To travel is to take a journey into yourself.
— Danny Kaye, 1913 - 1987




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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. 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 Communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups, the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.


Vietnam (Việt Nam), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam) is a country in Southeast Asia. Its neighboring countries are China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west.

Read more about Vietnam in our Vietnam travel guide »

Featured journals from


Southeast Asia winter 2011

by psmadsen

Brief photo updates from my winter 2011 journey in Australia and Southeast Asia.

Sep 2011 - Dec 2011  »  Australia | Vietnam | Cambodia | Thailand

One Lucky Lady off to see the World!

by Natreadtravels

Let the Adventure begin.............thank you Edwina and Cruise Portfolio for allowing me this wonderful opportunity.

Mar 2014 - Jun 2014  »  United Kingdom | Vietnam | Chile | Argentina | Bolivia | Colombia | Peru

3 Seasons

by SlyOldFox

Adventures in winter avoidance

May 2014  »  New Zealand | Vietnam

South East Asia 2009

by jeffsadventures

Feb 2007 - Oct 2009  »  New Zealand | Vietnam

25 Days of Laos

by wanderingshutterbug

A 25-Day Journey Around Laos On Mustafa (A Sleek Black Honda FTR)

Apr 2011 - May 2011  »  Vietnam | Laos


by schultz132

January 2011

Jan 2011  »  South Korea | Vietnam

Featured hotels in


VietnamInterContinental Asiana Saigon 

Corner Hai Ba Trung St & Leduan Blvd
Ho Chi Minh City 70000

Price (US$): $236 - $307 / night

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Location. InterContinental Asiana Saigon is a business friendly hotel located in Ho Chi Minh City's Dong Khoi neighborhood, close to Saigon Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, and Saigon Notre Dame Basilica. Additional points of interest include Diamond Plaza and Ho Chi Minh City Museum. Hotel Features. Dining options at InterContinental Asiana Saigon include a coffee shop/café and a snack bar/deli. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel… more »

VietnamVedana Lagoon Resort and Spa 

Zone 1, Phu Loc Town, Phu Loc District
Phu Loc

Price (US$): $86 - $1038 / night

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Location. Located in Phu Loc, Vedana Lagoon Resort and Spa is on the waterfront and local attractions include Bach Ma National Park. Hotel Features. Vedana Lagoon Resort and Spa features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. The property's full service health spa has body treatments and facials. Complimentary wireless and wired high speed Internet access is available in public areas. For a surcharge, shuttle services include a roundtrip airport shuttle (available on request) and a train station… more »

VietnamImperial Hotel Hue 

8-Hung Vuong Street
Hue 0084

Price (US$): $104 - $382 / night

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Location. Imperial Hotel Hue is located in central Hue, close to Truongtien Bridge, Dong Ba Market, and Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts. Nearby points of interest also include Imperial City and Bao Quoc Temple. Hotel Features. Imperial Hotel Hue features a coffee shop/café, a bar/lounge, and a swim up bar. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a children's pool, a health club, a sauna,… more »

VietnamDiamond Bay Resort & Spa 

Nguyen Tat Thanh Blvd, Phuoc Ha,
Phuoc Dong
Nha Trang 18458

Price (US$): $197 - $250 / night

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Location. Diamond Bay Resort & Spa is located near the beach in Nha Trang and close to Diamond Bay Golf Course and Vinpearl Cable Car. Other points of interest are Vinpearl Land and Nha Trang Beach. Hotel Features. Diamond Bay Resort & Spa features a bar/lounge and a swim up bar. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also located on site are an outdoor pool, an outdoor tennis court, a health… more »

VietnamSofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 

15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi 10000

Price (US$): $284 - $635 / night

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Location. Located in central Hanoi, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Hanoi Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake. Additional points of interest include Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and Temple of Literature. Hotel Features. In addition to 3 restaurants, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi offers 3 coffee shops/cafés. 3 bars/lounges, a swim up bar, and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves… more »

Browse more hotels in Vietnam »


Full name
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

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

Geographic coordinates

21 02 N, 105 51 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than New Mexico

Border countries

Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km


3,444 km (excludes islands)


tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)


low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest

Lowest point

South China Sea 0 m

Highest point

Fan Si Pan 3,144 m

Natural resources

phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, timber, hydropower


89,571,130 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

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)


Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8% (1999 census)


Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Government type

Communist state


2 September 1945 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 2 September (1945)

Chief of state

President Nguyen Minh TRIET (since 27 June 2006); Vice President Nguyen Thi DOAN (since 25 July 2007)

Head of government

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan DUNG (since 27 June 2006); Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh HUNG (since 28 June 2006), Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung HAI (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien NHAN (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia KHIEM (since 28 June 2006), and Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh TRONG (since 28 June 2006)

Internet country code


Internet users

23.382 million (2009)


44 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Cam Pha Port, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu My, Quy Nhon

Other countries in the region