Vietnam has become a popular tourist destination in the present times. So, do you wish to explore it more? Well, I’ve got these fun facts about Vietnam just for you!
- Fun Facts About Vietnam
- 1. Ho Chi Minh Is Vietnam’s Founding Father
- 2. Vietnam Has Delicious Dishes, Including Pho – The National Dish
- 3. Vietnam Has Snow!
- 4. The National Flower of Vietnam Is the Lotus
- 5. Vietnam Has the World’s Largest Cave
- 6. Teachers Are Well-Respected in Vietnam
- 7. Vietnam Has No Legal Drinking Age
- 8. The Meaning Behind Vietnam’s Name
- 9. Tortoises Are Considered Lucky in Vietnam
- 10. The Lunar New Year Is the Most Important Festival
- 11. Tourism Has Peaked in Vietnam in Recent Years
- 12. The Long Bien Bridge is NOT Designed by Gustave Eiffel
- 13. Vietnam Has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- 14. Vietnam Is the Largest Exporter of Cashew Nuts
- 15. Farmers in Vietnam Wear the Poetical Leaf or Conical Hats
- 16. Vietnam Has Lizard Fishing
- 17. Vietnam Is S-Shaped
- 18. Motorbikes Are Popular in Vietnam
- 19. Nguyen Is the Most Common Last Name in Vietnam
- 20. Vietnam Has Over 54 Ethnic Groups!
- 21. Water Puppetry Is a Special Craft
- 22. Vietnam Is the Second-Largest Producer of Coffee
- 23. The Unique Connection of Chi Chi Tunnels
- 24. 80% Of Vietnamese Are Atheists
- 25. Vietnam Has Tube Houses
- 26. Over 90% Of the Population Is Literate in Vietnam
- 27. Vietnam Has Short People!
- 28. Don’t Gift Chrysanthemums to Vietnamese People
- 29. Vietnam Has Around 45 Airports
- 30. Fansipan Is the Highest Point in Vietnam
- Further Reading – Fun Facts About Vietnam
Fun Facts About Vietnam
Located on the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a country full of marvellous beaches, a rich culture, and lively cities. The famous Vietnamese War has popularised the country.
However, I was pleasantly surprised when I came to know the other noteworthy things about Vietnam that are hardly ever talked about! So, I’ve discussed the best fun facts about Vietnam below.
1. Ho Chi Minh Is Vietnam’s Founding Father
Let’s start by discovering some of the iconic fun facts about Vietnam.
Vietnam’s capital, Ho Chi Minh City is named after its founding father, Ho Chi Minh. He led the famous Vietnamese communist movement and freed the country from France in 1945. Later on, he became the president of North Vietnam between 1945 and 1969.
Today, you can even find the preserved body of President Ho Chi Minh in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
2. Vietnam Has Delicious Dishes, Including Pho – The National Dish
Foodies unite! I’ve got some really delicious fun facts about Vietnam for you.
Vietnamese cuisine has many mouth-watering dishes. Pho, the country’s national dish, is popular beyond its boundaries too. It consists of rice noodles served in a flavorful broth mixed with spices and herbs.
Other dishes like Nem and Bun Cha are also quite popular. Nem is a type of fried roll made up of minced pork or prawns. On the other hand, Bun Cha is roasted pork with vermicelli noodles.
3. Vietnam Has Snow!
Vietnam always gives the feel of a tropical country. Yet, here’s one of the astonishing fun facts about Vietnam.
The temperature of the country typically lies between 17 and 19 degrees Celsius. However, it may drop to 0 degrees Celsius in certain mountainous places, like Sa Pa, in the winter months. During this time, you can even get to experience snow in this country!
4. The National Flower of Vietnam Is the Lotus
The national flower of Vietnam is as beautiful as the country. In Vietnamese culture, the lotus symbolises purity and commitment. It also stands for optimism as the flower closes at night and opens again in sunlight.
In Vietnam, you’ll find lotus growing in various lakes and ponds, especially in the Mekong Delta, during the months of June and July.
5. Vietnam Has the World’s Largest Cave
Son Doong, situated in the Quang Binh province of Central Vietnam, is the world’s largest cave.
The cave is 200 metres high, 9.4 kilometres long, and 175 metres wide. Its size is so huge that it can fit almost all the other caves in it and many forty-storey skyscrapers!
Many people believe that the cave was discovered by a Vietnamese man, Ho Khanh. Later on, he also helped a team of divers to explore the cave.
6. Teachers Are Well-Respected in Vietnam
These fun facts about Vietnam made me respect the country’s traditions and culture.
In many countries, the teaching profession isn’t respected enough. However, in Vietnam, teachers are seen as important figures. The country also has a national day dedicated to teachers.
Every year, on the 20th of November, the country celebrates Vietnamese Teacher Day. On this day, the students show their love and gratitude towards their teachers by singing songs, reciting poetry, and even dancing.
7. Vietnam Has No Legal Drinking Age
This has to be one of the most surprising fun facts about Vietnam!
Unlike other countries where the legal drinking age is around 18 and 21 years, Vietnam isn’t strict with its alcohol policies.
Most of the time, you won’t have to show your ID to purchase alcohol. This might be one of the reasons why Vietnam is the third-largest beer consumer in Asia!
8. The Meaning Behind Vietnam’s Name
Here are some fun facts about Vietnam and its meaning.
The name Vietnam consists of two terms – Viet and Nam. In the ancient Vietnamese language, “Viet” means “descendants of a dragon soaring to the sun” whereas “Nam” means “southern territory”.
9. Tortoises Are Considered Lucky in Vietnam
Every country has its own lucky and unlucky charms. It seems like the tortoise is considered lucky in Vietnam.
The tortoise is one of the most powerful animals in Vietnamese culture, apart from dragon, unicorn, and phoenix. It symbolises strength and if you ever see a tortoise, you’re in for a bit of good luck!
However, the irony is that keeping a tortoise as a pet is frowned upon in Vietnam.
10. The Lunar New Year Is the Most Important Festival
Let’s talk about some festival-related fun facts about Vietnam.
The Lunar New Year, also known as “Tết” in Vietnam, is the country’s most celebrated festival. This day marks the beginning of spring and the start of a new year based on the Lunisolar calendar.
On this festival, the Vietnamese people meet their families and pray and honour their ancestors. They also pray for prosperity, luck, and good health for the new year.
You’ll also find grand-scale festivities like delicious food, music, and dragon dance performances in Vietnam during this time.
11. Tourism Has Peaked in Vietnam in Recent Years
Since 2011, Vietnam has seen a rapid growth in its tourism. Just a decade ago, the country only had around 4 million tourists. However, in recent years, the number has gone up to more than 15 million tourists!
12. The Long Bien Bridge is NOT Designed by Gustave Eiffel
When we’re talking about fun facts about Vietnam, you’ll come across this common myth. It is believed that the famous Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the Eiffel Tower.
However, let’s bust this myth right here! Two French architects, Daydé and Pillé, are responsible for designing the iconic bridge.
Apparently, Gustave Eiffel and his team did submit a design for the bridge, but it wasn’t approved.
13. Vietnam Has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Vietnam is a mix of both natural and ancient beauty. Its strategic location near the ocean has blessed it with divine views that’ll leave you speechless! At the same time, the country also has a rich past which has contributed immensely to its historical landscape.
The eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites consist of three natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Halong Bay, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, and Trang An Landscape Complex.
There are around five historical sites including the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, My Son Sanctuary, the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hoi An Ancient Town, and the Complex of Hue Monuments.
14. Vietnam Is the Largest Exporter of Cashew Nuts
I love cashew nuts, which is why these fun facts about Vietnam are my absolute favourite.
Vietnam is responsible for contributing 80% of the world’s total cashew nut exports. In fact, it makes up 90% of the cashew market in both the US and China, and 80% in the Netherlands.
In 2020, the country exported approximately 450,000 tonnes of cashew kernels!
The main cashew-producing regions include the southern province of Binh Phuoc, situated near the north of Ho Chi Minh City.
15. Farmers in Vietnam Wear the Poetical Leaf or Conical Hats
The one major symbolic thing about Vietnam is the conical hat. If you walk around the streets of Vietnam, you’ll come across many men and women wearing these hats.
These conical hats are made up of bamboo and are also known as Non-La. Farmers wear these hats while they’re in the fields to protect their heads from harsh weather conditions like extreme heat and rain.
While reading about these hats, I also came to know how they came into existence. According to the Vietnamese legend, a goddess descended wearing a large hat during the stormy weather.
The hat was so huge that it protected the people from the torrential rain and helped them get back to their normal lives!
16. Vietnam Has Lizard Fishing
If you don’t like lizards or are scared of them, these fun facts about Vietnam aren’t for you!
Many people are into fishing, but Vietnamese people love to fish lizards too. You’ll find lizard fishing in the arid regions near the country’s south-central coast.
Lizard fishing takes place by using a long bamboo fishing pole with a hook attached to it. The bait is also kept to entice the lizards. Once the lizard attempts to catch the bait, it gets trapped inside the hook.
Then, the caught lizard is roasted, fried, or grilled for consumption!
17. Vietnam Is S-Shaped
If you take a look at Vietnam’s shape on a world map, you’ll find that it’s actually a long and thin S-shaped country.
It extends for about 1,650 kilometres and is surrounded by China (North), Laos and Cambodia (West), and the Eastern Sea (East).
18. Motorbikes Are Popular in Vietnam
Do you love motorbikes? These fun facts about Vietnam are for you!
As per the recent statistics of 2023, the country has more than 70 million motorcycles!
The popularity of motorcycles in Vietnam is because they’re much more affordable than cars. They’re more flexible and easy to drive around the tiny and narrow streets of Vietnam, where using a car is equivalent to a near-death experience.
Motorcycles also allow better manoeuvrability while driving around in Vietnam traffic. So, if you plan to visit Vietnam soon, rent a motorbike for the full experience!
19. Nguyen Is the Most Common Last Name in Vietnam
Here’s one of the actual fun facts about Vietnam!
Did you know that around 40% of Vietnamese people have the same last name, Nguyen? There’s an interesting history behind the popularity of this last name.
According to popular belief, the Tran dynasty took over the Ly dynasty in the 1230s. Therefore, the people having the Ly last name had to change their last name to Nguyen. The word means “musical instrument” but there’s no specific reason why this name was chosen.
20. Vietnam Has Over 54 Ethnic Groups!
It’s impossible to not talk about these culture-related fun facts about Vietnam.
Despite looking like a small country, Vietnam is the world’s fifteenth-most populous country with a population of more than 100 million. Hence, you’ll get to see various ethnic groups around the country.
The Kinh or Viet ethnicity makes up the majority of the population, whereas 17% of Vietnamese belong to other groups. These include Tày people, Muong people, Thái people, and Chứt people
21. Water Puppetry Is a Special Craft
Each country has its own quirks, and so does Vietnam. Let’s talk about one of the fun facts about Vietnam and its folk art.
The art of water puppetry originated in the 11th century near the Red River Delta in North Vietnam. It is also known as “Múa rối nước” in Vietnamese.
As the name suggests, the puppet masters dance and move around the puppets. However, the whole thing takes place inside water, which makes the craft a unique one! They enact legendary stories or sometimes, just scenes from everyday life.
22. Vietnam Is the Second-Largest Producer of Coffee
Here are a few fun facts about Vietnam for all the coffee aficionados.
Vietnam is the second-largest producer of coffee right after Brazil. It contributes 16% to the world’s total coffee production.
In 2022, Vietnam produced 30.5 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee! The two popular coffee varieties include Robusta (almost 97%) and Arabica.
Apart from coffee, Vietnam is also the second-largest producer of rice after Thailand. In 2021, it exported 6.4 million tonnes of rice.
23. The Unique Connection of Chi Chi Tunnels
The Vietnam War (Between 1955 and 1975) that took place between South Vietnam and North Vietnam paved the path for the country’s horrific history.
During these years, the Chi Chi Tunnels were used extensively. It’s a network of tunnels that is spread across an area of 250 kilometres, out of which 120 kilometres are well-preserved.
The Vietnamese soldiers used these tunnels to hide and dodge attacks from the Americans and the South Vietnamese armies. They also used them to launch attacks on their enemies.
The surprising fact about these tunnels is that they were actually built during the French-Indochina War of 1946.
24. 80% Of Vietnamese Are Atheists
Let’s talk about a few religion-related fun facts about Vietnam.
If you think that the country mainly follows Buddhism, like other Southeast Asian countries, you’re slightly mistaken.
Only 15% of the Vietnamese population follows Buddhism and 8.5% follow Christianity. There are a few other minor religious groups too.
However, around 80% to 90% of the Vietnamese population are atheists. They do follow a few ancestral traditions, but they’re not associated with any faith.
25. Vietnam Has Tube Houses
When I first read tube houses, I was confused about what it meant!
As the name suggests, these houses have a tube-like structure with a narrow width and huge height (due to several floors). They’re also known as “nhà ống” in the local language.
The width of these tube houses is limited to 11 to 12 feet (three to four inches) whereas some of them even have more than 12 floors!
These houses stand out due to their vivid colours lining up the busy streets of Vietnam. They’ve become a tourist attraction too.
26. Over 90% Of the Population Is Literate in Vietnam
This is one of my favourite fun facts about Vietnam!
Vietnam used to be a country with an extremely low literacy rate (less than 10%) when it gained independence. However, after several major campaigns, the country achieved a higher literacy rate.
In 2021, around 98% of the population of Vietnam was literate! Can you imagine that it went from having 10% literacy to almost 100% literacy?
27. Vietnam Has Short People!
Did you know that Vietnam has the world’s fourth shortest people?
The average height of a Vietnamese man is 162.1 centimetres (5.3 feet) and a Vietnamese woman is 152.2 centimetres (4.9 feet).
28. Don’t Gift Chrysanthemums to Vietnamese People
Vietnam has various mysterious traditions. I found one of these cultural fun facts about Vietnam truly intriguing!
If you wish to buy flowers for a Vietnamese, don’t gift them Chrysanthemums. The reason behind it is quite straightforward. These flowers are given at funerals and are considered a bad omen.
Contrary to the rest of the world, Vietnamese consider pink roses as a romantic gesture. So, unless you have romantic feelings toward somebody, don’t gift them either.
29. Vietnam Has Around 45 Airports
Can you imagine that a small country like Vietnam has around 45 airports? If not, here are a few surprising fun facts about Vietnam and its airports.
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam administers and manages all 45 airports. The largest airport is the Tan Son Nhat International Airport situated in Vietnam’s capital city, Ho Chi Minh City.
Other major airports in Vietnam include Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) and Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang).
30. Fansipan Is the Highest Point in Vietnam
Vietnam’s landscape consists of many hilly regions. In fact, 85% of its territory consists of low-lying mountains with an elevation of less than 1,000 metres (3280.84 feet). However, there are many high peaks in Vietnam too.
The highest mountain is Fansipan located in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near Lai Chau province. It has a height of 3,147 metres or 10,324 feet. Hence, it is also known as “The Roof of Indochina”.
Further Reading – Fun Facts About Vietnam
Right from its history to its traditions, there are plenty of unique things about Vietnam. So, I hope these fun facts about Vietnam helped you know more about this continuously growing and fascinating country.
You can also check out more such blog posts about Southeast Asian countries on my website.