Vietnam - Practical Information

History of Vietnam’s is war, colonization, and defiance.  Takeover by China no, less than four times, the Vietnamese in charged to fight off the intruder just as often.  Even in the periods in history when Vietnam has freedom, it was always a secondary state to China until the French migration.  Vietnam’s last emperors were the Nguyen Dynasty, who govern from their region at Hue from 1802 to 1945, even though France misuse the continuity crisis after the fall of Tu Duc in reality take over Vietnam after 1884.  Both the Chinese invasion and French migration have left a longer bang on Vietnamese culture, with Confucianism shaping the basis of Vietnamese social manners, and the French clear out a lasting effect on Vietnamese cuisine.

Following a brief Japanese occupation in World War II, the Communist Viet Minh under the leadership of Ho Chí Minh continued the rebellion against the French, with the last Emperor Bao Dai give up in 1945 and an announcement of independence.  Many of French had left by 1945, but in 1946 they come back to resume the fight until their definite defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.  The Geneva Convention divide the country into two at 17th parallel, with a Communist-led North and Ngo Dinh Diem proclaiming himself President of the Republic of Vietnam in the South.

Politics

Vietnam is a domineering country, with the President as the Head of State, while the Prime Minister as the Head of Government.  The Vietnamese government body is the unicameral National Assembly, from which the Prime Minister is pick.  In nature, the President’s position is only conventional, with the Prime Minister are in control of the most authority in government.

Economy

 Busy central Hanoi

Economic reconstruction of the rejoin country has proven difficult.  After the lack of success of the state-run economy begins to become likely, the country starts a program of renovation, announcing elements of economic system of private ownership.  The policy has made highly successful, with Vietnam recording near 10% growth yearly (except for a brief interference during the Asian economic crisis of 1997).  The economy is much firm than those of Cambodia, Laos, and other nearby developing countries.  Like most Communist countries around the world, there is a balance between letting foreign investors and opening up the market.

There are high conditions on foreigners owning property or trying to sell.  It is very hard for them to sell without bargain ‘fees’.  Business deals with local partnerships with all the attendant risks.

Electricity and services is another problem.  There are frequently ‘rolling blackouts’ when there is not enough electricity at times.  For this reason, many stores have portable generators.

Government approximates Vietnam sight 3.3m tourist arrivals each year. Vietnam has a return rate of just 5% contrast to Thailand’s enormous 50%

People

Mostly people in Vietnam are traditional Vietnamese (Kinh), however there is a considerably traditional Chinese community in Ho Chi Minh City, most likely who are ancestry from migrants from Guangdong province and are therefore Multilanguage in Cantonese or other Chinese language and Vietnamese.  There are also enormous other cultural groups who leave the mountainous parts of the country, such as the Hmong, Muong and Dao people.  There is also a less ethnic group in the lowlands near the border with Cambodia known as the Khmer Krom.
Buddhism is the largest religion in Vietnam over 85% of Vietnamese people as Buddhist.  Catholicism is the second largest religion next by the local Cao Dai religion.  Other Christian religious belief, Islam, and local religions also share small followers all over the southern and central areas.

Culture

Because of its long history as a branch state of China, as well as various times of Chinese occupations, Vietnamese civilization is profoundly actuate by that of Southern China, with Confucianism produce the basis of Vietnamese society. The Vietnamese dialect also includes many borrowed words from Chinese, however the two dialects are different. Buddhism still the single biggest religion in Vietnam, nevertheless like in China but dissimilar in the rest of northern Southeast Asia, the superior school of Buddhism in Vietnam is the Mahayana School.
Although, Vietnamese civilization still apparent from Chinese culture as it has also completely occupied mentally by other cultural aspects from nearby Hindu cultures such as the Champa and the Khmer empires. The French migration has also left a continual impact on Vietnamese society, with baguettes and coffee still demands among locals.

Climate

Vietnam is huge enough to have various different climate zones.
The South has three somewhat categorical seasons: hot and dry from March to May/June, rainy from June/July to November, and cool and dry from December to February. April the hottest month, with high-noon temperature of 33°C (91°F) or up. During the rainy season, cloudburst can happen every afternoon, and sporadic street flooding happened. Temperatures extent from super hot before a rainstorm to agreeably cool afterward. Mosquitoes are most countless in the rainy season. December to February is the most amazing time to visit, with cool evenings down to around 20°C (68°F). Has four distinct seasons, with a relatively chilly winter (temperatures can below 15°C/59°F in Hanoi), a hot and wet summer and good spring (March-April) and autumn (October-December) seasons. Nevertheless, in the Highlands both extremes are build up, with occasional snow in the winter and temperatures hitting 40°C (104°F) in the summer.

In the Central regions the Hai Van pass divide two different weather form of the North beginning in Langco (which is hotter in summer and cooler in winter) from the milder conditions South beginning in Danang. North East Monsoon conditions September – February with accompanies strong winds, huge sea increase and rain make this a hopeless and difficult time to travel through Central Vietnam. Normally summers are hot and dry.

Cities

Hanoi (Hà Nội) – the capital and second largest city
Haiphong (Hải Phòng) – the “port city”, a major port in North Vietnam
Dalat (Đà Lạt) – the largest city in the highlands
Ho Chi Minh City (Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) – Vietnam’s largest city and the main financial centre of the country, formerly Saigon (Sài Gòn)
Hoi An (Hội An) – Attractively well-preserved ancient port, near the ruins of Mỹ Sơn.
Hue (Huế) – previous home of Vietnam’s emperors
Nha Trang – blooming beach resort
Phan Thiet (Phan Thiết) – “the resort capital” with Mui Ne beach.
Vinh – the main city in northern Vietnam with very nice Cua lo beach.

Other destinations

Con Dao (Côn Đảo) – island off the Mekong Delta
Cu Chi (Củ Chi) – site of the Cu Chi Tunnels
Cuc Phuong National Park – haven to some of Asia’s rarest wildlife and the Muong hill tribe
Ha Long Bay (Vịnh Hạ Long) – well-known for its unearthly surroundings
Kontum – calmed little town offering access to a number of ethnic minority villages
My Son – ancient Hindu ruins which are a a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tay Ninh (Tây Ninh) – main temple of the Cao Đài
Tam Coc (Tam Cốc) – un Ninh Binh province south of Hanoi with Ha Long Bay-like sight

Drink

Be aware for ice in drinks. Factory-made ice is mostly safe, but anything else can be suspect.
Pubs/bars  Drinking in a Vietnamese bar is an extensive experience. One of the appealing things is that during the day, it is very nearly impossible to see a bar anywhere. Once the sun goes down though, dozens seem to appear out of nowhere on the streets.

Soft drinks

Coconut water is a preferred in the hot southern part of the country. Nước mía, or sugar cane juice, served from unique metal carts with a crank-powered sugar cane stalk crushers that release the juice. Another superb drink is the delicious sinh tố, a variety of sliced fresh fruit in a big glass, combined with crushed ice, sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk. You can also have it blended in a mixer.

Coffee

Another famous drink among locals and tourists alike is the coffee (cà phê). Be extra careful when drinking locally prepared coffee, as the locals always to drink it incredibly strong with about 4 teaspoons of sugar per cup. Vietnamese coffee beans are fried, not roasted. If you are picky, bring your own coffee.

Prostitution

Prostitution is illegal in Vietnam and the age of consent is 18. Vietnam has laws on the books with penalties up to 20-40 years in prison for sexually exploiting women and children, and most other countries have laws that allow them to prosecute their own citizens who travel abroad to engage in sex with children.

Scam

Most frauds in Vietnam are in transportation, hotel prices and two-menus system agenda by some restaurants.

Internet

Internet access is available in all but the most distance towns. Internet cafes are available in most tourist spots and rates are cheap, from 2,000-10,000 dong per hour. Connection speeds are speedy, especially in the big cities.
Many hotels and restaurants offers free Wi-Fi or terminals for their visitors. If you bring your own phone and/or laptop, some providers offer mobile internet services (EDGE/3G) services as well.

Nightlife

Small crime in nightclubs can occur. Avoid troubles with local people because drunken Vietnamese can be very violent to foreigners/tourist especially when there are girls around him. Do not leave your baggage unattended. Clubs are full of prostitutes looking for their prospect clients but be extra conscious that they may also take your wallet and mobile phones away. Walking very late by yourself on the streets in the tourist area is safe, but you shouldn’t let any local girls getting into conversation with you. Mostly, they will touch you, sweet-talk you, and then steal something without you knowing it at that moment.

Wildlife

Much of Vietnam’s ecology has been extremely damaged and very little wildlife remains, Venomous snakes (such as Cobras) may still be ordinary in rural areas but everything else has either gone in such small numbers that the chances of even seeing them are impossible.

Stay healthy

Tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis are native in rural Vietnam. Malaria is not as much a concern in the bigger cities such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, but put in mind to take mosquito liquid repellent with you. It may be very useful, mostly in the countryside and crowded neighborhoods.

Important Phone  Number

Police

  • 113

Fire Brigade

  • 114

Hospital

  • 115

Time

  • 117

General Information

  • 1080

Telephone

Vietnam international code:

  • +84

Hanoi area code :

  • (04)

Ho Chi Minh area code :

  • (08)

VoIP calls

  • Telephone bills are 30% to 40% cheaper if dialed with 171 or 178 services.
  • Domestic call: 171 (178) + 0 + Area code + Number.
  • International call: 171 (178) + 00 + Country code + Area code + Number.

Mobile phones

There are many mobile networks with different codes:

Vinaphone:

  • 91, 94, 121, 123, 125 (GSM 900)

Mobifone:

  • 90, 93, 122, 124, 126 (GSM 900/1800)

Viettel:

  • 98, 97, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169 (GSM 900)

SFone:

  • 95 (CDMA)

 

Vietnamobile:

  • 92 (CDMA)

EVN Telecom:

  • 96 (CDMA)

Beeline:

  • 199 (GSM 900)

Tourist can buy a SIM card in every shop selling mobile phones, or showing their network’s brands. The standard price is no higher than 75,000 dong, but visitors are often charged 100,000 dong.
Prepaid account charges change from 1,700-2,500 dong per minute. Recharge cards are available in denominations of 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000 dong.