Vietnam Country Information
Vietnam Travel Information | Vietnam Country Information
Vietnam covers an
area of 331,698 sq. km and has a population of 90 million people (statistics from 2014)
and 54 ethnic minority group. The country has three main geographic regions: the tropical south dominated by the Mekong River estuary, the dry central
region, and the more temperate north comprised of the Red River delta and 80% mountainous and highland areas.
Vietnam has followers of all the major world religions, as well as followers of religions
that are peculiarly Vietnamese: Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, Protestant
and Catholic Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Cao Daism, Hoa Hao, and
Hinduism. In addition, there is also spirit and ancestor worship. To Tien is also practiced.
Confucianism is probably the most pervasive doctrine of all.
constitute almost 90 percent of the population in Vietnam. Originating in what is now
southern China and northern Vietnam,
the Vietnamese people pushed southward over several centuries to occupy the
entire eastern seacoast of the Indochinese Peninsula. Nearly 100 years
of French rule (1858 - 1954) introduced important European elements, but the
Vietnamese still put great importance in family and continue to observe rites honoring their ancestors, indicating the persistence of tradition.
The Vietnamese used
to greet one another by clasping their
hands, prayer-like, in front of their faces and bowing slightly. Unfortunately, this charming
custom has been replaced by the handshake. When trying to gain the attention of
a Vietnamese, try not to point or gesture excessively. This is regarded as
rude. Call out their names if possible; if not, beckon in using the whole hand,
palm downwards. Again, as in other countries of Southeast Asia,
do not touch people on the head as it is regarded as spiritually the “highest”
part of the body. Expect to be the center of attention outside Saigon, Hanoi and other main
tourist centers. React accordingly and be a good ambassador.