Vietnam Fast Facts

Vietnam Fast Facts

Real Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam (although is most often referred to as Vietnam)

Country is considered part of: South East Asia

Country borders: Laos and Cambodia in the West, China in the North

Bodies of water bordered: East Sea in the South, as well as the Gulf of Thailand and the Gulf of Tonkin

Population: Vietnam’s population is topping 90 million inhabitants. Birth rate: 16.83/1000; Life expectancy: 72.41

Population Density per sq mi: 683

Capital City: Hanoi (6.5 million metro area, 2.6 million city proper)

Largest Cities: Ho Chi Minh 9 million, Hanoi 6.5 million, Hai Phong, 1,907,705; Da Nang, 887,069; Hue 333,715; Nha Trang, 392,279

Area: Approximately 330,000 km² (One reliable source measures: Land area: 125,622 sq mi (325,361 sq km); Total area: 127,244 sq mi (329,560 sq km)

Largest Mountain Peak: Mount Fansipan (listed as the 9th highest mountain in SE Asia with an apex 3,142 m above sea level)

Location: 10°10’-10°38’N, 106°22’-106°54’E

Electricity: AC 220 volts

Ethnonym: Saigonese

Country’s Liberation date: 30 April 1975

Official Language: Vietnamese (Although around fifty other languages, including Mandarin and Khmer are prevalent, as well as English and French are spoken by different groups, mostly expatriates).

Economy Fast facts: Main export partners include: United States, Japan and China. Vietnam is a member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) since 1998 and the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2007. Economy output is mainly based on agriculture: rice cultivation, exports, petroleum products and mineral resources.

Political Fast Facts: Socialist Republic, governed by Vietnamese National Assembly (elected every 5 years by indirect suffrage). President: Truong Tan Sang. Prime Minister: Nguyen Tan Dung.

Weather: South - tropical, North - Humid Subtropical

Rivers: Two rivers in Vietnam: the Mekong in the South and the Red river in the North of the country. The lands in these swampy delta plains surrounding the river areas are very fertile and ideal for growing rice and other crops and are congregated by the majority of the country's population.

Coastline: 3,444 km of coastline stretches along Vietnam, keeping beautiful beaches, coves, lagoons and tropical islands, including the amazing limestone pillars of Halong Bay, to the beach destinations of Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Da Nang and Vung Tau, and the island destinations of Phu Quoc and Con Dao islands.

Sports: Football (or soccer, as Americans call it) is the most popular sport in Vietnam, while other sports of interest include basketball, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, badminton, and martial arts.

Professional Basketball Team: SSA Saigon Heat

Currency: Dong

Most important holiday: Tet, the Lunar New Year, is held in January or February (23 Jan 2012).

Ho Chi Minh City Fast Facts

Name after reunification: Ho Chi Minh City

Name most widely used (informally) today: Saigon

Population: 7 - 8 million within Ho Chi Minh City Proper, but over 9 million when surrounding areas: Thu Dau Mot, Di An, Bien Hoa, that comprise the greater HCMC area are considered. Either way, it is the largest city in Vietnam.

Demography: Vietnamese (Kinh) make up the largest ethnic group, followed by Chinese (Hoa). By contrast, ethnic Cham persons account for just 0.1% of the city’s population. Migrant workers account for an estimated one - third of Ho Chi Minh City’s population.

Religion: mostly Buddhist, Catholic, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Protestant, Muslim

Telephone prefix: 08 when calling from within Vietnam. Drop the zero if calling from outside the country. Vietnam’s country code is +84.

Higher Education: Ho Chi Minh City has over 80 universities and colleges, totaling over 400,000 students

Number of five star hotel rooms: 4600

Number of skyscrapers (which are over 12 floors) under construction: 13

Highest viewpoint: Bitexco Financial Tower is highest (262 m), but the view is even better from Panorama Café atop the Saigon Trade Center (145 m), the second-tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City.

Climate: Saigon is hot year round. It becomes unbearably humid in April, just before the rains break in May. You’ll need high - factor sun cream.

High season: The busiest season is Oct - Feb and the European summer holidays.

Hanoi Fast Facts

Hanoi historical name: Thang Long (meaning ascending dragon)

When Hanoi became capital city of Vietnam: Hanoi has been the capital of Vietnam since as early as 1000 years ago. However, the city changed names at least five different names throughout its history, and it’s current name was officially recognized in 1831.

Best nature spot in Hanoi: Hoan Kiem Lake

Oldest pagoda: Pho Linh Tay Pagoda

Climate: varies significantly (19 - 33°C) with the 4 seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter

Population: Vietnam’s 2nd largest city; 6.5 million metro area, 2.6 million city proper

Telephone prefix: 04 when calling from within Vietnam. Drop the zero if calling from outside the country. Vietnam’s country code is +84.

Geography: Hanoi is located at the same geographical latitude, (21 degrees North), as Honolulu, Hawaii and Cancun, Mexico.

Most famous local foods: Cha Ca, Bun Cha, egg coffee

High Season: September - November and March - April