Key Country Facts
One fun fact about Vietnam is that the Vietnamese New Year, Tet Nguyen Dan (“Feast of the first Morning of the First Day”) is the most important festival in Vietnam. The festival celebrates rebirth and the arrival of spring.
Vietnam is wild with natural beauty. Travelers will love Ha Long Bay for its clear waters, limestone islands, and breathtaking rain forests. Another place of interest are the Cu Chi Tunnels. A complex network of underground tunnels, the Cu Chi Tunnels acted as the Viet Cong’s base of operations and refuge in 1968.
There are approximately 96,000,000 people living in Vietnam, in a country about the size of New Mexico. The majority of Vietnamese practice Buddhism and Catholicism.
Major exports of Vietnam are clothes, shoes, electronic, seafood, crude oil, coffee, wooden products, and machinery.
With more than 9 million people living in capital, there are 6 million mopeds here! People call mopeds “little fish”—they’re everywhere.
- Vietnam is a very young country—70% of population born after the war.
- People come to Saigon for opportunities. In Cities such as Saigon, the wages are as follows:
- Textile worker (girl) earns $200-250/mo.
- Moto driver (taxi)– $7/day
- Shop worker $5/day
When in Vietnam, I observed lots of people smiling. Beautiful faces. People outside the city still look at westerners with fascination and smiles are reciprocated. The market that I went to was one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen.
The Renaissance Hotel was excellent. I loved exercising in the morning and seeing others along the river. Running in the mornings really showed me how young the population is !
I also visited the Mekong River. I loved my tour of the coconut candy facility, rice paper, popcorn. Afterwards, I took boat ride and an hour long cruise. The Mekong River empties into the ocean. 40 miles from the Mekong the land is still incredibly fertile land, making Vietnam the top rice producing area in Asia. They export to most Asian countries.