Vietnam

About Vietnam

Vietnam is located in South-East Asia. The name of the country has become almost a synonym of the Vietnam War. The history of the country goes back a lot further than 'the war that wasn't won', as the Americans euphemistically call it. Vietnam is actually a country with a long history and ancient traditions. It has many historic sights and old temple.

Vietnam covers an area of 330.363 sq. km making it about as big as Italy or New Mexico. Vietnam has a 3400 kilometre coastline and mountainous terrain covers 75% of the country. There are two huge and fertile river deltas where most of the population live, the Red River in the North and the Mekong River in the south. The mountainous north and central regions are relatively sparsely population. Vietnam shares land borders with Cambodia 609 miles (982 km), China 794 miles (1,281 km) and Laos 964 miles (1,555 km).

Vietnam's former capital was Hue, and its current one is Hanoi since the reunification of the country. Hanoi still has an almost intact old center. Ho Chi Minh City in the south, formerly known as Saigon (and still referred to as Saigon in speech), is the country's commercial center.

Halong bay, in the north, which means "descending dragon," is clearly Vietnam’s most beautiful region. With over 3,000 oddly shaped limestone islets, the natural beauty of the grottoes is captivating. The city of Hue, the ancient capital of the Annamese, is another highlight. Quite a few of the constructions were badly damaged. It is located about halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. For nature lovers a visit to northwest vietnam (Sapa and surr.) is a must.

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