Vietnam - A place majority of people think is still a war-torn country - poor, destroyed and unsafe. Well, anyone who thinks that way is in for a surprise. From its beautiful scenery to the warm welcome by the locals to its delicious coffee, Vietnam is breathtaking and historical. With a growing group of travellers all around the world, Vietnam is also becoming the common destination, but anyone who travels there still doesn't know a lot about the country.
Here are some interesting facts about Vietnam that'll help you mark your must do's and tell you more about the land you're visiting:
1. "Vietnam" - The Name
The name of this country favourite as two different words, Viet Nam. Old tales suggest that the land originated from the union between an immortal Chinese princess and 'the Dragon Lord of the Seas'.
2. Chinese and the European Influence
The Chinese and the European culture heavily influences Vietnamese culture, politics and art.
3. Capital City - Hanoi
The capital city is Hanoi, but interestingly it is not the largest city in the country (as is the case in a majority of the countries around the world).
4. Vietnamese Wedding
Traditional Vietnamese wedding, one of the most important occasions in the country, they still follow a lot of old rituals. These customs are considered important in their culture, but in this modern age, they are combined with western and eastern traditions.
5. Hue Festival
A grand celebration, the Hue festival is only celebrated in Hue City which is located in Central Vietnam. It is a celebration of the legacy of the Nguyen Dynasty and is filled with various traditions and rituals.
6. Musical Instruments
Vietnam has 50 national musical instruments and has rich forms of folk songs all across the country.
7. Tortoise - Lucky Charm in Vietnam
Tortoise is considered to be a lucky symbol in Vietnam.
8. Perfume Pagoda in Vietnam
Perfume festival or 'Perfume Pagoda' is the name of a festival celebrated in Vietnam. It involves prayers, dance and an adventurous journey along a river, through a cave and climbing hundreds of steps. This journey includes food offerings and is a colourful sight for viewers.
9. Silk Painting in Vietnam
Due to the influence of the French, silk painting became very popular in Vietnam. These paintings generally depict the daily life, landscapes or historical events.
10. Bad Luck Gifts in Vietnam
As the notions of different cultures, in Vietnam, it is considered bad luck to gift some handkerchief, yellow flowers or anything black.
11. Water Puppetry in Vietnam
Water puppetry is another popular art form that displays excellent storylines and is often used to display traditional scenes of Vietnamese life.
12. Architecture in Vietnam
Due to the many colonial rules, Vietnam has had a variety of architectural styles that are now classified as hidden gems.
13. Long Bien BridgeThe Long Bien Bridge in Vietnam is designed by the same person who designed the Eiffel Tower.
14. Son Doong Vietnam
The world's largest cave is located in this country. What is interesting is that this cave, Son Doong, was accidentally discovered by a local farmer looking for shelter from the near future flash floods. Son Doong can fit in the entire state of New York City and is known as the 'Great Wall'. This cave has been missing for 15 years since the farmer knew about it and had pearls as big as a baseball.
15. Thang Long - Hanoi
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, was initially named 'Thang Long' which translates to 'soaring dragon'.
16. UNESCO Sites in Vietnam
It has 8 UNESCO sites that are either cultural or both natural and cultural sites.
17. 'Love Market' Festival in Vietnam
They have an event called the 'Love Market' festival that is celebrated annually. Originating from a sad love story, it is now a place for ex-lovers who did not get married.
18. Vietnamese Cuisine
All the health conscious people, Vietnamese food has a good variety of choices. Using fresh herbs, lots of vegetables and avoiding oil in their meals; their food is considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines. Vietnamese cuisine is generally known for its strict and often chossy vegetable choices. A chef preparing this cuisine in different countries prefers typically using ingredients from Vietnam itself. Boiled rice is the most popular food in Vietnam, followed by 'Pho' which is a noodle soup.
19. Coffee in Vietnam
If you are a caffeine addict, Vietnam can be your hub. It is the second largest producer coffee. With a large number of great coffee shops all over the country, you can try each place to decide the best for yourself.
20. Snake Wine
A very unusual type of drink, known as the Snake Wine is served here. A somewhat popular drink, it is made by putting a snake or scorpion in a bottle and then pouring rice wine on top of it. If you visit, this is a must try drink.
Pho, the national dish of Vietnam is best served in Hanoi and is a must try for the travel and food enthusiast.
22. Street Food in Vietnam
The street food culture in Vietnam is prevalent and is a must try for anyone who visits. There are many exclusive street food markets across Vietnam
23. Imports and Exports in Vietnam
Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashew nuts as well as its largest importer. Rice and Coffee are its two other significant exports.
24. Yin and Yang Cooking
The chefs here are artists. The art of yin and yang is applied even to the food with the contrast in spice and temperature of the food, thus cooking a delicious meal.
25. Poetical Leaf
The conical hat or the 'Poetical Leaf' often worn by peasants, is related to maternal love and the history of rice growing according to the legends.
26. Áo Dài - National Costume of VietnamThe national costume of Vietnam is Áo Dài, a long gown with a slit on both the sides, was once worn by both the genders.
27. Dog Meat in Vietnam
The second largest consumer of dog meat, they also have pigs and tend to use the entire animal, including the inner parts.
28. The Love for Noodles
The people here consume more noodle than the people from the home country of noodle, i.e. Japan.
29. Sauces in Vietnam
Vietnam has 30 different kinds of sauce and is the only country that adds sauce to broth.
30. Herbs in Vietnam
They have 70 different kinds of herbs and thus give a variety of fresh, healthy and delicious meals.
31. Lizard Fishing in Vietnam
Lizard fishing and elephant rides are one of the favourite activities in Vietnam.
32. "Yes I Will" Attitude
People say 'yes' to an invitation even if they don't plan to attend out of respect for the host.
Last but not the least, don't underestimate the size of the country. It's a paradise waiting to be explored. Now that you know so much about Vietnam, how about you go there and see for yourself? Plan a trip soon and scratch out one more place from your bucket list.