Vietnam (GPS: 16 10 N, 107 50 E) located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and the South China Sea and China, Laos, and Cambodia. The country’s area measurements are total: 331,210 sq km; land: 310,070 sq km, water: 21,140 sq km. This sovereign state is about three times the size of Tennesee, slightly larger than New Mexico. The total irrigated land is 46,000 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Vietnam: Extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point. Son Doong in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is the world’s largest cave (most significant cross-sectional area) and is the largest known cave passage in the world by volume. It currently measures a total of 38.5 million cu m (about 1.35 billion cu ft). It connects to Thung cave (but not yet officially). When recognized, it will add 1.6 million cu m in volume. Son Doong is so massive that it contains its jungle, underground river, and localized weather system. Clouds from inside the cave and spew out from its exits and two lines (openings (sinkhole skylights) created by collapsed ceilings that allow sunlight to stream in).
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Hanoi’s GPS coordinates are 21 02 N 105 51 E. Hanoi’s local time is 12 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+7.
The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the communist North and anti-communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade, the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals, many successful South Vietnamese merchants – and growing international isolation. However, since the enactment of Vietnam’s “doi moi” (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The communist leaders maintain tight control of political expression but have demonstrated some modest steps toward better protecting human rights.
The country continues to experience small-scale protests, the vast majority connected to either land-use issues, calls for increased political space, or the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Human rights activists often organize small-scale protests in urban areas. Still, many occur in rural areas and involve various ethnic minorities such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands, Hmong in the Northwest Highlands, and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region.
Vietnam’s names conventional long form: the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, traditional short form: Vietnam, local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam, local short state: Viet Nam abbreviation: SRV, etymology: “Viet Nam” translates as “Viet south” where “Viet” is an ethnic self-identification dating to a second century B.C. kingdom, and “nam” refers to its location to other Viet kingdoms. “Viet nam” translates as “Viet south,” where “Viet” is an ethnic self-identification dating to a second century B.C. kingdom, and “nam” refers to its location about other Viet kingdoms.
Vietnam’s terrain is typically low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest. The country’s mean elevation: 398 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the South China Sea 0 m, highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m.
The country’s general climate is tropical in the south: monsoonal in the north with a hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March).
The total number of border countries is 3, Cambodia 1,158 km, China 1,297 km, Laos 2,161 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Vietnam’s coastline is 3,444 km (excludes islands). At the same time, its marital claims are territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or to the edge of the continental margin. Waterways: 47,130 km (30,831 km weight under 50 tons) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 34.8%; arable land 20.6%; permanent crops 12.1%; permanent pasture 2.1%; forest: 45%; other: 20.2% (2011 estimate).
The population in Vietnam 97,040,334 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 33.6% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: Ho Chi Minh City 7.298 million; HANOI (capital) 3.629 million; Can Tho 1.175 million; Haiphong 1.075 million; Da Nang 952,000; Bien Hoa 834,000 (2015), while Vietnam has N/A. Their spoken languages are Vietnamese (official language), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian). Main religions in Vietnam are Buddhist 7.9%, Catholic 6.6%, Hoa Hao 1.7%, Cao Dai 0.9%, Protestant 0.9%, Muslim 0.1%, none 81.8% (2009 estimate). The nation uses civil law system; note – the civil code of 2005 reflects a European-style civil law. It is a(n) communist state, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 2 September (1945).
Economic overview for the country: Vietnam is a densely populated developing country transitioning since 1986 from the rigidities of a centrally planned, highly agrarian economy to a more industrial and market-based economy, and it has raised incomes substantially. Vietnam exceeded its 2017 GDP growth target of 6.7% with 6.8% growth, primarily due to unexpected increases in domestic demand and strong manufacturing exports. Vietnam has a young population, a stable political system, commitment to sustainable development, relatively low inflation, stable currency, strong FDI inflows, and a strong manufacturing sector. Besides, the country is committed to continuing its global economic integration.
Vietnam joined the WTO in January 2007 and concluded several free trade agreements in 2015-2016, including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (which the EU has not yet ratified), the Korean Free Trade Agreement, and the Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement. In 2017, Vietnam successfully chaired the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference with its key priorities, including inclusive growth, innovation, strengthening small and medium enterprises, food security, and climate change. Seeking to diversify its opportunities, Vietnam also signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Transpacific Partnership in 2018 and continued to pursue the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
To continue its trajectory of strong economic growth, the government acknowledges the need to spark a ‘second wave’ of reforms, including reforming state-owned-enterprises, reducing red tape, increasing business sector transparency, reducing the level of non-performing loans in the banking sector, and increasing financial sector transparency. Vietnam’s public debt to GDP ratio is nearing the government-mandated ceiling of 65%. In 2016, Vietnam canceled its civilian nuclear energy development program, citing public concerns about safety and the high cost; It faces growing pressure on energy infrastructure. Overall, the country’s infrastructure fails to meet the needs of an expanding middle class. Vietnam has demonstrated a commitment to sustainable growth over the last several years. Still, despite the recent speed-up in economic growth, the government remains cautious about external shocks’ risk.
Natural resources of Vietnam: phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, timber, hydropower, arable land.
Main export partners for Vietnam, Southeast Asia are the US 21.2%, China 13.3%, Japan 8.4%, South Korea 5.5%, Germany 4.1% (2015) for clothes, shoes, electronics, seafood, crude oil, rice, coffee, wooden products, machinery, while the main import partners for the country are: China 34.1%, South Korea 14.3%, Singapore 6.5%, Japan 6.4%, Hong Kong 5.1%, Thailand 4.5% (2015) for machinery and equipment, petroleum products, steel products, raw materials for the clothing and shoe industries, electronics, plastics, automobiles.
When you visit this country in Southeast Asia, consider the natural hazards in Vietnam: Occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta, while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis (2016). Also, note that Vietnam faces the following environmental issues: Logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation, and soil degradation, water pollution, and overfishing threaten marine life populations, Groundwater contamination limits potable water supply, Air pollution, Growing urban industrialization, and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Vietnam around its total: 4,616 km border, like Cambodia, China, Laos.