The Red River delta, locally known as the northern delta is 15,000 square kilometres in area. It is comprised, from time immemorial, of deposits of alluvium carried in from two major rivers: the Red River and the Thai Binh River. The basin of the two rivers was the location for the settlement of the Viet people. Sine then the wet rice civilisation has been established. The Mekong River delta more commonly known as the northern delta is 36,000 km2 in area. This is a fertile arable area endowed with favourable climatic conditions, hence it is the biggest rice growing area in Vietnam. Vietnam is criss-crossed by thousands of large and small rivers. There is a river mouth on every 20 kilometres of coastline. However, the river that run through Vietnam are generally small and short. The major rivers like the Red River and the Mekong River has only their lower section running through Vietnam. Viet Nam's coastline is 3,260 kilometres long. The country is washed up by the East sea to the east and by the Gulf of Thailand to the Southwest. Many foreign visitors have named Vietnam as the "balcony on the Pacific". If you have a chance to go along the coast of Vietnam you will be awarded a rare opportunity to enjoy such beautiful swimming beaches as Tra Co, Do Son, Sam Son, Cua Lo, Ly Hoa, Thuan An, Non Nuoc, My Khe, Nha Trang, Vung Tau and Ha Tien. Their pure white sand is famous. In some places you can see parts of mountains jutting out from the sea which make the local seascapes breathtaking. On such magnificent place is Ha Long Bay which has recently been listed as an item in the World Heritage by UNESCO. Endowed with particular geographical features, Viet Nam's coast has been awarded by nature a series of big deep sea ports. They are located at Hon Gai, Hai Phong,Cua Lo, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, Cam Ranh, Vung Tau and Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City). Cam Ranh sea ports is known world-wide as one of the world's most ideal sea port in terms of the size and location. Off shore on Viet Nam's continental shelf are thousands of islands and islets lying scattered from the northern to southern end. Among them are the Truong Sa (Spratlys) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos.


Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with humidity averaging 84 % throughout the year. However, because of differences in latitude and the marked variety of topographical relief, the climate tends to vary considerably from place to place.

During the winter or dry season, extending roughly from November to April, the monsoon winds usually blow from the northeast along the China coast and across the Gulf of Tonkin, picking up considerable moisture; consequently the winter season in most parts of the country is dry only by comparison with the rainy or summer season. During the southwesterly summer monsoon, occurring from May to October, the heated air of the Gobi Desert rises, far to the north, inducing moist air to flow inland from the sea and deposit heavy rainfall. Annual rainfall is substantial in all regions and torrential in some, ranging from 1,200 to 3,000 millimeters (47.2 to 118.1 in). Nearly 90 % of the precipitation occurs during the summer. The average annual temperature is generally higher in the plains than in the mountains and plateaus. Temperatures range from a low of 5 °C (41 °F) in December and January, the coolest months, to more than 37 °C (98.6 °F) in April, the hottest month. Seasonal divisions are more clearly marked in the northern half than in the southern half of the country, where, except in some of the highlands, seasonal temperatures vary only a few degrees, usually in the 21–28 °C (69.8–82.4 °F) range. Vietnam's climate is typical for the tropics: the weather all around the year is in high temperatures and humidity. In particular, Vietnam's climate regions include two main climate regions: the North and the South with the boundary is Hai Van Pass. In the North, climate is tropical monsoon climate and has four distinct seasons including spring, summer, autumn and winter. Climate in the North shows continental character clearer than that in the South. When northeastern monsoon is active (from November to March), it’s the winter and the weather becomes cold and dry. The temperature is lowest in December and January. On some mountains in the North such as Sapa, Tam Dao, Hoang Lien Son, etc, it can down to 0°C and have snow. In the South, climate is less affected by monsoon operations. Thus, tropical character is more typical than in the North with two separate seasons: dry season and rainy season. The temperature in the South is quite stable and remains high all year round. Beside climate division from the North to the South, the climate also has differences between low and high areas as given structure of terrain. It was formed sub-climate regions like Sapa (Lao Cai Province), Da Lat (Lam Dong Province) with temperate climate. The average temperature of Vietnam ranges from 21°C to 27°C, and increases from the North to the South. The average annual rainfall is from 1,500 – 2,000 mm and humidity is around 80%. As the impact of complex terrain, monsoon operation and the sea, Vietnam usually suffers extreme weather phenomena such as hurricanes, floods, droughts. Statistically, there about 6-10 storms and tropical depression landed in Vietnam each year.

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