Teach Across The Globe

Overland Journeys: Indochina

Halong BayHanoiHueMy SonHoi AnHo Chi Minh City

Vietnam has overcome a recent turbulent history to emerge as a country that is becoming both an economic powerhouse and a magnet for travellers to southeast Asia. Reminders of the war persist, notably at the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, but it's Vietnam's stunning natural beauty and cultural vibrancy that will be most memorable from your trip here. From the mountainous landscapes of Sapa to the unique karst islands in Halong Bay, from the spectacular coastal road near Danang to the waterways of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is one of the world's most beautiful lands. On a trip through the country, best taken on the Reunification Express train, you'll also visit historical and cultural sites such as the old imperial capital at Hue, the traditional town of Hoi An and the Champa ruins at My Son. Meanwhile the diversity of modern Vietnamese life can be seen in both the bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and in the ethnic villages of northern Vietnam and the agricultural heartland of the Mekong Delta. Explore in depth highlights of Vietnam.

Travel Information for Vietnam
Time zone:GMT +7 (Southeast Asia time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Vietnamese
Other languages:English, French, Khmer, Mandarin Chinese
Currency: dong (VND)

1 = 25339, $1 = 22708, £1 = 30199

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.vnInternational Dialling Code:    84

For help planning your trip to Vietnam including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Vietnam trip planning page.

Further information on Vietnam

Discover more about Vietnam - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of vietnam

Total area: 329,560 sq km (4,200 sq km under water)

Coastline: 3,444 km (Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tongking, South China Sea)

Neighbours (border lengths): Cambodia (1,228km), China (1,281km), Laos (2,130km)

Climate: Tropical climate in the south. Monsoonal climate in the north with a hot, rainy season from May to September and a warm, dry season from October to March. There are occasional typhoons from May to January with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta.

Highest mountain: Fan Si Pan (3,144m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Vietnam from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldNot Free -
Democracy IndexAuthoritarian regime 130/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 148/179
Press FreedomVery serious situation 173/179
ILGA LGBT rightsLimited rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 119/174
Overall Ranking:    168/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV)     Status: Independent Country

Population: 93,421,835 (rank: 14/196)     Density: 283.4 people/sq km (rank: 30/196)

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)

Religions: 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)

GDP (PPP): $358.9 billion       GDP per capita: $4,000 (rank: 140/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.