25 Interesting Facts about Vietnam

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Want to know more about Vietnam? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Vietnam that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Vietnam facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. Motorbike is the main way of transportation

In most countries, cars and public transportation is the most common way to get around, but not here. 

There are more than 45 million registered motorbikes in the country, which means that almost half of the population own their own motorbike!

That’s also one of the reasons for the slightly “chaotic” traffic, which isn’t so chaotic once you get a hang of it.

The roads are filled with motorbikes, which can be intimidating when you try to cross the road. But Vietnamese traffic etiquette is that you just walk, and the vehicles will move to the side. 

Vietnam traffic

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2. Ho Chi Minh was and still is a national hero

Also known as “Great Uncle Ho”, Ho Chi Minh is the founding father of modern Vietnam. He is the symbol of liberation after the War. His remains are mummified and guarded in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi. 

He was even recognized as a Hero of National Liberation and Great Man of Culture by the UN.  

3. The áo dài

This traditional Vietnamese costume is known as Ao Dai, and you can see local women wearing it on special occasions, such as weddings or celebrations.

The Ao Dai used to be worn by both sexes, but nowadays, it’s mostly women wearing the Ao Dai. 

Vietnam Facts

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4. White skin is a beauty standard in Vietnam

Just like in many other Asian countries, the thought of white skin as pure and beautiful is something that lies deep within the Vietnamese beauty standards.

Women and men try to avoid the sun if possible in order to avoid being tan. Today, many beauty products also have a whitening effect. 

5. Pho is the national dish

You might have tried Pho already if you’ve ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant. It’s basically a noodle soup and you will find this everywhere in the country. 

Almost every Vietnamese restaurant will serve this traditional dish, no matter if it’s a street vendor or a fine-dining restaurant. 

Pho - Vietnamese food

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6. The Lunar New Year is the most important event of the year

Also known as Tet, the Lunar New Year marks the new year for Vietnamese people, and it’s the most important event of the year.

It’s widely celebrated throughout the country and in the streets of the cities, you will find many people celebrating. 

7. Snake wine is drunk for vitality

Ever heard of Snake Wine or Snake Liquor? It’s not uncommon in Southeast Asia, and while it definitely sounds a bit creepy, it’s believed to enhance vitality, life, and other health benefits. 

If this is ethical or not, I leave for you to decide, but it’s definitely one of the most unusual Vietnam facts. 

Snake Wine

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8. More than 3 million people died during the Vietnam war

About 2 million civilians and 1.3 million soldiers were killed or died during the war. One of the world’s longest conflicts, and still today it’s quite controversial. 

Did you know that the Vietnam War is known here as the “American War”? 

9. It’s the second largest coffee producing nation

Vietnamese coffee is delicious, and traditionally it’s served and made as in the picture below. 

Did you know that Vietnam is the second largest coffee producing nation? Only Brazil produces more coffee annually! 

Vietnamese Coffeea

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10. Tourism is growing each year

Vietnam has been in the shadows of Thailand for many years, and finally, more and more people seem to discover the Vietnamese beauty and charm. 

It has a lot of beautiful places, interesting heritage, architecture, culture, delicious food, paradise beaches and much more. After my visit, I’m surprised that not more tourists find their way here since it’s amazing!

11. Around 16% of the world’s species can be found here

Some of the most famous Vietnamese animals are Great Hornbills, Indian Elephants, Sun bears, Pygmy Slow Loris, Asian Water Monitor, Water Buffaloes, Burmese Pythons, Tigers, Dolphins and many other species. 

Definitely one of the most interesting facts about Vietnam if you like animals!

Animals in Vietnam

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12. The Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest growing in Asia

More and more Vietnamese people become middle or upper-class families, and it is now considered to be a developing country. Some regions and areas are still very poor, but it’s getting better and better for many. 

13. Water puppetry is a popular art form

Water puppet shows are very popular among tourists, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. However, the art form of water puppetry is ancient and has been going on for a long time here. 

It’s a part of the Vietnamese culture and heritage, and it’s something that you shouldn’t miss experiencing! 

Vietnamese facts

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14. Rice is the staple food

Like many other countries in Asia, rice is very common. A lot of Vietnamese dishes comes with rice, and it’s definitely a staple food in the country. Even more so in the countryside or valleys such as Sa Pa. 

Rice is cultivated in many places around the country, and it’s one of the country’s biggest exports. 

15. Home to the world’s largest cave

If you like to explore caves, you’ll be thrilled to know that Hang Son Doong Cave is the world’s largest natural cave!

Hang Son Doong cave

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5 x Fun Facts about Vietnam 

  • You can drink egg coffee, especially in Hanoi
  • The Vietnamese currency is called Dong
  • According to ancient Vietnamese folklore, Vietnamese people are descendants of dragons
  • There is a local fruit known as “the breast milk fruit”
  • In a survey, 80% of the people who answered said that they would rather watch the Fifa World Cup instead of going to work

egg coffee

5 x Vietnam Facts for Kids

  • Nguyen is the most common family name
  • Vietnamese uses the traditional Latin alphabet
  • Football is the most popular sport
  • The water buffalo is the national animal of Vietnam
  • Potbelly Pigs are being kept as pets
Potbelly Pig

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General Facts about Vietnam

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Vietnam that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 94,569,072
  • Capital: Hanoi
  • Life expectancy: 76,25 years
  • Highest Mountain: Fansipan (3,143 meters)
  • Land area: 331,212 km2 (127,882 sq mi)
  • Largest Lake: Ba Bể Lake
  • National Day: 2 September
  • Government: Unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic
  • Party General Secretary: Nguyễn Phú Trọng
  • Currency: Dong (VND)
  • Official language: Vietnamese
  • Religion: No official religion
  • Member of Nato: No
  • National songTiến Quân Ca
  • Time zone: UTC+7 (Vietnamese Standard Time)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +84
  • Country Code: VN

The Biggest Cities in Vietnam

If you’re looking for facts about Vietnam, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the biggest Vietnamese cities ranked after population.

Ho Chi Minh CityHanoi
Hai PhongCan Tho
Bien HoaDa Nang

Flag of Vietnam

The Vietnamese flag was designed in 1940 and was used in the uprise against the French. The star in the middle symbolizes the five main classes of the society, which are intellectuals, farmers, workers, businesspeople and military personnel.

flag of vietnam

Map of Vietnam

Below you can see the country’s territory marked in Yellow. 

Map of Vietnam

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How many of these Vietnam Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

February 9th, 2019|

THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG

Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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2 Comments

  1. US Veteran 02/11/2019 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Im a combat veteran,after 50 years I’m going back to that beautiful country. Feels like I’m going home. I spent my time in this jungle, but this time I want to enjoy city life. No more a war zone but a land of peace

  2. Edward Tilton 02/11/2019 at 2:29 am - Reply

    The Viet Cong or National Liberation Front was separate from the North Vietnamese under Ho Chi Minh. The NVA and the Americans came to the table in Paris, 1973 ready to do a deal. The. NLF balked and demanded a seatseperate from the North. The South Vietnamese soon joined the Viet Cong in their own demand for a seat at the table. Ho ChiMinh’s priority was a Unified Vietnam. The Viet Cong wanted an independent COMMUNIST South Vietnam reunification was not their priority. The south didn’t want the north involved.

    Once “Peace in Our Times” had arrived and the North moved in they immediately began disarming both the ARVN and the Viet Cong. In some cases they had disarmed the VC while there were still ARVN units that had not surrendered.

    That turned out to be a good thing because they would soon have to deal with the
    Khmer Rouge and Chinese. The world has moved on all for the better, if we had stayed we would still be fighting there.

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