Vietnam meaning Independence, Freedom, Happiness is bordered by China in the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, the South China Sea to the south and the Gulf of Tonkin to the east.
Vietnam is now the largest producer of cashew nuts in the world, producing roughly one third of the world’s supply.
It is also the second largest exporter of rice in the world after Thailand and the third largest producer of oil in Southeast Asia.
The capital is Hanoi and Vietnam is also the home to The My Son Santuary, a World Heritage site.
Colonial influences from France and China reach their height in the national cuisine, which is world famous.
Noodle soup with chicken or beef broth (pho), a distinctive kind of spring roll (cha gio), and the use of fermented fish sauce (nuoc mam) for dipping and seasoning are among the many noteworthy dishes.
Vietnam is a lush tapestry of soaring mountains, fertile deltas, primeval forests inhabited by exotic fauna, sinuous rivers, mysterious caves, otherworldly rock formations, and heavenly waterfalls and beaches.
The richness of Vietnam's origins is evident throughout its culture.
Spiritual life in Vietnam is a grand panoply of belief systems, including Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
Vietnamese architecture expresses a graceful aesthetic of natural balance and harmony that is evident in any of the country's vast numbers of historic temples and monasteries.
Due to the ranges in latitude and altitude in the country, the climate differs considerably from location to location.
Temperature in the southern plains varies little and fluctuates between 21 °C and 28 °C over the year.
However in the mountainous north temperatures can vary between 5 °C in winter and 37 °C in the summer.
Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8%
Football is the most popular sport in Vietnam. Sports and games such as badminton, tennis, ping pong, and chess are also popular with large segments of the population.
Women’s Volleyball is also extremely popular and is watched by large sections of the country. Vietnam has participated in the Olympic Games since 1952, however did not with their first medal until Tran Hieu Ngan claimed a silver medal in the women’s tae kwon do at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.
Vietnam is a strong competitor in the fields of martial arts and sepak takraw at the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian games.
The 3rd Asian Indoor Games is also to be held in Vietnam, the host cities being Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.