Introduction to Vietnam
Vietnam is a country of great beauty. Its northern border is bounded by the Hoan-Llen mountain range; to the West it is separated from Laos and Cambodia by the Cordillera Anamita, which runs throughout the country. With approximately 3000 km of coastline, we can enjoy the most beautiful beaches of Southeast Asia.
The country has often been considered as a province of China, united by its culture and governed autocratically by a foreign system. It is true that Vietnam still retains many aspects of the ancient Chinese civilization, preserving even in the 21st century traditions long since disappeared in China. Originally, Vietnam was composed of a few homogenous tribes, scattered throughout the Red River delta. The culture that we nowadays call “Vietnamese” arose through the miscegenation of influences cham, khemer, muong, china, etc.
This diversity of peoples, cultures and influences hindered the unification of the country. These rivalries were those that, finally, opened the country to the western colonialism of the last century and that ended with the American defeat and the capture of Saigon by the forces of the RDVN in April of 1975.
Vietnam gained its independence with great human sacrifices. The post-war reconstruction of this devastated country was tragically slow, made difficult by the conflict of the great Western powers that rejected all humanitarian and economic assistance to the Vietnamese government.
The opening of Vietnam to tourism is part of this development: its cultural richness, its traditions, its natural beauty and the extraordinary hospitality of its inhabitants are some of the elements that contribute to making this country an unforgettable destination.
In Vietnam we find a tropical monsoon climate, with mild and discontinuous rainfall between the months of May to October. In the south it is warm and sunny throughout the year while in the north there is the coolest winter. The annual average is 30º C.
Vietnamese is the national language, although dialects of minority ethnicities are very common.
In Vietnam we find Buddhism as the majority religion, although there is a great religious variety that includes beliefs such as Confucianism, Taoism, Muslim religion or Christian minorities.
The Vietnamese currency is the Dong. One euro equals 29,044.44 Vietnamese Dong. Prices usually exceed thousands of dongs, so there are hardly any currencies in Vietnam, just tickets. Both the euro and the dollar are widely accepted in Vietnam, although the use of the latter is much more widespread.
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Vietnam, although they are accepted in tourist centers and supermarkets.
You can withdraw money at ATMs in the country, but usually limit the maximum amount to withdraw to 2,000,000 VND (about € 76).