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Interesting Facts About Vietnam You May Not Know

Updated on September 6, 2012
Vietnam’s Halong Bay – It has become one of the new seven wonders of nature since November 2011
Vietnam’s Halong Bay – It has become one of the new seven wonders of nature since November 2011 | Source

Vietnam is a small country in the world. Many people probably know it through the Vietnam War. However, the war has been behind us for a long time. Vietnam has changed a lot since then. There are lots of interesting things about Vietnam that you can only know once you go there or study about it. I was born in Vietnam so, of course, I know lots about it. I think it’s a good idea to share with you a little bit information about my country. Who knows? You may consider coming to Vietnam some day because of this article!

1. The only language that uses Latin alphabet.

Vietnamese is the only language in East Asia (maybe in the whole Asia, I’m not sure) that uses the Latin alphabet. All the other countries in the region, such as: China, Japan or Korea, uses different alphabets. For example, Japan has three separate alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. This makes it very difficult for people who want to learn Japanese. Many foreigners coming to Vietnam always feel more comfortable than in other countries when it comes to languages. Although they cannot speak Vietnamese, they’re still glad they can recognize the letters! Imagine you don’t know French and Chinese, which language do you feel more comfortable to look at?

2. One of the three countries that used to be divided during history.

There are only three countries in the world that used to be divided during their history. These are: Germany, Korea and Vietnam. Most of you probably know the famous Berlin wall. It divided Germany into West Berlin and East Germany. It was destroyed in 1989. Similarly to Germany, Vietnam used to be separated in its war. It consisted of two regions: the North Vietnam and the South Vietnam, between 1951 and 1975. Luckily, Vietnam has been reunited since then. However, Korea is not that lucky. Korea was divided in 1945 after the defeat of Japan in World War II and it’s still separated today. The situation between the two countries is still really strained. Let’s hope Korea Peninsula will be reunited some day in the future.

3. Vietnam: the S-shaped land.

If you look at the map and pay attention to the position of Vietnam, you will notice that Vietnam is actually an S-shaped country. Every Vietnamese people are proud of this. They often tell foreigners about this when they go abroad or give instruction to tourists to Vietnam. If you come to Vietnam, you will often here the phrase:” Welcome to the beautiful and friendly S-shaped land….” Moreover, you also see on the map that the majority of Vietnam’s land bothers the sea. It has some really beautiful beaches that are famous all over the world, such as Nha Trang, Mui Ne or Phu Quoc.

4. The world's largest exporter of pepper and cashew nut.

Currently, Vietnam is the world’s largest exporter of pepper and cashew nut. India used to be the world’s largest exporter of these two products, but Vietnam has taken over its place in recent years. Besides pepper and cashew, Vietnam has become the world’s largest coffee exporter in 2012 and it’s also the world second largest rice exporter. As you can see, Vietnam is mainly exports agricultural products. These kinds of products are not high in value. Although Vietnam exports these products in large numbers, the profit we gain from them is not much. This is why Vietnamese government is trying to change Vietnam into a modern industrial country while still maintaining its strong points in exporting agricultural products.

5. The majority of the population use motorcycle to move around every day.

Almost all Vietnamese people use motorcycles to go between places on the daily basis. Since Vietnamese government charges taxes on cars very heavily, only rich people can afford to buy cars. Although many rich people have cars, they still have their own motorcycles and use them as their main vehicles. It’s because the infrastructure in Vietnam is quite bad. There are often traffic jams, especially during rush hours. If you don’t know how to ride motorcycles, you should learn it if you want to come to Vietnam and enjoy all the experiences yourselves.

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