Extent: 329 560 km² (65th place of the world. Regarding extent: it is similar to Norway or Malaysia).
Population number: 83 535 576 (84% are the ethnical Vietnamese and 2% the ethnical Chinese. As the rest, these are the Khmers, Thams and members of more than 50 ethno-linguistic groups) - taking the 13th place of the world. As an example, Germany has nearly the same number of inhabitants).
Population density: 253/km² (47th place of the world, similar density has for instance, Great Britain or Jamaica).
Language: Vietnamese (official language), English (is being used as the second language), French, Chinese and Khmer language, further: mountain languages (Mon-Khmer) and Malayan language.
The highest peak: Fansipan (3143 m)
Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Since 1975, when South Vietnam was seized by Communists, Vietnam was practically isolated from the surrounding world. But, since 1989, the country was completely open for tourists from abroad and investors as well. This, at present, very popular destination, offers its unique culture and exceptional nature beauties.
Vietnamese coasts take 1600 kms of East Indochine Peninsula. The country, covering a surface of nearly 330 000 square kilometres, is a bit bigger as Italy and smaller as Japan. To two most Vietnam fertile regions belong Red River delta (15 000 square kilometres) in north and Mekong delta (60 000 square kilometres) in the south. Further, three fourths of the country are montaneous and hilly.
Vietnam has very different climate, owing to its big span of nature and countryside relations. The south part is placed in tropical belt, whereas very cold winters could appear there. South-west monsoon comes since April/May and lasts till October. This monsoon brings the country humid and hot weather - with the exception of areas, which are protected with mountains, and it is the central part of coast belt and Red River delta.
Vietnam is a poor country. Year income per capita makes approx. USD 200. However, the bureaucracy and corruption are - just for long time period - most visible afflictions of Vietnamese economy development. Recent income of money, received from foreign investors, was paradoxically supported by state sector, and this sector became much more powerful. This great bureaucracy still resists the privatization, despite the fact that the first Vietnamese Stock Exchange of securities (stocks) was finally open in 2000. In the same year, former rivals, i.e. Vietnam and USA, signed the firrst historical business agreement.
Entry visas and necessary documents
Travelling to Vietnam, you need valid passport or any other valid travelling document, which contains entry visa. The visa is granted by Vietnam Embassy, Consular Section, abroad. For entry visa, you are obliged to pay the respective fee, for one way or multiply visas. On arrival to Vietnam, the authorities require to fill in several questionnairs, especially regarding your health condition and length of stay of the passenger. However, international driving licence is not valid in Vietnam.
In the country, there are valid standard international prescriptions. Regarding „Dangerous items“: there is a limit for import of two litres of spirits or wines, three litres of beer, 400 pcs of cigarettes, 100 pcs of cigars, 500 g of tobacco and personal jewels. Total value of such subjects would not exceed the value of USD 300. Attention: when buying the subjects which could be taken for antiques, you are advised to keep the receipts for eventuel customs checking.
Credit Cards and Cheques
In Vietnam, you can find more than 600 bancomats. However, the use of world-wide known credit cards is limited for the time being. Credit cards are accepted in certain chosen hotels, shops or restaurants in Hanoi or Saigon tourist city centres or in centres of another great towns. Otherwise, you could have problems, using these cards, nevertheless, we wish to recommend you to use it as your finantial reserve. Except credit cards, also travel cheques could be applicated.
The electric tension is moving in a scale 220-240 V. The plug contacts are standard, but you can meet the plugs of some different types in your hotel room. Anyway, in each room, you can find a plug, corresponding to standard simple double-type.
Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.