Vietnam is a multinational republic, and its culture was formed under the influence of local tribes, neighboring countries and colonizers. As a result, we have a modern country with a developed economy, playing an important role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the world. Direct access to the China Sea and rich nature gave impetus to the development of tourism: today Vietnam is one of the most popular countries among lovers of exotic vacation.
The population of the country, which covers the territory of 331,210 km², according to the latest data is about 90 million people. Representatives of such ethnic groups as Vietas, Thais, Thais, Khmers and others live here. The official language in the country is Vietnamese, but at schools they also study English, French, and Chinese, so there will be no problems with communication in the big cities. Employees of hotels often know Russian as well.
Vacationers choose Vietnam primarily because of the sea and clean beaches. Also of great interest is the culture and ancient history of the country, which dates back to the 4th and 3rd centuries. BC.
it is a parliamentary republic with a one-party system.
Official language: Vietnamese
In tourism industry they speak French and English.
The main religions: Buddhism (55%), Catholicism (7%).
International name: VND
Banknotes: 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000; Coins do not have circulation. The most popular currency is the American dollar: it is accepted for payment everywhere. When paying with traveler's checks, as well as VISA, Master, JCB loans, a commission fee is charged.
History of Vietnam
Between 1860 and 1880 Vietnam was colonized by the French who built industrial cities in the cities and began to grow rubber plants on plantations. French domination came to an end in 1954, when the partisan detachments of the Communists occupied the north of the country, and it split into North and South Vietnam. In 1956, the military forces of the United States of America took the side of the South Vietnamese against the Communists of North Vietnam. Armed conflict turned into a fierce war. The government of South Vietnam was overthrown in 1975. American troops left the country, and in 1976, South Vietnam and North Vietnam merged. The country's economy was badly damaged by the war and political isolation. However, in the post-war years much has been done to restore the destroyed economy.
Excursions and attractions in Vietnam
Vietnam is famous for its magnificent nature, excellent sandy beaches, rich culture, beautiful ancient temples and traditional cuisine. Tourism in Vietnam is developing very rapidly and today it offers travelers a huge selection of comfortable hotels for every taste and an interesting excursion program.
The capital of Vietnam is the ancient city of Hanoi - the political, economic and cultural center of the country. Wide European avenues with modern skyscrapers perfectly exist alongside old quarters with narrow streets and colonial-style buildings. Undoubtedly, the beauty and pride of the city are the ancient temples. Among the most famous sights of Hanoi is the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Chua-Mot-Kot Pagoda (1049 Pagoda), Tai Pagoda (Masters Pagoda, 11th century), Bach Ma Temple (White Horse Temple, IX century), the pagoda of Chan Quoc (VI century), the temple of Kuan Thanh (XI century), the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu 1070), the Cathedral of St. Joseph (Hanoi Cathedral, 1886) and the Opera House. Also of interest are the Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of the Vietnamese Army, the Museum of History and the Revolution Museum. A special charm to the city is added by numerous lakes, the most famous among which are the West Lake (the largest lake in the city with numerous temples on the banks) and Lake of the "returned sword", also known as Hoan Kiem. In the center of Hoan Kiem Lake there is a tower called the "Temple of the Turtle" (Tuapse Jua). Nearby, on the small island, which is connected to the shore by a red bridge Thehek, is the temple of the Jade Mountain (Dan Ngoc Sean). Not far from Hanoi is the ancient capital of Vietnam, Hoala, where you can visit the ancient temple of Dan Dinh.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the largest city in the country, which, despite its rapid development and ubiquitous construction, has not yet lost its zest. Its green shady alleys and streets with elegant houses built by the French, as well as pagodas, mosques and Hindu temples create a unique atmosphere. The most famous sights of the city are the Jade Emperor Pagoda, Notre Dame de Saigon Cathedral of Saigon, Pagoda Zac Vien, Municipal Theater and the Museum of Military History. In Ho Chi Minh City there is a beautiful Botanical Garden, which today is a favorite vacation spot for townspeople and tourists. At some distance from the city there are two excellent waterparks – "Saigon" and "Vietnam".
An important historical, cultural and religious center of the country is Hueh - the capital of the last emperors of the Nguyen dynasty. Here you can visit the Tombs of the Emperors of Ming Man and You Dyk, the Forbidden Purple City, the Palace of Tai Hoa (Palace of Supreme Harmony), the Thien Mu pagoda, the Emperor's Museum, the Cathedral of the Savior and the Citadel with the imperial city, which is in some way a copy of the Beijing Forbidden City.
One of the most popular places in Vietnam is the picturesque Halong bay, which has over 3,000 islands. On one of the islands, called Tuanchau, the summer residence of Ho Chi Minh used to be located. The bay is also famous for its grottoes and caves of stunning beauty and a variety of their shapes and sizes.
Cuisine of Vietnam
For centuries Vietnamese cuisine was influenced by Chinese and Indian cuisine, but still it retained its unique blend of harmonious flavors and colors.
As in most Asian cuisines grain crops are the most important part of Vietnamese cuisine. Rice – number one grain - is served as a side to many dishes. And rice flour is used to make noodles and rice paper. Rice noodles - as well as wheat noodles - are very popular all over Vietnam. Vietnamese often eat more than one dish of noodles a day. Rice paper is used to prepare rolls, which are served with dipping sauce.
Vegetables such as cabbage, garlic, green onions, carrots, sweet peppers and chili peppers, tomatoes, bamboo shoots, green salad, cucumbers, celery and mushrooms are used very often. They cook soups with these vegetables, and they also add them to noodles, fries and curry, wrapped in rice paper or served as a side dish or salad.
Among the most common fruits are mangoes, pineapples, melons, lychees and tangerines, which are served as a snack or as a dessert, or added to the unsweetened dishes for contrast.
Beans, peas and lentils are often used in Vietnam. Tofu (soy cottage cheese), which is made from soybeans, is used in many traditional dishes. Bean sprouts and young pea pods are also a common accompaniment to food.
Peanuts are often grinded into a paste and added to goulash, soups and dishes with noodles.
From sesame seeds they make a fragrant sesame oil, which is sprinkled over ready-made dishes to add extra flavor.
Since Vietnam borders with the ocean, and also due to an extensive system of rivers, fish and seafood are one of the foundations of Vietnamese cuisine. Shrimp, crab, squid, mussels and numerous types of fish are used in many dishes. Vermicelli soups, fries, rice dishes, curry with coconut milk, baked dishes and rice paper rolls often include seafood and fish.
Beef is used very moderately in Vietnam. Pork is much more popular, but they don’t eat too much of it.
A bird, for example, a chicken, is used regularly both in hot and cold dishes, for example, in salads. They don’t use eggs very often.
In north-Vietnamese cuisine (northern Vietnam borders China) soy sauce is often used, but it is rarely used in central and southern Vietnam, where fish sauce (nouc mam) is more common. Fish sauce is made from fermented fish and is used as a seasoning in so many dishes; in addition it is used for making other sauces, for example, nuoc cham.
Fresh spicy herbs - another important component of Vietnamese cuisine: they are finely chopped or simply torn into pieces and added at the end of cooking to enhance the taste. The most common are coriander (coriander), mint and basil.
Chile and black ground pepper are added to dishes for a sharper taste. Sometimes finely chopped chili is added as an edible garnish. Among other important spices and seasonings in Vietnamese cuisine are garlic, lemon sorghum, ginger, vinegar, five spice powder, hoisin sauce and lemon and lime juice.
In Vietnam, there are a lot of joint ventures that produce products for export. For example, branches of sportswear factories "Nike" and "Adidas" in the local market sell their products three to four times cheaper than in Russia.
It is not recommended to drink tap water. You can safely order ice-filled drinks in major cities and hotels in Saigon, Hanoi, Nha-Chang, Da Nang, since ice is cooked in accordance with standards of hygiene. In the countryside you should not order drinks with ice, since it can be made from river water.
Vietnam is among ten safest countries in Eurasia. You only have to look out for thieves and obtrusiveness of street merchants.