Whet your appetite for visiting this amazing country with these 15 fun facts about Vietnam.
1. Vietnam was originally spelled as two words: Viet Nam – a name which dates as far back as the 16th century. Although the name became known as Vietnam – particularly in English writing – the Vietnamese Government and the United Nations still refer to the country as Viet Nam.
2. Vietnam is the world’s largest exporter of black pepper, producing about a third of the world’s total.
3. According to ancient Vietnamese folklore, Vietnamese people are descendants of dragons. The dragon is therefore a mythical figure the Vietnamese worship. It is also believed the dragon brings rain, which is needed for the large areas of agricultural land in the country.
4. The length of Vietnam’s coastline is more than 2,000 miles!
5. Fansipan is the highest mountain in Vietnam, and in fact in the whole of Indochina. At 3,143 metres tall, it’s nickname is “the roof of Indochina”.
6. Around 16% of the world’s species can be found in Vietnam, reflecting a high level of biodiversity.
7. Vietnam’s food philosophy is based on five elements: spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (Earth). The ideal dish of food should find the perfect balance of all these elements – which perhaps explains why Vietnamese food has become a global trend.
8. Vietnam is the world’s largest exporter of cashew nuts – which equates to 353,000 tonnes sold for US$3.52 billion per year.
9. The turtle is an important symbol in Vietnamese society. Said to symbolise intelligence, strength and longevity, Vietnamese people relate the turtle with victories and gaining independence after the influx of invaders at various stages in history.
10.Vietnamese people have a distinctive value system based on four areas. These are: allegiance to family, the desire of a ‘good name’ as recognised by others, a love of learning and respect for other people.
11. Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world, second only to Brazil. Although the Vietnamese export a lot of their product, coffee production has made them a nation of coffee drinkers too. A typical way of taking coffee in Vietnam is either hot or cold with sweetened condensed milk – as fresh milk was traditionally more difficult to store in the tropical climate.
12. Vietnam’s first President and Prime Minister – Ho Chi Minh or ‘Uncle Ho’ – died in 1969. His body was embalmed and is still on display in a mausoleum to this day.
13. Tet – the Vietnamese New Year – is the largest celebration of the year. It is celebrated by 92 million people in Vietnam and 3 million Vietnamese people living overseas.
14. The hot springs at Binh Chau are hot enough to boil eggs! Many vendors sell eggs at the location so to prove it.
15. Vietnam is a nation of football fans. In a survey
, 80% of Vietnamese people said they would choose to watch the World Cup instead of go to work!
These fun facts about Vietnam are just the start of your discovery of this amazing country. Join us at Mr Linh’s Adventures on exciting off-the-beaten-track trips
to explore the country for yourself.