Vietnam is situated on the Eastern seaboard of the Indochinese Peninsula. Its neighbours include China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, with its coastal waters the East Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The country’s total length from North to South is 1,650km. Its width, (from East to West) is 600km at the widest point in the North, 400km in the South and 50km at the narrowest point - Quang Binh Province – central Vietnam. The coastline is 3,260km long and the inland border is 4,510km. Vietnam is also a transport junction between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
Vietnam has both tropical and temperate climate zones. It is characterized by strong monsoon influences, but has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall with high humidity. Districts located near the mountainous regions are endowed with a temperate climate.
People & Culture
Vietnamese people are a special mix of cultures, languages and historical backgrounds. The common denominator amongst them is that, as in most Southeast Asian countries, they love to smile and are genuinely interested in foreign visitors. The new generation of Vietnamese are largely unfamiliar with the devastation the country suffered years ago. With around ten million followers and 20,000 pagodas, Buddhism is undoubtedly the largest established religion, however Vietnam has a rich and wide variety of religions based on imported faiths and popular beliefs, with several indigenous groups embracing animism, theism and ancestor worship. Catholicism, introduced by European missionaries, is the second largest religion, with about six million followers, and more than 6,000 churches. Vietnam’s indigenous religions, including the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao sects, have their holy lands in the city of Tay Ninh and the provinces of Chau Doc and An Giang in the Mekong Delta. They peacefully coexist with one another and have contributed to the struggle against foreign aggression through the Vietnam Fatherland Front. Visitors entering Buddhist pagodas are expected to remove their shoes and it is considered impolite to point your feet especially the soles towards people or Buddha statues.Donations to the upkeep of temples are not expected, but are received gratefully. Permission should be asked before taking photographs of people or in places of worship.
Vietnam’s diverse natural environment, geography, history and culture have created great potential for the tourism industry. Vietnam consists of long coastlines, forests and mountainous regions with a variety of unique geographic landscapes. Vietnam has a long history and is culturally diverse with fascinating architecture throughout the land for the tourist industry. Vietnam consists of long coastlines, forests and mountain regions with a variety of unique geographic landscapes.
The Vietnamese Experience
Vietnam is an evolving nation. Its people are energetic, friendly, motivated and resilient by nature. This is a delightful and fun country to explore. The locals love to laugh, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialize, especially in the rural regions. Vietnam is developing at an astonishing pace.
When to Visit
The nation’s weather patterns consist of two distinct seasons – WET & DRY. Winter brings some monsoonal rains in the South, between October and March with cold ‘wind chill’ temperatures in the North. From April to October, summer season brings very hot and often humid weather to the entire country.The peak international travel season is from November to March and again in July/August. Domestic travel continues to grow with the busiest months being July/August.Some visitors like to plan a visit during the famous Tet holiday period (Vietnamese Lunar New Year). This is the biggest festival in the lunar calendar, which falls in late January or early February. It is an extremely quite and peaceful time to visit, where the majority of the population return to their homeland villages to spend time with families, friends and relatives.For those considering a summer vacation, then focus on the coastal areas to enjoy the sea breezes and cooler climate.