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1. Motorbike is the main way of transportation
In most countries, cars and public transportation is the most common way to get around, but not here.
There are more than 45 million registered motorbikes in the country, which means that almost half of the population owns their own motorbike!
That’s also one of the reasons for the slightly “chaotic” traffic, which isn’t so chaotic once you get a hang of it.
The roads are filled with motorbikes, which can be intimidating when you try to cross the road. But Vietnamese traffic etiquette is that you just walk, and the vehicles will move to the side.
2. Ho Chi Minh was and still is a national hero
Also known as “Great Uncle Ho”, Ho Chi Minh is the founding father of modern Vietnam. He is the symbol of liberation after the War. His remains are mummified and guarded in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi.
3. The áo dài
This traditional Vietnamese costume is known as Ao Dai, and you can see local women wearing it on special occasions, such as weddings or celebrations.
4. White skin is a beauty standard in Vietnam
Just like in many other Asian countries, the thought of white skin as pure and beautiful is something that lies deep within the Vietnamese beauty standards.
Women and men try to avoid the sun if possible in order to avoid being tan. Today, many beauty products also have a whitening effect.
5. Pho is the national dish
You might have tried Pho already if you’ve ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant. It’s basically a noodle soup and you will find this everywhere in the country.
Almost every Vietnamese restaurant will serve this traditional dish, no matter if it’s a street vendor or a fine-dining restaurant.
6. The Lunar New Year is the most important event of the year
Also known as Tet, the Lunar New Year marks the new year for Vietnamese people, and it’s the most important event of the year.
It’s widely celebrated throughout the country and in the streets of the cities, you will find many people celebrating.
7. Snake wine is drunk for vitality
Ever heard of Snake Wine or Snake Liquor? It’s not uncommon in Southeast Asia, and while it definitely sounds a bit creepy, it’s believed to enhance vitality, life, and other health benefits.
8. More than 3 million people died during the Vietnam war
About 2 million civilians and 1.3 million soldiers were killed or died during the war. One of the world’s longest conflicts, and still today it’s quite controversial.
9. It’s the second-largest coffee-producing nation
Vietnamese coffee is delicious, and traditionally it’s served and made as in the picture below.
Did you know that Vietnam is the second-largest coffee-producing nation? Only Brazil produces more coffee annually!
10. Tourism is growing each year
Vietnam has been in the shadows of Thailand for many years, and finally, more and more people seem to discover the Vietnamese beauty and charm.
It has a lot of beautiful places, interesting heritage, architecture, culture, delicious food, paradise beaches, and much more. After my visit, I’m surprised that not more tourists find their way here since it’s amazing!
11. Around 16% of the world’s species can be found here
Some of the most famous Vietnamese animals are Great Hornbills, Indian Elephants, Sun bears, Pygmy Slow Loris, Asian Water Monitor, Water Buffaloes, Burmese Pythons, Tigers, Dolphins, and many other species.
12. The Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest-growing in Asia
More and more Vietnamese people become middle or upper-class families, and it is now considered to be a developing country. Some regions and areas are still very poor, but it’s getting better and better for many.
13. Water puppetry is a popular art form
Water puppet shows are very popular among tourists, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. However, the art form of water puppetry is ancient and has been going on for a long time here.
It’s a part of the Vietnamese culture and heritage, and it’s something that you shouldn’t miss experiencing!
14. Rice is the staple food
Like many other countries in Asia, rice is very common. A lot of Vietnamese dishes come with rice, and it’s definitely a staple food in the country. Even more so in the countryside or valleys such as Sa Pa.
15. Home to the world’s largest cave
If you like to explore caves, you’ll be thrilled to know that Hang Son Doong Cave is the world’s largest natural cave!
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