Travels in Vietnam:

Extended Vietnam Hiking (14 days)
More highlights of Vietnam by foot

Vietnam Hiking (9 days)
Discover this beautiful land by foot

Vietnam Mountain Biking (14 days)
Mountains and beaches plus culture

Vietnam Mountain Biking 9 Days (9 days)
A biking tour in small groups

Quick Facts:


Official Name:

Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam




331,689 sq km





Population figure:

Approx. 76.3 million


1999 Census: Viet/Kinh: 65.8 million (86.21%); Tay: 1.48 million (1.94%); Thai: 1.33 million (1.74%); Muong: 1.14 million (1.49%); Khmer: 1.06 million (1.38%); Hoa (ethnic Han Chinese): 0.862 million (1.13%); Nung 0.856 million (1.12%); Hmong: 0.787 million (1.03%)


Buddhist (approx.70%); Catholic (approx. 8%); Protestant (approx. 1.2%); div. syncretistic religions

National holiday:

September 2nd (Independence Day)

Government type:

Centralized system dominated by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV)


The climate is tropical and monsoonal; humidity averages 84 percent throughout the year. Annual rainfall ranges from 120 to 300 centimetres (47 to 118 in), and annual temperatures vary between 5?C (41?F) and 37?C (99?F).


The country is approximately 331,688 square kilometres (128,066 sq mi) in area. The topography consists of hills and densely forested mountains, with level land covering no more than 20 percent. Mountains account for 40 percent, hills 40 percent and forests 75 percent. The northern part of the country consists of highlands and the Red River Delta. The south is divided into coastal lowlands, Dai Truong Son (central mountains) with high plateaus, and the Mekong River Delta.

Entry regulations

Visas issued by an Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam allow you to visit the entire country. The validity of the individual passport has to exceed the one of the visa by at least one month.


Vietnam's wildlife is enormously widespread but threatened due to the advancing forest devastation. According to new surveys, only 200 tigers, less than sixty Asian elephants and an estimated 10 Java rhinos are living in Vietnam today; their survival is doubtful.


The present-day Vietnamese culture consists of a mixture of three different elements: original local cultures of the Vietnamese and other peoples of the country, and Chinese elements imported during the reign of the Chinese emperors. Since the days of French colonization Western elements also formed Vietnamese culture.


In 208 BC, a Qin general (Zhao Tuo) established a country called Nam Viet which encompassed Southern China and the Red River Delta. In 939, the Vietnamese defeated Chinese forces and gained independence. They gained complete autonomy a century later. The independent period ended in the mid-19th century, when the country was colonized by France. The French maintained dominant control of their colony until World War II, when Japanese forces invaded and occupied Vietnam. After the war France attempted to reestablish its colony, however a Communist insurgency that had arisen during Japanese occupation forced the French into a bloody eight-year war that culminated in French defeat and shortly afterwards their retreat. The country was divided at the 17th parallel into North Vietnam and South Vietnam during the Geneva Accords. Both South and North Vietnam formed strategic partners in the years that followed, the South aligning itself with the United States and the North with China and the Soviet Union. All American troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973. The Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973 formally recognized the sovereignty of both sides, however the fighting continued until the North overpowered the South in 1975 and unified the country under the North Vietnamese rule as The Socialist Republic of Vietnam.


Both, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have international airports that are directly connected to only a few European but most Asian major cities. There are a number of connections to and from China and the other neighbouring countries by train and road. Most border crossings only operate during the day. Visitors can choose between any border crossing point as long as they possess all necessary documents.

This article is partly based on a free article of the encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is subject to GNU-licence for free documentation. A list of authors is available on Wikipedia


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