Vietnam Overview

Vietnam Overview

Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia, and in recent years has attracted more and more tourists with its magnificent culture, heavy history and the powerful nature experiences. Here are the vast Mekong Delta, the limestone mountains of Halong Bay, miles of sandy beaches and major cities such as Hanoi and Saigon.

Vietnam flagVietnam 2

Capital: Hanoi
Biggest city: Ho Chi Minh City
State: socialist republic
Language: Vietnamese
Religion: Buddhism, Christianity
Surface: 329,560 km²
Population: 89.7 million (2013)
Population density: 269 ​​residents per km²
Life expectancy: 72 years
Illiteracy: 10%
Currency: dong (VND)
GDP per capita: $ 3 100 (2010)
Time difference: +6 hours
Electricity: 110/220/380 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: 2 September
Country area code: 84
2-Letter country abbreviation: VN (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 65%, service sector and industry 35%
Climate: tropical in the south, subtropical in the north; rainy season from May to October

Vietnam stretches over 1,600 km from north to south, along the east coast of the Indochinese peninsula. The nature is very varied, with a tropical climate in the south, while the winters in the north can be very cold. Three quarters of the country consists of mountains or hills.

Vietnam also includes the island of Phu Quôc off the coast of Cambodia, the Côn Dao archipelago and several small islands off the east coast. Vietnam also claims the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

In northern Vietnam, Hanoi and the limestone mountains of Halong Bay, which is one of the country’s several world heritage sites. In central Vietnam is the ancient imperial city of Hué with tombs from the Nguyen dynasty, and Hoi An where ancient buildings from the time when the city was an important port have been preserved. From Hoi An you can visit My Son which has Vietnam’s best preserved temple complex from Champariket.

In the area around Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, there are well-visited temples belonging to Cao Dai, and tunnel systems from the Vietnam War. The Mekong Delta with its floating cities and rich vegetation is located on the border with Cambodia.

Vietnam was colonized along with the rest of French Indochina by France in the 19th century, and occupied by Japan during World War II. The proclamation of independence in 1945 was followed by a thirty-year civil war. In 1954, Vietnam was divided into two countries – the communist North Vietnam, and the anti-communist South Vietnam, which was under French and Western influence.

For more than 20 years, North Vietnam waged a guerrilla war that eventually developed into the Vietnam War. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, and South Vietnam by the United States, which occasionally had 500,000 troops stationed in the country. North Vietnam won the war in 1975, which shortly afterwards changed the name of the country’s largest city, Saigon, to today’s Ho Chi Minh City.

The films “Deer Hunter” and “Good Morning, Vietnam” take place partly in Vietnam, but have in fact been shot in Thailand.


The following objects in Vietnam are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Old Town of Huê (1993)
  • Halong Bay (1994)
  • Staden Hôi An (1999)
  • The Temple of My Son Temple Complex (1999)
  • Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (2003)
  • Thang Long’s Imperial Citadel in Hanoi, Built in the 11th Century (2010)
  • Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, built in 1397 in stone according to feng shui principles (2011)
  • Trang Ans Province and Hoa Lu, the Ancient Capital of Vietnam (2014)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Vietnam

Voltage: 127 V / 220 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: A, C, G

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.

Type A (NEMA 1-15)

NEMA 1-15, also called type A, is an unearthed two-plug socket that is used in e.g. North America and Japan. Note that new polarized contacts do not fit in older sockets. In Japan, there is also a new type of connector, JIS C 8303, which is different from the North American one. The Japanese work in all type A sockets, while the North American ones may need an adapter to work with JIS C 8303.

Type C (Europlug)

Europlug is a European standard (EN 50075) for sockets. It is designed to be used in most electrical outlets in Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Type G (BS 1363)

BS 1363, also called type G, is a British three-pronged plug.


Weather in Hanoi

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 17 17 21 24 28 29 29 29 28 25 22 18
Day °C 19 19 23 26 31 32 32 32 31 28 24 21
Night °C 15 15 18 21 24 25 26 26 25 22 19 15
Rain (mm) 10 30 50 100 150 190 210 200 160 100 60 30
Rainy days 14 17 22 18 18 18 19 18 14 11 9 9
Soltim / day 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 7 7 7 7 5


According to Countryaah, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, and has in the metropolitan area 3.3 million residents (2007). The city is located in northern Vietnam and is the country’s second largest city after Ho Chi Minh City. It is the country’s center of politics and cultural life.

Hanoi became the capital of the Ly dynasty in 1010 and was the seat of subsequent dynasties until 1802, when Hué became the capital of the empire. The city was taken over by the French in 1882 and was in 1887 and 1945 the seat of French Indochina. 1954 ?? 76 Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam.

Hoan Kiem is a centrally located district in Hanoi. The area is the center of tourism in the city with lots of hotels and cafes. Hoan Kiem is home to Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi’s Old Town. The old town is located in the northern part of Hoan Kiem and is characterized by lots of small shops and streets that often specialize in one thing. The southern part has an organized grid of streets with traffic lights and was the residence of many French during colonial times.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city, and was formerly called Saigon. It is located in southern Vietnam, and has 6.6 million residents (2007). Many Vietnamese still refer to Saigon or call themselves Saigones. Usually, however, “Saigon” is used only for the inner city district of Ho Chi Minh City.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a city 30 km south of Da Nang, located in central Vietnam, facing the South China Sea. The entire municipality has 83,000 residents (2004), of which 38,000 residents (2004) live in the central town. Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s oldest cities. The old city center is an unusually well-preserved example of a South Asian trading port from the period between the 15th and 18th centuries.

In 1999, the old city center of Hoi An was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Hué is located in the central parts of Vietnam, and the city has 321,000 residents (2004). It was the former capital of the country and is known for its monuments and architecture.

On the north side of the river is the citadel, in the middle of the city’s historic center. Most of Hue’s important monuments, temples and pagodas are located in this area. The south side of the river is newer, and contains most of the city’s commercial and residential areas.

In 1993, several of Hué’s monuments were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.