Updated: Feb 28, 2020
Want to explore Vietnamese fun facts about the cultures? What do do in Vietnam? Here is what you need to know before starting your trip to this beautiful country. Don't forget to save them all!
What are Vietnamese fun facts? First of all, it should be noted that Vietnam has been becoming one of attractive destinations, though it might not be considered as a “must visit” country like others in Southeast Asia. Vietnam is a country with 54 ethnic groups, diverse culture and tradition, long-standing history; in addition of spectacular scenery, incredibly yummy food. Here are 12 Vietnamese fun facts for those who want to explore more before truly experiencing the tradition, the culture, the food, the scenery of Vietnam.
Crazy Vietnamese fun facts
Fact #1: Motorbike madness
Every adult has an own motorbike, it’s true. Vietnam is crazily considered as a country of motorbikes that nowhere else can compare. For the first-time tourists, they might be scared of the madness of motorbikes on the streets, especially in rush hours, working or schooling hours. Crossing the streets also seems to be a difficulty for foreigners. Not only that, with several vehicles such as cars, buses, trucks, and walkers altogether travel on the streets, which might make foreigners crazy and think “What a chaotic scene ever!”
Fact #2: Snow in a tropical country?
Can you believe it? Have you ever seen a scene of falling snow in a tropical country? It happens in Vietnam. Well, it doesn’t happen in all cities, but in the northwest, especially in Sapa, lies at the border of China and Vietnam. If you want to admire this unique scene, don’t forget to visit Sapa at the right time, normally from December to February when the temperature can drop to 0 or lower.
Fact #3: Largest cave in the world
If you have searched for information about Vietnam, you might know Son-Doong, the world’s largest cave. It was by a local man named Hồ Khanh in 1991 and discovered in 2009-2011 by a group of cavers from the British Cave Research Association. It lies in Phong Nha - Kẻ Bàng National Park (which is also a large cave and national park) located in Quảng Bình Province, in the Central Vietnam. It is a 7.7-kilometer long cave with a subterranean river that’s nearly 14 kilometers long. It is made up by nearly 150 individual caves that always challenge brave adventurers everyday.
Fact #4: Vietnamese street foods and symbols are defined in the Oxford Dictionary
It’s glad to say no more people try to translate some Vietnamese street foods and symbols literally, and of course, wrongly into English because some of them are defined in the Oxford Dictionary. Also, more and more foreigners say their Vietnamese names when travelling to Vietnam such as Bánh mì, Phở, Áo dài,... Next time, remember to try to learn some Vietnamese special words before your trip.
Fact #5: Challenging tiny underground tunnels
One of the most popular tunnels in the country is Củ Chi Tunnels, which is located in Hồ Chí Minh City attracting hundreds of tourists everyday. Made by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, the tunnels were used to serve as a hiding spot and living quarters for Vietnamese resistance fighters, including housing first aid barracks, kitchens, sleeping bunks and traps, with some segments only large enough to crawl through on your stomach.
Fact #6: Diversity of ethnic groups and cultures
As mentioned, Vietnam is home to 54 ethnic groups in which Kinh group is the majority. The groups widely spread around the country. Each group has its own culture and characteristics making Vietnam a culturally diverse country. Moreover, not wisely opened as the King group, some ethnic minorities are quite closed to the strangers that you should follow their rules and respect them as much as you can.
Fact #7: Vietnamese alphabet is… weird
Yeah, it’s funny but true. Vietnamese language is quite difficult to learn for foreigners, including the alphabet, the grammar, the structure, the tone… We have 29 letters with 5 different tones which are the most important part of Vietnamese. But if you are foreigners who want to learn Vietnamese for fun or for travel, don’t be shy if you say something incorrectly, we can totally understand that.
Fact #8: Vietnam has 8 UNESCO sites
It includes the Complex of Huế Monuments, Hội An Ancient Town, Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long, the Citadel of the Hồ Dynasty, Hạ Long Bay and Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park and Tràng An Landscape Complex. They are natural or cultural sites of Vietnam and also absolutely worth visiting.
Fact #9: The Lunar New Year is the most important holiday
Influenced by Chinese tradition in the past, Vietnamese has their own new year that might occur from the end of January to the middle of February, sometimes later. At that time, people have at least 1-2 weeks off and come back home to gather with their families. If you travel to Vietnam at this time, prepare your mind that everything will be double-priced due to the lack of workers. And don’t forget to join our activities and holidays.
Fact #10: A country with tons of beautiful coastal cities
Đà Nẵng, Mũi Né, Kiên Giang,... these are some coastal cities that include several beautiful and clean beaches and attract thousands of visitors every month, both domestic and international. We should also include some imposing islands and islets such as Côn Đảo Island, Phú Quốc Island which are home to endangered species of animals and plants.
Fact #11: Hồ Chí Minh's embalmed body on display
Well, this is not something abnormal because Hồ Chí Minh or Uncle Hồ is our national hero forever and that is a real evidence for our patriotism, brave, long-standing history. The Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum is located in Hà Nôi, the capital of Vietnam and tourist can of course visit it. It’s not allowed to take photos when visiting there and you have to queue in a long line to see our national hero.
Fact #12: Vietnamese currency is... crazy
At first, you might be confused of the colors and numbers of Vietnamese currency. Each amount of money has its own color that you should be aware when paying for something. Moreover, the number of “zero” can make you crazy. For example, we have 10.000 VND, 20.000 VND, 100.000 VND in which the last 3 zeros are something stable.
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