General Knowledge | Vietnam | Facts | Current affairs

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Written by Dr. SS

If you are looking for essential facts regarding Vietnam. This article will be useful for you for cracking questions in UPSC exams related to global affairs. This article covers all the facts you need to crack UPSC questions on Vietnam.


Location of Vietnam


Map of Vietnam


Facts about Vietnam at a glance

Official NameCong Hoa Chu Nghia Viet Nam (Socialist Republic of Vietnam)
FlagThe flag is red with a five-pointed gold star in the center.
AnthemTien Quan Ça (Forward, Soldiers!).
Form of GovernmentSocialist Republic with one legislative house National Assembly (493)
Head of the StatePresident-Tran Dai Quang
Head of the GovernmentPrime Minister: Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Official LanguageVietnames
Official ReligionNone
Monetary UnitThe dong (d) is a paper currency of 10 hao and 100 xu. There are coins of 1, 2, and 5 xu. They have  notes of 5 xu, 1, 2, and 5 hao, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 dong.
Holiday Liberation of Saigon, 30 April;

May Day, 1 May;

Independence Day, 2 September.

Movable holidays include the Vietnamese New Year (Tet).


Time7 pm = noon GMT


Total: 331,210 km²

Land: 310,070 km²

Water: 21,140 km²

Area – comparativeIn compare of New Mexico in the United States its area is slightly larger. But Vietnam is about 1⅓ times the United Kingdom’s size
Land Boundaries:


Total: 4 639 km

Border countries: Cambodia (1 228 km),

Laos (2 130 km),

China (1 281 km),

Coastline: 3 444 km (excludes islands)

Elevation extremes:Lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

Highest point: Fansipan 3 144 m

Population9,25,47,959 (July 2014)
Population Density279 persons km2
Birth Rate16.26 per 1000 population
Death Rate5.93 per 1000 population
Population StructureUrban-33% and Rural-67%
EthnicityAs per the 2009 census, the Viet or Kinh ethnic group dominates with  85.8% of the population which constitutes nearly 73.6 million people. However, Vietnam is also home to 54 ethnic minority groups.


Vietnam, a country of the east coast of Indo-Chinese peninsula is embodying the oldest continuous civilization in southeast Asia. Today it is best known as the principal area of Vietnam war (1957-1975), one of the most bitter and lengthy conflicts of the twentieth century. According to Vietnamese legend, the ancestor of the Vietnam people was Lac Long Quan (Lac dragon lord), a god-like a figure who emerged from the sea to found the state of Vietnam and import to it the benefits of civilization. Before returning to the sea Lac Long Quan married Au Co, daughter of an invading conqueror from the north and they presented the first in a series of kings who for more than 2000 years ruled over Van-Lang in the Red River Delta. The so-called Lac people of the region were rice farmers and their rulers were a class of feudal lords. It is believed that they are ethnically related to Austroasiatic people who lived along the coast of southeastern China.

 But Vietnamese history begins when in 111 B.C. Vietnam was concurred by the Han dynasty of China and that exposed to a thousand years of Chinese rule. However, in 938 under the visionary leadership of Ngo Quyen, Vietnam gave the Chinese a crushing defeat at the battle of Bach Dang River and North Vietnam attained independence.
Battle Of Nam Dinh vietnam

In the 19 century, Vietnam was conquered by France and placed under colonial rule. Under the French rule, the modern commercial and industrial sector developed, but political freedom was limited. By 1920s anti –coalition sentiments were on the rise. In 1945 a coalition of national forces called Vietminh, led by the communist party took advantage of Japanese military occupation to seize power in the north. Subsequent negotiation between the Vietminh and returning French broke down and in December 1946, a war broke out. After eight years of bitter conflict, the Geneva agreement brought the war to an end. In Agreement, they agreed to temporarily divide Vietnam between the 17th parallel and nationwide elections to create a unified government was to be held in 1956 but did not take place. Thus, a division of Vietnam lasted for 22 years. In the north, the communist-dominated democratic republic of Vietnam began the march to socialism. In the south, noncommunist nationalist-led by Ngo Dinh Diem set up a government in Saigon based on the western democratic model. In 1963 Diem was overthrown by the military coup but the situation continued to deteriorate. In 1965, fearing a total collapse of the Saigon regime the United State introduced American combat forces to stem communist-led guerrillas. In 1973 the bloody conflict was brought to a temporary halt and peace agreement was signed in Paris, calling the withdrawal of the US Military and a negotiated political settlement between competing forces in Vietnam. But in 1975 the north Vietnamese army launched a major offensive. Saigon fell in late April. After a year south and north were merged into the new socialist republic of Vietnam and its capital with Hanoi.


Vietnam is being described as a carrying pole with a rice basket hanging from each end because of a single mountain chain, the Annam Cordillera (in Vietnamese, Truong Son), extends along country’s  western border from north to south. It connects two “rice baskets,”  formed by  Red River Delta of the Tonkin region in the north and in the south with the rich Mekong River Delta. More than two-thirds of the entire population of the country lives in these two low-lying delta regions. These regions are composed of rich alluvial soils. The highest mountain peak of Vietnam is Fan Si Pan (3,143 m/10,312 ft), which is near the northern border.


Vietnam is located in the tropical belt which lies between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. The primary seasonal changes are marked by variations in rainfall in Vietnam however, there are slight variations in temperature, depending on the season and the altitude. In the Red River Delta region, daily temperatures fluctuate considerably, particularly in the dry season, when the thermometer sometimes may drop up to 5°c (41°f) in the region of Hanoi.

The south is more tropical. Temperatures in the Central Highlands are somewhat cooler, which ranges g from a mean of about 17°c (63°f) in winter to 20°c (68°f) in summer. In Vietnam the rainy season extends from the beginning of  May to November, annual rainfall averages about 200 cm (79 in) in lowland regions. The typhoon season lasts from July through November. Typhoons in this region frequently lead to serious crop damage and loss of life.


Most of the forests in Vietnam have been cleared up. Whatever the vegetation is found it resembles that of a tropical rain forest with mostly Savannah type deciduous trees. Now only 57% of the land is forested. The delta and lake shores of the lowlands have swampy forests. Because of its diverse climatic conditions and complicated topography Vietnam has a range of six major forest types. (a) Evergreen and semi-deciduous broad-leaved forests. (b) Deciduous forests © Bamboo and Palms (d) Coniferous forests (e) Open broadleaved forests and (f) Scrubs.

That was all about Vietnam.

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