Vietnam – what it is.
Vietnam – a mysterious and sometimes unique, the country of South Asia. At different times it was ruled by Mongol khans and Chinese emperors. For over 100 years it was a colony of France, and only in the 20th century, gained full independence. The official name is the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The length of the peninsula is more than 3500 km . The main population is about 80% Vietnamese (Viets), the other 20% are Chinese and others (Thai, Tay, Muong, Hoa). The capital city is Hanoi. The main language is Vietnamese, with many dialects. International spoken languages include: Chinese, English, French, German, and Russian.
The determining factor for the country’s climate is its location. Vietnam is located in the subequatorial tropical belt , but the elongated shape of the peninsula determines the weather depending on the area. Northern winters are cool up to +15 C and sometimes frosty in the mountains, southern winters are hot up to 26 C. The amount of precipitation is determined by the shape of the peninsula, winter is dry in the southern part and wet in the north. In summer, the rainy season takes place all over the country. And from May to October is not uncommon, powerful typhoons .
Who are the Vietnamese?
The most important thing for any Vietnamese – the family . And they are not only parents, children, but also relatives up to the third tribe. The law of Vietnam allows two children and imposes a fine for every following one. Children in the country are treated in a special way, they are loved and pampered by everyone around. An important point is that for the Vietnamese there are no strangers’ children. They are always welcome, and at the market a buyer with a child will always be given a fruit or a sweet.
The daily routine of the inhabitants of the country is peculiar and in some ways similar to the Russian one in the villages. Work begin early, with the first rays of the sun, and end with the sunset. The only cardinal difference is that the Viets have a rest from about 12 to 15 o’clock. It is common to go to bed at lunchtime next to unsold goods or on your own motorcycle.
Who are the Vietnamese?
Another distinguishing feature of the inhabitants of the state is the traffic . A newcomer’s opinion is that there are no rules on the roads, everyone moves as convenient, but it is not so, although it is sharply different from the conventional norms.
And a few words more about the concept of cleanliness in the house and on the street for the Vietnamese. In any restaurant or cafe it is a common practice to throw the trash right under the table and only after the guest leaves the establishment it will be cleaned up. There is no garbage chute in the country, so you can periodically see huge garbage bags in the street, 2-3 times a day a special vehicle passes and collects them.
Collecting the whole portrait of a native Vietnamese, you can see a good-natured, cheerful, loving, above all his family and country, the person.
Attractions of the country
Vietnam is a unique country in the number of historical, cultural and natural attractions. Eight have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In order not to be confused and to see the main places of the state, here is a brief list. What else to watch and learn in Vietnam, everyone will decide for himself, based on preference.
Halong Bay (Hanoi)
Halong Bay (Hanoi)
One of the unique natural attractions of Vietnam , recently inscribed in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Breathtaking beauty bay, a length of 1500 km, divided into 3000 islands with plants, which are amazing variety.
Some of the islands can be accessed by boat or motorboat, paying a small sum of money to the owner. But all the charm of the place is better seen from a small elevation above the bay, from the mainland. From here you have a stunning view of the bright blue water surface and small pieces of rock.
The history of Halong Bay is full of tales, omens and superstitions. One of them, explains the origin of scattered islets. Allegedly in ancient times lived there a huge dragon that went under the water, and the islands are the surviving pieces of land.
Cu Chi Tunnels (Ho Chi Minh City)
Cu Chi Tunnels (Ho Chi Minh City)
One of the largest cities in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Its history is inextricably linked to the war between the country and the United States, which lasted 25 years. At that time and appeared tunnels Kuchi . The soldiers lived here, fought and created new weapons, the basis of which were American shells. Over the years, the structures have become more and more ruined and unsafe. Because of this, independent visits to the tunnels are strictly forbidden. With the permission of the government, activists have created several “tourist” destinations that can be accessed for a modest fee.
After that the hiker will be invited to shoot at targets with a real machine gun. And at the end of the tour, a documentary film will be shown.
White Dune and Lotus Lake (Phan Thiet)
White Dunes and Lotus Lake (Phan Thiet)
The impressive White Dunes and Lotus Lake are located 25 km away from the small town of Phan Thiet, in the southeast of the country. Looking at the dunes, it is easy to forget that they are in Vietnam. You should come here either in the early morning or at sunset. At this time, due to the different position of the sun, you can see how the color of the sand changes from golden to white. Exactly in the middle of the dunes is a wonderful lake of lotuses. The name came from the fact that all its space is covered with flowers. The blooming period of the lotus is short, so to see this miracle of nature, you need to carefully choose the time of the excursion.
Mai Son (Mi Son) Temple Complex
Temple complex My Son (Mi Son).
This complex is located a few kilometers from the city of Da Nang. In the process of creation, from V to XIII century, built 70 temples and other buildings. The largest is the main temple of the Cham Kingdom. All of them were built in glory to the gods Shivu and Vishnu . Later appeared the royal tombs, where in front of each is written: who is buried and his achievements. That is why historians called the place Sacred Land.
For a long time this cultural value was unknown, and only in the last century, thanks to French scientists, the place was discovered and included in the list of UNESCO. Now the complex is in a very poor condition, and many buildings are closed to the public due to possible collapses. But a few temples and former warehouses, especially in the central area, can still be seen.
It is impossible to list all the sights at once, as they are everywhere in the country and you can admire them endlessly.
When you come to Vietnam, it is impossible to ignore the unique cuisine. There is a special attitude to the food in Vietnam, seemingly simple rice becomes a separate and unique dish. The traditional cuisine of the country is characterized primarily by unique flavors. Up to 25 spices and seasonings can be added to one dish. Also, no meal in Vietnam can do without a lot of greens and fresh vegetables.
The reign of Vietnamese, Mongol khans, Chinese emperors and French governors general have influenced the traditional cuisine . The cuisine is also divided by the regions of the country. Thus, in the north , it is largely dominated by greasy, hot , grilled viands . For example: Pho soup , in Russian menus there is the original translation of ” ocean Monday “, Spring roll ( Viet cu ộ n m ù a xu â n ). What is interesting is that the northern cuisine is traditional for the Vietnamese, while the southern cuisine is not and includes admixtures of food from other countries.
Interestingly, the indigenous people of the country, consider Russian cuisine rather boring and bland, due to the lack of non-traditional combination of products. Many Vietnamese recipes are already 2000 years old, and they amaze with their variety. For the Vietnamese it is usual to mix in one dish the maximum number of ingredients. Therefore, most Europeans find it strange and often striking, unpleasant, but always memorable taste.
Vietnam is a country in South Asia, which is loved and hated, but it does not leave anyone indifferent. Next to the giant skyscrapers there are historical monuments of culture and nature. The luxurious life of businessmen goes next to the simple, sometimes childishly naive, sometimes sly, residents of the country. Where patriotism and nepotism are respected by all, regardless of status and education.
Vietnam – what it really is and where to vacation
Vietnam is a multinational republic, which plays an important role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Today it is a modern country with a developed economy. It has access to the Chinese Sea. The total area of the country is 331 210 square meters. There are about 90 million people. Inhabitants speak Vietnamese. In general educational institutions study English, French, German, Chinese. The reason for the resort’s popularity – well-kept beaches, excellent service, interesting culture.
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Modern Vietnam is a combination of traditions and cultures of different tribes. All kinds of civilizations have existed in the area. They disappeared and reappeared. The country has a good location on the world map. It is located in the southeastern part of Asia. It occupies the eastern part of the Indochina peninsula. In the north, there are borders with China. To the west are Cambodia and Laos.
Most of the territory is occupied by mountains of amazing beauty. There are a lot of rivers and lakes, including underwater ones. The most impressive bodies of water are the Mekong and the Hongkha. They flow into the South China Sea. During heavy monsoon rains, the water level in the rivers increases excessively.
The Republic is characterized by its great length. Therefore, the climate conditions are varied. A subequatorial monsoon climate prevails. There are three regions – south, north and center. Winter is mild, with little precipitation. Summers are hot and humid. The temperature is high – 26-29 degrees. It remains virtually unchanged throughout the year.
For vacationers there are two seasons – dry and wet. The peak of precipitation is in July and August. The dry season lasts all year except September and October. It can be cold in the mountains. The temperature can be below – 0 degrees.
Do I need a visa, rules at customs?
You do not need a visa to travel. This rule has appeared recently. It is enough to have a passport with a validity of at least three months. For a long visit, you can’t do without a visa, but it is not a hassle to obtain one.
There are certain restrictions at customs. They apply to the imported currency. You can carry no more than 3000 USD. The rest of the amount is subject to a customs declaration. National banknotes can not be taken out.
Drugs, chemical products are prohibited. The punishment is severe. The same requirement applies to firearms and explosives. Antiques, handicrafts, jewelry must be accompanied by receipts and permits. The same applies to household appliances, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages.
Population and politics
The country ranks 13th in terms of population. A large proportion of people live in the city. Not more than 20% of the citizens live in the countryside. Ethnic composition is characterized by diversity. 88% are Viets. The rest are Chinese, Thais, Japanese, hill tribes, and others. It is easy for a tourist to adapt here since most people speak English, Chinese, and Russian fluently. Therefore, it is not necessary to bring a phrasebook.
This is a parliamentary republic. That is, the national assembly – parliament. It consists of 498 deputies. They choose the head. The governor is the president. The peninsula consists of 59 provinces. There are five central cities.
Resort cities and their attractions
The country has been through many wars. After them she is still not thoroughly recovered. In many communities are still undergoing archaeological work. Ancient monuments are being reconstructed. Lovers of excursions here will be able to rest well and discover many unexplored things.
The resort city of Hanoi is beloved by guests of European countries. He is famous for the huge park areas, beautiful mansions, wide streets, pagodas, etc. There is a lot to see in the surrounding area. We suggest you start your review with Halong Bay and the compact islands of the Baitilong archipelago.
Hue is no less interesting place. It is considered the capital of the last emperors. There are magnificent palaces and pagodas everywhere. The nature is extraordinarily spectacular. The ruins of the Kinh Thanh Citadel are a sight to behold. Previously, it was a mighty military fortification. Walking around the area, you can capture the complex cannons “Nine Holy Guns”, numerous museums, libraries, pagoda Tienmu, “Tombs of Emperors” and much more.
Every tourist wants to visit Hoi An . This is a real outdoor museum. Concentrated unthinkable number of temples and other ancient values. You can see the legendary Cuan Cong, the popular water park, the pass Haiwan, mountain peaks, pagoda Kaodai . Positive emotions guaranteed.
Nha Trang is famous for the Po Nagar Cham Towers. This is a rare object. Only four of them in the world. There is a museum where you can get acquainted with the representatives of flora and fauna. In total there are about 8000 species. There is an unusual lake. It is divided into four parts. This is an aquarium Chingguen . It is inhabited by ornamental fish. Among them there are predators.
Not far from the port of Cam Ranh there is another settlement attractive to tourists – Dalat. Many people head here to visit the art gallery of Madame Dang Viet Nga . The original decoration of the local land is the Flower Garden. You can stroll through them enjoying the peace and harmony.
The metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City is rampant Asian neighborhoods, small alleys, masses of people, cafes, restaurants. The main attractions are the imperial Jade Pagoda, the Trang Hang Dao abode, Notre Dame and Duc Ba cathedrals.
You can explore the sights of Vietnam to infinity. At the same walk will be good for your health. Especially memorable is a trip to the hot springs of Mu An. The temperature of local waters is 52 degrees. They are medicinal. They are used to treat skin diseases, digestive disorders, allergies. Water with a characteristic odor of hydrogen sulfide contains negatively charged ions. Nearby operate a spa complex and restaurant.
Halong Bay is waiting for those who are looking for solitude and peace. If the legend is to be believed, it was once home to a dragon. On the ground were the remnants of his huge feet. Today, small islets remind of this event. The parameters of the bay are 1 500 km2. There are a lot of caves and cliffs. In the acoustic grotto you can enjoy the unusual sounds.
In Vietnam, there is a statue of Jesus Christ. It is located on the island of Vungtau . The monument is similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro. The figure is mounted on a mountain. The Catholic community took part in the construction.
The cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of dishes. In total, there are about 500 items. Even the fastidious gourmand will be able to find the right solution. The peculiarity of the dishes is the presence of a unique flavor. The food leaves a unique aftertaste. Café and restaurant menus are a combination of China, France, and Korea.
One of the popular dishes is Fo soup, Fa Bo. It is made of beef and noodles. Rice, cakes, and fish sauces are also in demand. Several flavors can be combined in one product – sweet, spicy, sour, salty, and spicy. A single product can contain anywhere from 4 to 20 seasonings. If you don’t like the food, it’s sure to be memorable. It’s worth a try. Breakfast starts early, before the heat sets in. Lunch is long. Dinner is early.
Rice is the most popular side dish. A well-known soup is “Pho” (beef, greens, noodles, soy sprouts, corn). It is consumed regardless of the time of day. The broth cooks for up to six hours.
For something special, order the Các món ăn từ ốc. Translated into Russian, this word means “ocean of Monday”. It is made from snails. They are served with herbs and garnishes. They are fried or boiled. The result is delicious and unusual.
The fantasy of local chefs knows no boundaries. Try the baguettes stuffed with Banh Mi. This is the city’s favorite fast food. You can buy it on every corner and it looks delicious.
The pancakes are a culinary masterpiece. They are fundamentally different from the Russian ones, because they are made with crab meat, pork and greens. Rice flour is used as a coating.
Drinks are tea, sugar cane juice, ginseng, coffee, iced cocoa, cocktail made of egg yolks, condensed milk, and carbonated water, fruit shake, coconut milk. You can choose something hotter – liquor, wine, beer, etc.
Useful information for the tourist
If your budget is limited, Vjetnam is a great option. Food and souvenirs are inexpensive. In the markets you can bargain. The silverware is very beautiful. There are branches of clothing factories Nike and Adidas. Sports uniforms can be purchased at low cost. Shopping is varied. Tourists are attracted by everything – cosmetics, dishes, textiles, furniture, sweets, jewelry, booze. All this costs relatively inexpensive. Therefore, most likely the most expensive investment in the tour will be the purchase of a plane ticket.
The choice of hotels is large. You can find a comfortable room for any budget. Luxurious hotels are located in the center. You can find a cheaper option in the suburbs.
There are no difficulties with electricity. The plugs are designed for European and Russian appliances. The mains voltage is 220 V. Interruptions are rare and happen mainly in the villages.
In general, the country is safe to visit. There are some nuances, which should be taken into account. Petty theft is rampant. Keep a close eye on your belongings. Do not leave them unattended. In the case of theft, contact the police. Burglars work on motorcycles. It is not uncommon to snatch bags in a crowd. Shoulder bags help avoid loss.
Merchants in the markets are loyal, courteous, loving visitors. Cheating is rare. But the risk of buying low-quality goods is in any country. Do not throw away receipts. They will come in handy at customs. When going shopping, it is advisable to find out in advance the price of a particular item. The fact is that many sellers fix the price on their own, and that inexperience you may pay several times more.
Tips are not left. If you want to thank the liked service, then round up the amount of the order. While eating is allowed to use any devices, there are no strict rules.
Law enforcement agencies are working around the clock and try not to touch holidaymakers unnecessarily. Officially, it is supposed to carry identity documents when a foreigner walks. But they are not checked. But it is better to carry your passport, as in its absence, you will have to pay a fine.
Transport can be rented. When using a motorcycle, be careful. When you get into an accident, it is often the motorcyclist who is at fault, even if you are hit by a drunk driver. Renting a car leads to the risk of fraud. Thefts are not uncommon.
In order to use medical services, it is necessary to pay the insurance at the travel company. Medical care here has not yet reached the European level. Polyclinics, pharmacies work competently and are loyal to vacationers. The main diseases are malaria and avian flu. Such problems are possible only in remote areas. On tours are useful remedies for protection against insects. From burns help sunscreen. Always wear a hat. The climate is hot, there is a danger of sunstroke.
To be on the safe side, don’t eat outdoors. Local exotic will not be to the taste of every European. Russian visitors quickly adapt to the new diet, the main thing is not to overdo it. Do not drink running water, buy bottled. It is prohibited to drink from the tap. The punishment for drug possession is severe.
Showing respect for residents, do not walk the streets in beach attire. Sunbathing without a swimsuit is also not accepted.