Gerneral Viet nam
The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi but the largest city is Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), which is the cultural and economic centre with a populationof 7 million and the biggest port in Vietnam.
Width: 600 km at the widest point and 50 km at the narrowest point.
Vietnam covers an area of 330,363 sq. km and is about as big as Italy or New Mexico. The country has three main geographic regions - the tropical south dominated by the Mekong River estuary, the dry central region, and the more temperate north comprising the Red River delta and mountain highlands.
Inland area: 330,991 Km2
Length: 1,650 Km
Vietnam’s climate is very diverse because the country covers a wide range of latitudes and altitudes
Due to its long shape bordering the South China Sea, Vietnam has a very diversified weather and climate so visitors can come to Vietnam all year round without having many climatic disadvantages.
The cold season is between November and April when average temperatures are around 60°F/16°C and it is often wet and chilly. In the hot period, between May and October, the average temperature is about 86°F/30°C.
Central Vietnamoffers a combination of climates: northern and southern. The southern part has less rainfall and the temperatures are similar to those in the south. The northern part has more rain and significant changes in temperature. The rainy season in the center lasts from September to December. Especially during the months of October and November, central Vietnam is hit by typhoons with strong winds and heavy downpours.
The temperatures in the south are constant all year, ranging from 77-86°F/25-30°C. The dry season is from November to April and the wet period from May to October.. Local Time Vietnamis 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. It is the same time zone as Bangkok.
In Vietnam electric current is mostly 220V in main cities, although you can still find 110V in rural areas. Sockets are both round and flat types.
It is advisable not to drink water from the tap unless it is boiled properly.
International phone call charges from Vietnam have decreased tremendously over the past few years. Today through the services-call 171 or 178, cost of an international phone call is 0,75 USD/minute. This service is free, but if you need to call from a hotel, it is advisable to check first with the reception.
GSM phone coverage is also good in Vietnam, although you may have no network connection in remote areas.
Internet cafés are present a little bit everywhere; some of them are even offering Wifi.
Health & Medical Facilities
No vaccination is required, but visitors are advised to receive inoculations against hepatitis A and B, typhoid and tetanus. Inoculation for yellow fever and tablets for malaria are not necessary although doctors still usually recommend them. . Hanoiand Ho Chi Minh City have good hospitals staffed with foreign medical personnel, however for life threatening injury it can be necessary to be evacuated to Bangkok or Singapore and we therefore strongly recommended to take out medical travel insurance.
Vietnam supports adherents of all the major world religions, as well as followers of religions that are peculiarly Vietnamese: Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, Protestant and Catholic Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Cao Daism, Hoa Hao and Hinduism. In addition spirit and ancestor worship, To Tien, is also practiced. Confucianism is probably the most pervasive doctrine of all.
Ethnic Vietnamese constitute almost 90 percent of the population in Vietnam. Originating in what is now southern China and northern Vietnam, the Vietnamese people pushed southward over several centuries to occupy the entire eastern seacoast of the Indochinese Peninsula. This expansion began in 939 AD, after a millennium of Chinese occupation. Although Vietnamese culture was strongly influenced by traditional Chinese civilization, the struggle for political independence from China developed a strong sense of national identity in the Vietnamese people. Nearly 100 years of French rule (1858-1954) introduced important European elements, but the Vietnamese still attach great importance to the family and continue to observe rites honoring their ancestors, indicating the persistence of tradition.
Various ethnic groups make up the remaining 10 percent of the population, with approximately 1.2 million Chinese, concentrated in southern Vietnam, being the most numerous.
The second largest minority, the southern Montagnards (mountain people) comprises two main ethno-linguistic groups - Malayo-Polynesian and Mon-Khmer. About 30 groups of various cultures and dialects are spread over the highland territory. The third largest minority is the Khmer Krom (Cambodians), numbering about 600,000, who are concentrated in the southern provinces near the Cambodian border and at the mouth of the Mekong River. Most are farmers. Other minority groups include Cham (remnants of the once-mighty Kingdom of Champa, destroyed by the Vietnamese in the 16th century).