Visit Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is a country in Southeast Asia and the easternmost country on the Indochinese Peninsula. With an estimated 96.2 million inhabitants as of 2019, it is the 15th most populous country in the world. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It shares its maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital city is Hanoi, while its most populous city and commercial hub is Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name of Saigon.

Good to know

Languages
Vietnamese
Currencies
VND
Population
96.208.984 million
Time Zone
UTC +7
Visitors / year
6,84 million
Capital
Saigon

More about Vietnam

Archaeological excavations indicate that Vietnam was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic age. The ancient Vietnamese nation, which was centered on the Red River valley and nearby coastal areas, was annexed by the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century BC, which subsequently made Vietnam a division of Imperial China for over a millennium. The first independent monarchy emerged in the 10th century AD. This paved the way for successive imperial dynasties as the nation expanded geographically southward until the Indochina Peninsula was colonised by the French in the mid-19th century. Modern Vietnam was born upon the Proclamation of Independence from France in 1945. Following Vietnamese victory against the French in the First Indochina War, which ended in 1954, the nation was divided into two rival states: communist North and anti-communist South. Conflicts intensified in the Vietnam War, which saw extensive US intervention in support of South Vietnam and ended with North Vietnamese victory in 1975.

After North and South Vietnam were reunified as a communist state under a unitary socialist government in 1976, the country became economically and politically isolated until 1986, when the Communist Party initiated a series of economic and political reforms that facilitated Vietnamese integration into world politics and the global economy. As a result of the successful reforms, Vietnam has enjoyed a high GDP growth rate, consistently ranked among the fastest-growing countries in the world. It nevertheless faces challenges including poverty, corruption, inadequate social welfare and a poor human rights record, including increasing persecution of religious groups and human rights advocates and intensifying restrictions on civil liberties. By 2010, Vietnam had established diplomatic relations with 178 countries. It is a member of such international organisations as the United Nations (UN), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

VISA Requirements

The eVisa for Vietnam is a mandatory electronic travel authorization for foreigners with a passport of any of the eligible countries. It was introduced by the Government of Vietnam to reduce unnecessary time at the immigration offices and make it easier to cross the border.

The validity is 30 days since it is issued and it allows a single entry in the country.

Requirements for Vietnam e-Visa

Before applying, prepare the following information:

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of your arrival
  • An up-to-date passport size full-face color photo with white background
  • An email address
  • A valid debit or credit card

Be aware that getting an eVisa does not guarantee entry to the country. The immigration officers will review your request upon your arrival with the right to deny entering Vietnam without any reason.

Hạ Long Bay

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Hạ Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. The name Hạ Long means "descending dragon". Administratively, the bay belongs to Hạ Long city, Cẩm Phả city, and is a part of Vân Đồn District. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. Ha Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bai Tu Long Bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà Island to the southwest. These larger zones share a similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate, and cultural characters.

Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2 (600 sq mi), including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 (129 sq mi) with a high density of 775 islets. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. The geo-diversity of the environment in the area has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea shore biosystem. Hạ Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.

Historical research surveys have shown the presence of prehistoric human beings in this area tens of thousands years ago. The successive ancient cultures are the Soi Nhu culture around 18,000–7000 BC, the Cai Beo culture 7000–5000 BC and the Hạ Long culture 5,000–3,500 years ago. Hạ Long Bay also marked important events in the history of Vietnam with many artifacts found in Bai Tho Mountain, Dau Go Cave, Bai Chay.

500 years ago, Nguyễn Trãi praised the beauty of Ha Long Bay in his verse Lộ nhập Vân Đồn, in which he called it "rock wonder in the sky". In 1962, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of North Vietnam listed Ha Long Bay in the National Relics and Landscapes publication. In 1994, the core zone of Ha Long Bay was listed as a World Heritage Site according to Criterion VII, and listed for a second time according to Criterion VIII.

Ho Chi Minh City

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Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh), also commonly referred to as Saigon, is the largest city of Vietnam. According to the 2019 census, Ho Chi Minh City has a population of over 8.9 million within city proper and over 21 million within the metropolitan area. Located in southeastern Vietnam, the city surrounds the Saigon River and covers about 2,061 square kilometres (796 square miles). Ho Chi Minh City is the economic and financial centre of Vietnam, and plays an important role in the country's culture and scientific developments.

Prior to Vietnamese settlement in the 17th century, the city was a scarcely populated area that had been part of historic kingdoms of Funan, Champa, and Khmer successively. With the arrival of the Vietnamese, the area became more prosperous and officials began establishing the city from 1623 to 1698. After ceded by the last Vietnamese dynasty to the French in 1862, the name Saigon was adopted and the city underwent urbanisation to become an important economic centre in the region. The city was the capital of South Vietnam until the end of the Vietnam War with North Vietnamese victory in 1975. In 1976, the government of a unified Vietnam renamed Saigon to its current official name in honour of the communist leader Ho Chi Minh.

Ho Chi Minh City is a regional force in finance and business, classified as a Beta+ city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. The city is an emerging international tourist destination, with popular landmarks related to the remnants of its colonial past showcased through colonial architecture. A major transportation hub, the city hosts the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the busiest airport in Vietnam. With rapid economic development, Ho Chi Minh City is undergoing constructions of new high-tech zones and education institutions, and serves as a major media and entertainment centre. Rapid population growth and urbanisation has led to issues including inadequate public services and vulnerability to climate change.

Hue

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Huế is a city in central Vietnam that was the capital of Đàng Trong from 1738 to 1775 and of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. A major attraction is its vast, 19th-century citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls. It encompasses the Imperial City, with palaces and shrines; the Forbidden Purple City, once the emperor's home; and a replica of the Royal Theater. The city was also the battleground for the Battle of Huế, which was one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

The city is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, just a few miles inland from the East Sea. It is about 700 km (430 mi) south of Hanoi and about 1,100 km (680 mi) north of Ho Chi Minh City. The North and West side borders Huong Tra town; the South borders Huong Thuy town, and the East side borders Phu Vang district and Huong Thuy town. Located on the two banks of the Perfume River or Perfume River downstream, north of Hai Van Pass, 105 km (65 mi) from Danang, 14 km (8.7 mi) from Thuan An Seaport and Phu Bai International Airport and 50 km (31 mi) from Chan May Port. The natural area is 71.68 km2 (27.68 sq mi) and the population in 2012 is estimated at 344,581 people. As of 2018, the city population is 455,230 people (including those who are not registered residents).

Located near Truong Son mountain range, Hue city is a plain area in the lower reaches of the Perfume and Bo rivers, with an average altitude of 3–4 m above sea level and often flooded when the river's headwaters Huong has medium and large rainfall. This plain area is relatively flat, although there are alternating hills and low mountains such as Ngu Binh mountain and Vong Canh Hill.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

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Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bố Trạch and Minh Hóa districts of central Quảng Bình Province in the North Central Coast region of Vietnam, about 500 km south of Hanoi. The park borders the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in Khammouane Province, Laos to the west and 42 km east of the South China Sea from its borderline point. Phong Nha–Kẻ Bàng National Park is situated in a limestone zone of 2,000 km2 in Vietnamese territory and borders another limestone zone of 2,000 km2 of Hin Namno in Laotian territory. The core zone of this national park covers 857.54 km2 and a buffer zone of 1,954 km2.

The park was created to protect one of the world's two largest karst regions with 300 caves and grottoes and also protects the ecosystem of limestone forest of the Annamite Range region in North Central Coast of Vietnam.

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos. A 2009 survey brought the total discovered length of the cave system to about 126 km, with many areas still not well explored. The Sơn Đoòng Cave, which was discovered in the 2009 survey by British and Vietnamese explorers, is considered the largest cave in the world. Even before this discovery, Phong Nha held several world cave records, including the longest river as well as the largest combined caverns and passageways.

The park derives its name from Phong Nha Cave, containing many fascinating rock formations, and Kẻ Bàng forest. The plateau on which the park is situated is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in Southeast Asia. This national park was listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2003 for its geological values as defined in its criteria viii. In April 2009, the world's largest cave, was re-discovered by a team of British cave explorers of the British Caving Association led by a local farmer named Ho Khanh.

Sapa Countryside

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Sa Pa or Sapa is a district-level town of Lào Cai Province in the Northwest region of Vietnam. As of 2018, the town had a population of 61,498. The town covers an area of 677 km². The town capital lies at Sa Pa. It is one of the main market towns in the area, where several ethnic minority groups such as Hmong, Dao (Yao), Giáy, Xa Pho, and Tay live.

Sa Pa was a frontier township and capital of former Sa Pa District in Lào Cai Province in north-west Vietnam. It was first inhabited by people about whom nothing is known. They left in the entire valley hundreds of petroglyphs, mostly composed of lines, which experts think date from the 15th century and represent local cadastres. Then came the highland minorities of the Hmong and Yao. The township is one of the main market ones in the area, where several ethnic minority groups such as Hmong, Dao (Yao), Giáy, Pho Lu, and Tày live. These are the four main minority groups still present in Sa Pa district today. The Kinh (lowland Vietnamese) never originally colonised this highest of Việt Nam's valleys, which lies in the shadow of Phan-Xi-Pǎng (Fansipan, 3143 m), the highest peak in the country. Sa Pa is also home to more than 200 pieces of boulders with ancient engravings. The "Area of Old Carved Stone in Sapa" has been in the UNESCO tentative list since 1997.