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Discover Vietnam with Timothy Tye

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Halong Bay, VietnamHalong Bay, Vietnam (31 August, 2006)

Vietnam is a country that is 331,690 square kilometers in size. It forms a long strip on the eastern coast of Indo-China, sharing border with China to the north, Laos to the northwest, and Cambodia to the southwest. The land has been inhabited for thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation going back to Paleolithic times. It has suffered successive invasion and occupation by foreign powers, chief among them China in the ancient times and France in more recent history.

The capital of Vietnam today is the city of Hanoi, also spelled Ha Noi. It is the second largest city in the country, and as with all major cities of Vietnam, is rapidly growing and developing.

Major Cities of Vietnam

Major Tourist Attractions of Vietnam

Categories of Sights in Vietnam

Visitors to Vietnam focus on the major attractions around Hanoi, such as Halong Bay, Sapa, Perfume Pagoda and Tam Coc. Some venture further south, to explore ancient cities such as Hue, Hoi An, Dalat, as well as Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest city in Vietnam formerly known as Saigon.

In Vietnam Travel Guide, I want to provide you an overview of this remarkable country, and take you through to all the major cities as well as the lesser-known ones. I hope that this website will provide you with the necessary information to explore and enjoy Vietnam.

Old Quarter of Hoi AnOld Quarter of Hoi An
photo source
authorshipJean-Marie Hullot
photo licensing

Planning your trip to Vietnam

There are three international airports in Vietnam - in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang. Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the busiest of the three. The visa to Vietnam is not cheap. A single-entry visa to Vietnam costs US$34 and is valid for a stay of 30 days. It takes 4-7 days to process. You can also get express visas, processed in 2-3 days, at twice the price. You can get it at the Vietnamese consulate in Battambang, Cambodia. You can also get your visa at the Vietnam Embassy in Bangkok for ฿1,800, done in 3 days. Elsewhere, you can get it at the Vietnam Embassy in London for £44 or at the Vietnamese Mission in New York City for US$80.

Tran Dynasty Temple, VietnamTran Dynasty Temple, Vietnam
photo source
authorshipLuu Ly
photo licensing

Landmark Tower, HanoiLandmark Tower, Hanoi
photo source
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Vietnam by Region

  1. Northern Vietnam
    Home to some of the country's oldest temples and fortresses, this region is also blessed with picturesque mountain and seascapes.
  2. Central Vietnam
    Located between the Truong Son Range ande the South China Sea, this region offers beautiful beaches as well as four World Heritage Sites.
  3. South Central Vietnam
    Location of the ancient Kingdom of Champa, this is a densely populated region dotted with fishing villages.
  4. Southern Vietnam
    Region dominated by the Mekong Delta, and includes pristine islands and beaches.

Vietnam Travel Information

Time Zone: 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Currency: dong
Language: Vietnamese. English gaining popularity as a language for tourism and commerce.
International Dialing Code: 84
Population: 84 million
Religion: Mahayana Buddhism, Catholic, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam.
Electricity: 220V 50 Hz
Electrical Outlet: two round pins, some times three round pins. If you bring a laptop, get a surge suppressor to guard against current fluctuations. (See details here:
Driving: On the right side of the road.

Sungsot Cave, Halong BaySungsot Cave, Halong Bay (31 August, 2006)

Vietnam Public Holidays

The following are public holidays observed in Vietnam:
  • New Year Day: 1 January
  • Tet (Lunar New Year): January/February, similar to Chinese New Year celebrated elsewhere.
  • Founding Day of the Coomunist Party of Vietnam: 3 February
  • Women's Day: 8 March
  • Youth Day: 28 March
  • Liberation of Saigon Day: 30 April
  • International Labour Day: 1 May
  • Victory Day: 7 May, commemorating the victory over France
  • Ho Chi Minh's Birthday: 19 May
  • Children's Day: 1 June
  • Memorial Day: 27 July
  • August 1945 Revolution Day: 19 August
  • National Day: 2 September
  • Teacher's Day: 20 November
  • Army Day: 22 December

Religion in Vietnam

After the years of suppression against religion in the early part of the 20th century, Vietnam today formally allows religious freedom. It recognises six religions namely Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Cao Dai and Hoa Hao. Other religions such as the Baha'i Coimmunity had to be awarded a "certificate of operation".

In Vietnam, you will see many temples that have distinct Chinese characteristics. The temples in Vietnam are often called "pagoda", even though they do not refer to the multi-tiered towers common in East Asia.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital FestivalHoa Lu Ancient Capital Festival
photo source
photo licensing

Cities of Vietnam

Listed here are the cities in Vietnam arranged by population.
  1. Ho Chi Minh City (7,123,000)
  2. Hanoi (6,449,000)
  3. Hai Phong (1,837,000)
  4. Can Tho (1,187,000)
  5. Da Nang (887,000)
  6. Bien Hoa (541,000)
  7. Nha Trang (361,000)
  8. Buon Ma Thuot (340,000)
  9. Hue (334,000)
  10. Quy Nhon (284,000)
  11. Vinh (282,000)
  12. Da Lat (256,000)
  13. Thai Nguyen (256,000)
  14. Vung Tau (240,000)
  15. Rach Gia (228,000)
  16. Long Xuyen (227,000)
  17. My Tho (215,000)
  18. Phan Thiet (205,000)
  19. Ca Mau (204,895)
  20. Thanh Hoa (198,000)
  21. Nam Dinh (192,000)
  22. Hai Duong (187,000)
  23. Pleiku (187,000)
  24. Thai Binh (186,000)
  25. Ha Long (185,000)
  26. Viet Tri (176,000)
  27. Soc Trang (174,000)
  28. Tuy Hoa (167,000)
  29. Tan An (166,000)
  30. Bac Ninh (153,000)
  31. Lang Son (148,000)
  32. Vinh Long (147,000)
  33. Kon Tum (137,000)
  34. Quang Ngai (134,000)
  35. Bac Giang (127,000)
  36. Hung Yen (121,000)
  37. Mong Cai (108,000)
  38. Dong Hoi (104,000)
  39. Phan Rang-Thap Cham (102,000)
  40. Dien Bien Phu (71,000)

Towns and Places of Interest in Vietnam

Provinces in Vietnam

  1. Ninh Binh (131,000)

World Heritage Sites in Vietnam

  1. Complex of Hué Monuments
  2. Ha Long Bay
  3. Hoi An Ancient Town
  4. My Son Sanctuary
  5. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

National Parks of Vietnam

  1. Bach Ma National Park
  2. Ba Be National Park
  3. Ba Vi National Park
  4. Bai Tu Long National Park
  5. Ben En National Park
  6. Bidoup Nui Ba National Park
  7. Bu Gia Map National Park
  8. Cat Ba National Park
  9. Cat Tien National Park
  10. Chu Mom Ray National Park
  11. Chu Yang Sin National Park
  12. Con Dao National Park
  13. Cuc Phuong National Park
  14. Hoang Lien National Park
  15. Kon Ka Kinh National Park
  16. Lo Go Xa Mat National Park
  17. Mui Ca Mau National Park
  18. Nui Chua National Park
  19. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
  20. Phu Quoc National Park
  21. Phuoc Binh National Park
  22. Pu Mat National Park
  23. Tam Dao National Park
  24. Tram Chim National Park
  25. Vu Quang National Park
  26. U Minh Ha National Park
  27. U Minh Thuong National Park
  28. Xuan Son National Park
  29. Xuan Thuy National Park
  30. Yok Don National Park

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