About Viet Nam

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VIETNAM

LOCATION

Vietnam has between 70 and 80 million people, making it one of the most populous countries in the world. Most Vietnamese live in the Red and Mekong River deltas.

 

Vietnam is long and slender, stretching in an S-shape more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from China in the north to Cambodia in the south. It is only 50 miles (80 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point. River deltas sit at each end of the country, yielding enormous quantities of rice.

 

WEATHER

Located just north of the equator, Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. In northern Vietnam, the rainy season extends from April to October. In the southern part of Vietnam, the rainy season extends from May to November. Humidity is high throughout the year. Summers are generally hot and wet and winters are mild and dry. The typhoon season extends from July through November, often causing serious damage to crops and people especially along the central coast area.

 

LANGUAGE

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. In major cities and tourist destinations, a large number of local people can converse in English. Most travel agencies can also provide experienced tour guides fluent in English, French, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), etc.

Vietnamese use their father`s family name, but unlike Americans, they use the family name first to reinforce the importance of family over the individual. The family name comes first and the individual`s name second. For example, if Mr. Nguyen names his son Tai, then the boy will be known as Nguyen Tai. If Mr. Nguyen also gives his son the middle name, Thanh, his son will be called Nguyen Tai Thanh (family name, first name, and finally middle name).

 

MAJOR HOLIDAYS

The most important Vietnamese holiday is Tet (New Year), a celebration that falls in late January or early February. Tet is celebrated over three days. Vietnamese try to return to the home of their parents to unite with family and friends. People repay their debts and ask for forgiveness from all those whom they have wronged during the year. They put on new clothes, pray for blessings, exchange gifts, and give thanks for being together.

 

Tet decorations include peach tree branches and red and gold paper, the colors of happiness. They light firecrackers at night and spare no expense in preparing the feast.

 

Other holidays include January 27, the anniversary of the peace agreement that resulted in America`s withdrawal of troops from Vietnam; March 29, the actual withdrawal of American troops; and September 2, the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST IN HANOI

You will never be stuck for something to do in Hanoi, where ancient and proudly preserved Vietnamese culture is felt most keenly by visitors, and progress wrestles with tradition in different districts of the city. Hanoi is over 1000 years old so the wealth of history here is mind boggling: temples, ancient citadels, unique theatre and stunning wilderness just outside the city all offer fun-filled days in Vietnam’s capital. Make sure to visit as many of these attractions in Hanoi as possible because they all offer entertainment, beauty and education at different turns.

 

  1. Top 10 tourist attractions in Hanoi
  2. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

 

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing 40 metres high, the central flag tower is the most recognizable feature of the Imperial Citadel and is often used as a symbol of Hanoi. This was the centre of ancient Hanoi and served as the political centre for eight centuries. Located in Ba Dinh, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is close to many other tourist attractions. Read more

 

  1. Water Puppet Theatre

 

The ancient art form of water puppetry has a long association with Hanoi and there are several theatres where guests can enjoy this uniquely Vietnamese take on Asia’s puppet tradition. The original – and widely regarded as the best – theatre in town is the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. Puppets dance and slide elegantly over the liquid stage, controlled by a whole troupe of puppet masters hiding behind a screen. Read more

 

  1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

 

Ho Chi Minh has left an indelible mark on Vietnamese history and he is revered in Hanoi as the country’s greatest leader. Nicknamed ‘Uncle Ho’ by locals, his preserved body is now laid to rest in a glass case in the Ba Dinh area of Hanoi. This is more than a tourist attraction, it is a part of living history and a visit here stays long in the memory. The sombre building was modeled after Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow. Read more

 

  1. Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple

 

Hoan Kiem Lake (Turtle Lake) is a central feature of Hanoi and is a popular hangout spot throughout the day with locals and tourists. Ngoc Son Temple sits on a small island in the centre of the lake and linked by a bridge, makes a beautiful background for a few photos. Around sunset this area becomes especially busy with joggers and couples enjoying the relaxing views across the lake. Read more

 

  1. Dong Xuan Market

 

Dong Xuan Market is the largest of its kind in Hanoi. This sprawling complex has several floors of fashion, apparel and souvenirs at some of the best prices in the city. Even if you’re not interested in printed T-shirts or cheap sunglasses, it is still fascinating to see the comings and goings of the local traders, and there is a wet market on the ground floor where the sights and smells of exotic produce assault the senses. Read more

 

  1. Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is a fascinating area of the city where visitors can enjoy many fine examples of colonial architecture packed along narrow streets. Endless packs of scooters, motorbikes, bicycles and cars weave around traders selling fruit and souvenirs and narrow shop houses sell delicious Vietnamese food for pennies. The Old Quarter brings to life what many people imagine Hanoi to be, and exploring this area on foot is highly recommended for all visitors to Vietnam’s capital city. Read more

 

  1. Temple of Literature

 

The Temple of Literature is a charming temple complex in the centre of Hanoi that was originally built to be a centre of learning dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius. Over the proceeding 1000 years many more buildings have been added and beautified o that now this large area is filled with ornate pavilions, shrines, and a rich garden. It has become a rite of passage for graduating doctors to visit The Temple of Literature and the whole place is steeped in Vietnamese history. Read more

 

  1. One Pillar Pagoda

 

If Buddhists were to build a treehouse, it would likely look a lot like this. This eleventh century temple was built by the emperor in gratitude for finally being blessed by a son. The temple was meant to look like a lotus flower blossoming from a single pillar in the pond, similar to the one seen in the prophetic dream of a child that this emperor had received. Inside, there is a small shrine to the Bodhisattva of Mercy. The current structure is a rebuild, as the French had the first destroyed after their retreat from the country. Read more

 

  1. Hoa Lo Prison

 

The Hoa Lo Prison, sarcastically coined the Hanoi Hilton by American POWs, was originally built by the French to house Vietnamese political prisoners. The North Vietnamese Army later used the prison to house prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Well known figures such as Senator John McCain, James Stockdale and Bud Day were just a few of the many prisoners of war that spent time in this prison. Two thirds of the prison were torn down to make way for the Hanoi Towers; the rest was turned into a museum and is now a popular tourist attraction in Hanoi. In 1999 a Hilton Hotel opened in Hanoi and was carefully named the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel. Read more

 

  1. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

 

Like many colonial regions that were united by European rule, the country of Vietnam is a coagulation of 54 different officially recognized ethnic groups. The Museum of Ethnology strives to give a better understanding of each one, and does so quite elegantly. It is widely believed to be the best of all the modern museums in Vietnam. Displays include a combination of art, everyday objects, and historic artifacts to better tell the story of each unique culture. Read more

 

  1. Top 8 places to go outside Hanoi
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Sapa
  • Ninh Binh
  • Mai Chau
  • Tam Dao
  • Ba Vi National Park
  • Thung Nai, Hoa Binh
  • Perfume Pagoda

 

 

CLOTHING

A special type of Vietnamese women`s gown is the ao dai. This garment is a dress or long blouse worn over trousers. Usually made of light material, the gown flutters at the slightest movement, being both modest and sensuous at the same time.

 

Palm-leaf colical hat (non la) is in harmony of ao dai to creat an charming and beautiful for traditional costume of Vietnamese woman.

 

FOOD

Rice is served at virtually every meal, including breakfast. Fish is almost as important, since Vietnam is a country that has abundant water with vast resources of fish. Fish and other fresh and salt water life is eaten fresh, but is also frequently dried.

 

Fowl, such as chicken, ducks, and geese, along with eels and eggs, provide additional protein. Beef and pork are enjoyed only by the wealthy or on special occasions such as at weddings or festivals.

 

A common traditional food of Vietnam is nuoc mam, a liquid sauce made from fermented fish. Characterized by an extremely strong smell, nuoc mam is frequently used in Vietnamese dishes.

 

The typical Vietnamese meal consists of a bowl of rice and vegetables cooked in fermented sauce. Vegetables are mainly grown at home and include bamboo shoots, soybeans, sweet potatoes, corn, greens of various kinds, onions, and other root crops. Fruit includes bananas, coconuts, mangos, mangosteens, and pineapple. Noodle dishes are also popular. A distinctive Vietnamese dish is Pho, a hot soup containing any variety of noodles in sauce with vegetables, onions, and meat or fish.

 

Many Vietnamese drink tea at every meal and other times throughout the day and evening. On special occasions or when guests are visiting, the Vietnamese serve rice wine, beer, soft drinks, or coffee.

 

Breakfast is usually eaten shortly after awakening. The large meal of the day is eaten around noon, after the morning`s work, before the lighter work of the late afternoon, and during the hottest portion of the day. A lighter meal follows the day`s work.

 

The Vietnamese eat with chopsticks, and typically dine while sitting on a mat on the floor.

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE

Vietnamese music is very different from Western music in rhythm, sound, and even scale. Classical music is played on instruments that include a two-stringed mandolin, a sixteen-string zither, a long-necked guitar, a three-stringed guitar, and a four-stringed guitar. Traditional bands include instruments that most closely resemble Western flutes, oboes, xylophones, and drums.

 

Many traditional tunes are sung without accompaniment, with each region having its own folk melodies. Western love songs, especially slow, sad songs recorded by Asian artists, are also much loved by the Vietnamese. Popular theater combines singing with instruments and has dance, mime, and poetry. Classical theater or opera which came from China in the thirteenth century is popular, as are puppet shows. A unique Vietnamese form is water puppetry, with the controlling rods and strings handled beneath water so that the puppets appear to be dancing on the water.

 

CRAFTS

Since the 1400s, Vietnamese artisans have been making lacquerware. Wooden objects are painted and decorated with pearl, gold, silver, shell, and other objects. The objects are then coated repeatedly with a lacquer made from the tree sap.

 

Another popular craft is to make block prints on which scenes have been carved, inked, and then pressed onto paper. The Vietnamese also make porcelain and other ceramics, which they learned from the Chinese many centuries ago.

 

Business Hours:

Government and business offices are open from 08:00 to 17:00 hours, Monday to Friday.

Banks are open from 07:30. to 16:30 p.m and closed on Saturday and Sundays.

 

Electric Power

220 Volts; 50 Hz; alternative current.

 

Banks & Foreign Exchange Facilities:

The Vietnam currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). The rate of exchange is approximately 1 USD ~ 22,660 VND. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the bank, exchange bureau or hotel reception desk. Several 24-hour machines are located at the many corners of street around Centre of Hanoi.

Emergency

Emergency Numbers: 

Police 113 

Fire Brigade 114

Ambulance 115

General Inquires 1080

 

Postal service:

There are several post offices along the streets in Hue. Please ask receptionists at the conference venue/ hotel to get the service easier.

Post office:  75 Dinh Tien Hoang Str., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi | Tel: +84 24 3 8254403

Bach Mai Hospital: 78 Giai Phong Str., Phuong Mai Ward, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi. T: + 84 24 3869 3731

Mobile Phones

SIM cards can be purchased in local shops to give you access to local mobile services.

Telephone/Fax Services

The international dialing code for Vietnam is 84 and the local telephone code for Hanoi is 24. You can get a telephone or fax services in your hotel or in some public services outside. 

 

Smoking Policy

Smoking is allowed in some areas of the hotel. Please ask the receptionist or see the hotel map to know the locations. It is the Conference policy that smoking is NOT allowed in any area designated as part of the Conference site, including corridors leading to session rooms

 

 vca.org.vn

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