Trang tiếng Việt
General Information



Independence day:

September 2, 1945


329,560 square km




270 people per square km

Country code:




Administrative divisions:



VN Dong (1USD = 20,000VND-11/2010)

Local time

GMT + 7

Weights and measures



1.2 GEOGRAPHY              

A world map shows that Vietnam is similar to the shape of the letter S. It stretches 1,600 km along the eastern coast of the Indochina Peninsula (from 8010` to 23024`). The country’s land area is 329,560 sq km (128,066 sq mi). Vietnam borders China to the north, Laos to the northwest, and Cambodia to the southwest. It is bounded on the east by what the Vietnamese call the East Sea (commonly known as the South China Sea) and on the east and south by the Pacific Ocean. As a result, Vietnam is a major transport link between the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.


Mountains and highlands occupy two-thirds of the country. However, lands with elevations of under 500 m account for 70% of the area. Magnificent mountains are situated in the west and northwest of Vietnam, with the highest mountain being Fansipan (3,143 m), located by Sapa in the northwest.

Plains: There are two vast plains. The Red River Delta in the north spans 16,654 sq. km while the Mekong River Delta in the far south occupies 39,568 sq. km.

Rivers: Vietnam has 2,860 rivers and streams, divided into 9 major river systems with a basin area of 10,000 sq. km. The major river systems include the Red River, Ky Cung - Bang Giang River, Thai Binh River, Ma River, Ca River, Thu Bon River, Ba River, Dong Nai - Vam Co River, and the Mekong River.


Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with humidity averaging 84% throughout the year. Two monsoons determine its weather. The south, whose climate is subequatorial, has two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season, brought by the southwest monsoon, lasts from May to September. The dry season starts in October and ends in mid-March.

The north has all four seasons. Winter, quite cool and sometimes even cold, but the coldest you’ll see in Hanoi is 7 degrees C (44 degrees F), is brought in by the irregular northeastern monsoon. Temperature varies according to season and from place to place. In Northern mountainous regions such as Sapa, Tam Dao and Hoang Lien Son, the temperature is sometimes down to 0°C with snow.


The State structure of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam includes four levels: central, provincial, district and communal.

The central level is the National Assembly, the country’s President, the Government, People’s Supreme Court and the Supreme People’s Procuracy.

The National Assembly is the highest representative organ of the people and the highest organ of State power of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The people directly elect members of the National Assembly to working terms of five years.

The National Assembly has the authority to elect the country’s President, the Prime Minister of the Government, and the President of the People’s Supreme Court and the Director of the Supreme People’s Procuracy.

At local government levels (in provinces, districts and communes), the people directly elect the People’s Councils for five-year terms. People’s Committees, which are elected by the People’s Councils, are State administrative agencies at local levels.

The Central Government and People’s Committees at all levels form the State administrative system in Vietnam.


Vietnam is divided into 63 provinces and cities, inclusive of 5 centrally run cities (Hanoi, Hai Phong, Hochiminh City, Da Nang, Can Tho).


Northern Vietnam

- Northwest: Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, and Hoa Binh.

- Northeast: Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Lao Cai, Bac Kan, Lang Son, Tuyen Quang, Yen Bai, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, and Quang Ninh.

- Red River Delta Area: Hanoi, Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, and Ninh Binh.


Central Vietnam

- North-Central Vietnam: Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien - Hue.

- South-Central Coast: Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa.

- Central Highlands: Kontum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong.


Southern Vietnam

- Southeast: Hochiminh City, Ninh Thuan, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Binh Thuan, and Ba Ria Vung Tau.

- Mekong River Delta Area: Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Kien Giang, Can Tho, Hau Giang, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, and Ca Mau.


Vietnam is home to at least 54 nationalities. (Fifty-four is the official number.) Of these, the Kinh (majority Vietnamese; pronounced “King” in the northern Vietnamese dialect) accounts for 90% of the population.

Major philosophies and religions shaping the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people:

Buddhism, Christianity (mostly Catholicism but Protestantism very popular among the Montagnards in the Central Highlands), Confucianism, and Taoism, with these interwoven with ancestor worship and ancient, animistic practices such as spirit worship.



Forests: above 10.9 million hectares, accounting for 33.2% of the country’s area. A country policy is increasing forest coverage.

Natural minerals: oil, gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromium, copper, aluminum ore (bauxite), tin, apatite, antimony, and pyrite. An indicator of there being rare earth minerals in Vietnam is Japan just signing an agreement to mine them.


Tourist destinations, which are recognized by UNESCO as of the world’s natural heritages, include Halong Bay; Hue, the Imperial City; My Son Hindu temple complex of the Cham ethnic group; Phong Nha Cave; and Hoi An’s ancient streets and homes.



Air: Vietnam has 30 airports, including three major international airports - in Hanoi, Hochiminh City and Danang. These airports provide connections to domestic and international flight routes.

Major airports in Hanoi, Danang and Hochiminh City provide the following domestic air routes:

  • Hanoi – Danang - Dien Bien – Hue -  Hochiminh City - Nha Trang (Vietnam Airlines and Pacific Airlines).
  • Danang – Hanoi - Hochiminh City - Nha Trang - Pleiku.
  • Hochiminh City - Ban Me Thuot – Danang – Hanoi - Hai Phong – Hue - Nha Trang - Phu Quoc – Pleiku - Quy Nhon - Rach Gia - Vinh (Vietnam Airlines).

Roads:  Surface travel to almost every city and provincial capital can be accomplished by taxicabs. Big cities (Hanoi and Hochiminh City) have bus service on the main arteries. Other popular modes of transportation include motorbikes, motorcycles, bicycles, pedicabs....



Airport Taxi: 38733333

Cienco Taxi: 38555888

City Taxi: 38645645

Mai Linh Taxi: 38616161

Duong Sat Taxi: 38555555

Five Star Taxi:38533171

Hanoi Taxi:38568686

Taxi 25: 38252525

Taxi 52: 38525252

Taxi CP: 38262626

Thanh Hung Taxi: 38733733

VIC 38230230 (cheapest fares; always honest; mini-taxis only)



Airport Taxi : 38446666

Ben Thanh Taxi: 38260260

Cholon Taxi: 38226666

Davi Taxi: 38290290

Festival Taxi: 38454545

Gia Dinh Taxi: 38226699

Mai Linh Taxi: 38226666

Saigon Taxi: 38424242

Saigon Tourist Taxi: 38464646

Star Taxi: 38636363

Tanaco taxi: 38226226

Taxico : 38350350

Vina Taxi: 38422888

V- Taxi: 38202020

Railway: Travel by train can be accomplished on the North-South line linking Hanoi to Hochiminh City. The cross–country passenger train trip with several stopovers takes 29-30 hours. Online ticketing and home delivery ticket service are available through From Hanoi, one can take the international trans-border train to Beijing, China. 

Also from Hanoi are trains heading east to Haiphong, north to Thai Nguyen, and northwest to Lao Cai (Sapa) and KunMing, China.


1.10 BANKS

Major cities have modern banking, with bank branches in most cities and provinces. Certain major banks such as Vietcombank, Incombank, and BIDV banks offer inter-bank settlement service.

Foreigners use ANZ Bank for personal, everyday banking. In Hanoi, ANZ is located at 14 Le Thi To Street. Its address in Hochiminhcity is 11 Me Linh Square, District 1.    

Credit cards (Visa, Master Card, JCB, and American Express) are widely accepted in major hotels and certain restaurants and shops. Cash withdrawal may be accomplished at most banks.

Traveler checks may be denominated in dollars and can be cashed in most major city banks.

Bank business hours are predominantly from about 8:00 to 15:30 (3:30pm) daily, but ANZ stays open now to 5 pm and on Saturday mornings.


Four- to five-star hotels in major cities, 3-star hotels, guest houses and rest houses can be found in the provinces. Hotel information is at


  • National Day: September 2
  • International Labor Day: May 1  
  • Liberation Day: April 30
  • New Year’s Day: January 1
  • (Lunar) New Year’s Day (Tet): 4 days off, roughly February (but varies because it’s based on the lunar calendar).
  • Hung Vuong Anniversary:  March 10 of the lunar calendar


Governmental offices are generally open Monday to Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Office hours are 8 hours daily with a lunch hour sometime between 12 noon and 1:30 p.m.  Some offices and companies could work on Saturday on request.  

Shops are usually open until 9:00 p.m. or later, while restaurants may stay open as late as 10:00 or 11:00 p.m.


Electric power is widely available at 220 volts, with 50MH 2-pin plugs commonly used. It may be advisable to have stabilizing devices to avert fluctuation of voltage when using electric equipment or appliances.


Rescue & police






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