Vietnam is a fascinating country, with landscapes of immense beauty and a Chinese and French-influenced culture that captivates instantly.
Here are x curiosities about Vietnam that will surprise you.
1. Ho Chi Minh is their hero, but they do not listen to him
Ho Chi Minh is a national hero. After many years of French occupation, the charismatic leader led the country to its independence in 1945. Ho Chi Minh died in 1969, in the middle of the Vietnam War. He had asked to be cremated and have his ashes scattered around the country.
However, they decided to embalm him and put him on display in a mausoleum in Hanoi (which can be visited). Then, they followed in the Russians’ footsteps, embalmed Lenin, and displayed him in Moscow. Undoubtedly, one of the best curiosities of Vietnam.
2. Almost everyone is called Nguyen
Even Ho Chi Minh was called Nguyen when he was born! You will see this surname everywhere: the receptionists, the streets. And it is the world’s fourth most common surname, only behind Lee, Wang, and Zhang (all Chinese).
3. Its flag is full of meaning
The flag of Vietnam consists of a golden star with five points. Each represents farmers, workers, intellectuals, youth, and soldiers. The red background pays tribute to the bloodshed during the wars.
4. Motorcycle paradise (or hell)
In Vietnam, there are motorcycles everywhere. And it is absolute chaos as they circulate according to the law of the fastest (or brave). According to 2013 figures from the Ministry of Transport, there are more than 37 million registered motorcycles and only 2 million cars.
And the fact is that owning a car in Vietnam is very expensive, as you have to pay a very high tax, and only the rich can afford it. But, on the other hand, the tariff on motorcycles is much cheaper, that is why it is the most used transport by its inhabitants. So be very careful when crossing the streets, even at crosswalks!
5. If you like coffee, you are going to love Vietnam
Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world, behind only Brazil (much larger). Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam by the French in the 19th century.
However, after the Vietnam War, production increased significantly. And by the way, don’t leave the country without tasting their typical coffee with egg – they are the kings of coffee!
6. A very narrow and S-shaped country
One of the most surprising curiosities of Vietnam is that at its narrowest point, the country is barely 40 kilometers wide. So if you dare to do a marathon, you have crossed Vietnam in a few hours!
7. Vietnamese don’t like to be tanned
Vietnamese believe that white skin evokes innocence and purity. They say that the whiter your skin, the better your chances of finding a job or being successful in love.
Many people choose to have plastic surgery to whiten their skin. So if you want to open a business in Vietnam, you can create good sunscreen! In supermarkets, you can find creams that help whiten your skin; you can even find them advertised on airplanes!
8. Vietnamese smoke a lot
The World Health Organization (WHO) states more than 25% of Vietnamese people smoke. That means that one in four people are smokers! Moreover, in Vietnam, smoking is considered a male activity. So it is pretty complicated to find a woman with a cigarette.
9. In Vietnam, online games are forbidden after 10:00 pm.
The country’s Ministry of Information and Communication requires all Internet providers to block access to online games, which can be videogames or online casinos, known as sòng bài trực tuyến in Vietnamese, every day from 10 pm to 8 am.
In Vietnam, it is not forbidden to access the platforms that let you play the best casino games in a simple and totally safe way from your smartphones, such as slots, poker, roulette, and many other games with live croupier. Moreover, on these platforms you also can receive welcome bonuses, high repayment rate, and many other benefits.
The only restriction is that in the middle of the night, you cannot play because the government inspects online gaming activities throughout the country and will cancel the service of those providers that violate the imposed regulation.
10. Vietnamese is one of the most challenging languages to learn
And finally, to finish with this list of curiosities of Vietnam, we did not want to leave one related to its language. Vietnamese is very complicated. It has up to 6 different tones, and the meaning of each word can vary in each tone.
Depending on how you pronounce a word, it can mean something else (totally different). So it is undoubtedly one of the world’s most difficult languages to learn.