VIETNAM

Information about travelling to Vietnam

Vietnam is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia

Facts about Vietnam
Population86,116,560 (July 2008 est
CapitalHanoi
Time zoneUTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Location Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia

General info about Vietnam
The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti-Communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The country continues to experience protests from various groups - such as the Protestant Montagnard ethnic minority population of the Central Highlands and the Hoa Hao Buddhists in southern Vietnam over religious persecution. Montagnard grievances also include the loss of land to Vietnamese settlers.
Disease threats
degree of risk: high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid
Languages spoken
Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
What about drugs?
minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; government continues to face domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems despite longstanding crackdowns
Ethnic division
Kinh (Viet) 86.2%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.7%, Muong 1.5%, Khome 1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nun 1.1%, Hmong 1%, others 4.1% (1999 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.4% (2003 est.)
Climate
tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
Resources
phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower
Economy
Vietnam is a densely-populated developing country that in the last 30 years has had to recover from the ravages of war, the loss of financial support from the old Soviet Bloc, and the rigidities of a centrally-planned economy. Since 2001, Vietnamese authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to economic liberalization and international integration. They have moved to implement the structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive export-driven industries. Vietnam's membership in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and entry into force of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement in December 2001 have led to even more rapid changes in Vietnam's trade and economic regime. Vietnam's exports to the US increased 900% from 2001 to 2007. Vietnam joined the WTO in January 2007 following over a decade long negotiation process. WTO membership has provided Vietnam an anchor to the global market and reinforced the domestic economic reform process. Among other benefits, accession allows Vietnam to take advantage of the phase-out of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, which eliminated quotas on textiles and clothing for WTO partners on 1 January 2005. Agriculture's share of economic output has continued to shrink from about 25% in 2000 to less than 20% in 2008. Deep poverty has declined significantly and is now smaller than that of China, India, and the Philippines. Vietnam is working to create jobs to meet the challenge of a labor force that is growing by more than one-and-a-half million people every year. The global financial crisis, however, will constrain Vietnam's ability to create jobs and further reduce poverty. As global growth sharply drops in 2009, Vietnam's export-oriented economy - exports were 68% of GDP in 2007 - will suffer from lower exports, higher unemployment and corporate bankruptcies, and decreased foreign investment. Real GDP growth for 2009 could fall between 4% and 5%. Inflation, which reached nearly 25% in 2008, will likely moderate to single digits in 2009.
Environment
logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Cities in Vietnam

bac can     bac giang     bac lieu     bac ninh     ben tre     bien hoa     buon me thuot     ca mau     cam pha     cam ranh     can tho     cao bang     chau doc     da lat     dien bien     dong hoi     dong xoai     ha giang     ha noi     ha tinh     hai duong     hai phong     hanoi     ho chi minh city     hoa binh     hoi an     hong gai     hue     kon tum     lang son     lao cai     long xuyen     my tho     nam dinh     nha trang     ninh binh     phan rang     phan thiet     phu ly     play cu     quang ngai     qui nhon     rach gia     soc trang     son la     son tay     tam ky     tan an     tay ninh     thai binh     thai nguyen     thanh hoa     tra vinh     tuy hoa     tuyen quang     uong bi     viet tri     vinh     vinh long     vinh yen     vung tau     yen bai    



Beer in Vietnam (0.33l)
Hanoi~ 0.3 EUR
Ho Chi Minh City~ 0.5 EUR
Nha Trang~ 0.2 EUR
SAIGON~ 0.3 EUR
Saigon~ 0.3 EUR
Vung Tau~ 0.5 EUR

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