Are you one of those people that only think of Vietnam in terms of that 20th Century war? With these 51 interesting facts about Vietnam, explore how fascinating the country has become over the years; with beautiful scenery, amazing cuisine, and an awesome kaleidoscope of cultures that you definitely need to experience for yourself!
Vietnam’s history and culture
1. Legend has it that the peoples of this land originated from a union between an immortal Chinese princess and “The Dragon Lord of the Seas.”
2. The country’s name was originally spelled as two words, Viet Nam.
4. In 938 AD, the Vietnamese developed a trade system to exchange animal skins, ivory and tropical goods for Chinese scrolls on administration, philosophy and literature.
5. The body of their first president Ho Chi Minh (Uncle Ho) was embalmed, and is on display in a mausoleum.
6. Their flag consists of a golden star with five points to represent farmers, workers, intellectuals, youth and soldiers. The red background pays tribute to the bloodshed during the wars.
7. Traditional Vietnamese culture revolves around the core values of humanity, community, harmony, and family.
8. Tet Nguyen Dan (or simply Tet) is the most important festival in Vietnam. It celebrates rebirth, and is an equivalent of the Lunar New Year.
9. They also have a “love market” festival that is observed to commemorate a tragic forbidden love story, and to give modern day ex-lovers a chance to meet on neutral territory.
10. Vietnamese traditional fashion is easily distinguished by the flowing robes (Ao Dai) and conical hats (Non La).
Vietnam’s art and architecture
11. Their famous Dong Son drums are a relic of the sophisticated Bronze Age culture between 500 BC and 300 AD.
12. Water puppetry is another popular art form that dates back as far as the 11th century.
13. Construction styles vary from traditional stilt houses and Chinese style pagodas to colonial French architecture and thin tube houses.
14. Hoi An ancient town was a trading port from the 15th century that has endured up to date.
15. The My Son Sanctuary is a structural display of Hindu tower temples developed over ten centuries.
16. Hue’s royal tombs are a vivid portrayal of ancient royal art, architecture and geomancy.
17. In religious construction, pagodas are for worship and offerings, while temples are built to honor historical figures.
18. Thu Phap calligraphy involves “blowing beauty into every single character.”
19. Quan Ho folk songs are love duets between male and female singers considered by UNESCO to be an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, Geography and Landscape.
20. Rice terraces are planted that way to enable the crop to grow along the steep mountainsides.
21. Fansipan, also known as The Roof of Indochina is the highest mountain peak in the region.
22. The Red River in the North and Mekong in the South are surrounded by extremely fertile plains on which most of the country’s crops are grown.
23. Vietnam is also home to the world’s largest cave, Son Doong.
24. The Bin Chau Hotsprings are hot enough to boil eggs.
25. The Perfume River is so named due to the scent of the tropical flowers that fall onto the water during autumn.