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About Vietnam

Vietnam  is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With anestimated 90.0 million inhabitants as of 2013, it is the world's 13th-most-populous country, and the eighth-most-populous Asian country. The name Vietnam translates as "Southern Viet" (synonymous with the much older term Nam Viet); it was first officially adopted in 1802 by Emperor Gia Long, and was adopted again in 1945 with the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh. The country is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976.

- Vietnam is divided into 58 provinces. There are also five municipalities, which are administratively on the same level as provinces.

- Vietnam was then unified under a Communist government but remained impoverished and politically isolated. In 1986, the government initiated a series of economic and political reforms which began Vietnam's path towards integration into the world economy.

- Vietnam is also proudly to be location of 7 World Heritage Sites and many Intangible Cultural Heritages recognized by UNESCO, as well as the unique cultural values from the North to the South which contribute to an amazing and mysterious Vietnam.

- The official national language of Vietnam is Vietnamese, a tonal Mon–Khmer language which is spoken by the majority of the population. In the 13th century, the Vietnamese developed their own set of characters, referred to as NOM LANGUAGE. The folk epic "The Tale of Kieu" by Nguyen Du was written in NOM LANGUAGE. MAIN LANGUAGE, the romanized Vietnamese alphabet used for spoken Vietnamese, was developed in the 17th century by the Jesuit Alexandre de Rhodes and several other Catholic missionaries. MAIN LANGUAGE became widely popular and brought literacy to the Vietnamese masses during the French colonial period.

- Vietnam's culture has developed over the centuries from indigenous ancient Dong Son culture with wet rice agriculture as its economic base. Some elements of the national culture have Chinese origins, drawing on elements of Confucianism and Taoism in its traditional political system and philosophy. 

- Vietnam has a plethora of festivals based on the lunar calendar, the most important being the Tết New Year celebration. Traditional Vietnamese weddings remain widely popular, and are often celebrated by expatriate Vietnamese in Western countries.

- Vietnamese cuisine traditionally features a combination of five fundamental taste "elements" (Vietnamese: ngũ vị): spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (earth).



Tourism in the economy

Tourism is increasingly important in Vietnam. For backpackers, culture and nature lovers, beach-lovers and veterans touring the country for a long time, Vietnam has emerged itself as a new tourist destination in Southeast Asia and on is now on lists in magazines worldwide. Hotel investors especially the potential of the 3000-kilometer-long coast line and the big cities. The tourism offer has been increasingly diversified. Local and international tour operators offer tours to ethnic minority groups, walking and bicycle tours, kayak trips and multi-country trips in particular in connection with neighboring Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. In addition, thanks to the lift of several movement regulations, foreign tourists have been able to travel freely in the country since 1997.

Vietnam now has 21 national tourist area, is the major tourist sites that are state recognized:

Sa Pa (Lào Cai), Ba Bể (Bắc Kạn), Hạ Long Bay – Cát Bà Island (Quảng Ninh, Hai Phong), Ba Vì National Park (Hanoi), Perfume Pagoda (Hanoi), Cổ Loa Citadel (Hanoi), Tam Cốc-Bích Động (Ninh Bình), Kim Liên (Nghệ An), Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park (Quảng Bình), Ho Chi Minh trail (Quảng Trị), Lăng Cô – Hải Vân Pass – Non Nuoc (Thừa Thiên–Huế and Da Nang), Hội An (Quảng Nam), Van Phong Bay (Khánh Hòa), Phan Thiết – Mũi Né (Bình Thuận), Dankia – Yellow Springs, Lake Tuyen Lam (Lâm Đồng), For Hours (Ho Chi Minh City), Côn Đảo (Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu), Long Hai beach (Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu), Phú Quốc (Kiên Giang), Biosphere Reserve Cape Cà Mau (Cà Mau).

Vietnam has 31 national parks: Ba Bể, Ba Vì, Bạch Mã, Bái Tử Long, Bến En, Bidoup Núi Bà, Bù Gia Mập, Cát Bà, Cát Tiên, Chư Mom Ray, Chư Yang Sin, Côn Đảo, Cúc Phương, Hoàng Liên, Kon Ka Kinh, Lò Gò-Xa Mát, Cape Cà Mau, Núi Chúa, Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng, Phú Quốc, Phước Bình, Pù Mát, Tam Đảo, Tràm Chim, U Minh Hạ, U Minh Thượng, Vũ Quang, Xuân Sơn, Xuân Thủy, Yok Đôn.

World Heritage Sites: Huế, Hội An, Mỹ Sơn (Quảng Nam Province), Hạ Long Bay (Quảng Ninh Province), Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park (Quảng Bình Province), Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long (Hanoi) and Citadel of the Hồ Dynasty (Thanh Hóa Province).

Vietnam has eight zones world biosphere reserve: Red River Delta (Ninh Bình, Nam Định, Thái Bình), Cát Bà National Park (Hai Phong), western Nghệ An, Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, Cape Cà Mau National Park (Cà Mau), Cát Tiên National Park (Đồng Nai) and Cần Giờ (Ho Chi Minh City).

Top ten cities for tour: Hanoi – the capital, Ho Chi Minh City – the largest city in Vietnam, Hai Phong – third largest city, Da Nang – the largest city in central Vietnam, Cần Thơ – the largest city in Mekong Delta (4th in Vietnam), Huế – Capital of Vietnam during the Nguyễn Dynasty, Nha Trang – One of largest cities in the South Central Coast, Phan Thiết – with Mui Ne, "Resort capital of Vietnam", Da Lat, Vũng Tàu.

Currently one of the most popular landing choices for visitors to Vietnam is that of Tan Son Nhat International Airport. This airport is classified as being the biggest in the country in terms of volume and runway length. This airport serves the largest city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, and because it is the newest and most modern of Vietnam's airports. It currently has two paved runways which measures 3 800 meters and 3200 meters. If you do not land at Tan Son Nhat, then you will most likely touch down at Da Nang International Airport or Noi Bai International Airport. Noi Bai is the country's second biggest and is located in Hanoi while Da Nang is the country's third largest international airport. Da Nang is considered to be an important access point to central Vietnam and it receives a lot of traffic.

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