Vietnam

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Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Population: 92 million
Capital: Hanoi
Language: Vietnamese
Currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)
Time Zone: UTC +07:00

Country Information
Vietnam is currently the world’s 13th most populous country and occupies 331,211 square kilometers. Today, although scarred by its past, Vietnam is a fast-growing economy helped by the tourism that its interesting history and beautiful sights draw in.

One frequent thing to hear is that it has not yet been subjected to the western influence that Thailand and, to an extent, Cambodia have been. The Vietnamese still tend to prefer their traditional cuisine to the fast food chains that seem to be taking over the world.

Asides from the beautiful countryside of the north, the typical rice fields and the beaches, Vietnam is a country that is very much on the move. Roads are being upgraded, new hotels are opening everywhere and its cities are vastly developing.

Climate
Due to the length of the country, Vietnam’s climate varies from region to region. On average, temperatures range from 22°C – 27°C year-round and the weather can be described as generally warm and humid. Although temperatures don’t vary much in the southern parts of Vietnam, the northern areas can get quite cold during the winter.

Tropical monsoons can be expected between October to April in the centre of Vietnam and from May to September in the north and south. Outside of these rainy seasons it remains almost completely dry.

Culture
Although Vietnamese culture is rooted in the ancient indigenous Dong Son culture with wet rice agriculture as its economic foundation, certain aspects of its culture have Chinese influence, and, of more recent times, the country has been exposed to Southeast Asian, European and American culture and media.

Having said this, it is safe to say that Vietnam has not yet absorbed much Western cultural influences particularly when compared to some of its neighbours.

Gastronomy
Vietnamese cuisine is heavily influenced by the Asian principle of 5 elements which correspond to the five elements: wood (sour), fire (bitter), earth (sweet), metal (spicy) and water (salty). This yin and yang principle is an art of balance to make the food beneficial to the body.

Traditional Vietnamese cooking is known for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, plentiful use of herbs and vegetables and what’s more, it is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.

Typical dishes might include rice vermicelli noodles, jasmine rice, dried shrimp, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, bean sprouts and the list goes on!

Transportation
There are plenty of transport options in Vietnam and it is, on the whole, quite cheap to move around.

By Plane
Vietnam has 21 airports. Prices do vary depending on when they are booked but it is still a cheap option and the best way to travel quickly over long distances.

By Bus
A common way to travel for longer distances (locally, taxis are usually the preferred option). You should try and buy tickets from the bus stations where possible as then the price will be fixed and reasonable. If tickets are bought during the journey, you run the risk of being overcharged

By Taxi
Taxis are mostly metered and very cheap. They are the most popular way to get around in the towns/cities especially with luggage!

By Rickshaw (Cyclo)
Practical way of getting around but not so good with luggage. You will need to bargain a price beforehand.

By Motorbike taxi (Xe Om)
Similar to the Cyclos. Make sure to set a price beforehand to avoid being overcharged.

For more information on Vietnam check out the Vietnam Tourism Board website here.

  • Ultimate Vietnam

    Hanoi, Vietnam

    25 people
    14 days
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Vietnam visa required, suitable for 18-35 years.
    This trip is perfect if you're looking for the ULTIMATE tour in Vietnam. You should have a sense for adventure, be curious to learn about new cultures and like to experience something ...
    From £845Member Price £794
    More Info 6% off
  • Medical Placement in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 111
    Medical Health Care, Volunteering Abroad
    Gain work experience by aiding a local hospital that serves the community here in Ho Chi Minh.This project offers the rare opportunity of hospital work and practice alongside English-speaking ...
    From £400Member Price £360
    More Info 10% off
  • Culture Week in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 115
    Activity and Adventure, Cultural Experiences
    This action packed week combines Vietnamese culture, both contemporary and historic, through visits to historic monuments, workshops and more!This culture week will give you an understanding of ...
    From £400Member Price £360
    More Info 10% off
  • Children's Orphanage in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 114
    Activity and Adventure, Care Work, Community, Volunteering Abroad
    Assist at a local orphanage and bring smiles to its children from all over Vietnam. This project gives you the opportunity to work with children from all age groups at three different orphanages. ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Teaching in Vietnam

    La Gi, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 427
    Activity and Adventure, Teaching, Volunteering Abroad
    Teach English to a new generation and help improve their future while learning more about the local people and culture.Teaching in our Vietnamese schools will not only help the students broaden ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Disabled Children’s Home in Vietnam

    La Gi, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 429
    Activity and Adventure, Care Work, Volunteering Abroad
    Help out as a caretaker for children with mental and physical disabilities at a local children’s home in La Gi Village.Work with local staff and provide high quality support and caretaking ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Working with Disabled Children in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 112
    Activity and Adventure, Care Work, Volunteering Abroad
    Assist in the caretaking of special children afflicted with mental and physical disabilities at this city’s local hospital.Work with local staff to take care of these children through ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Food Shop in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 228
    Activity and Adventure, Community, Volunteering Abroad
    Cook and serve meals at this hard working food shop, providing cheap, healthy meals to the locals.The food shop is run by a NGO together with local people to provide subsidized and cheap meals. ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Hospital Volunteer in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 113
    Activity and Adventure, Medical Health Care, Volunteering Abroad
    Get a unique insight into the operations and procedures of a local hospital in Ho Chi Minh by helping out in various areas.You will assist with construction and renovation activities inside the ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Children's Orphanage in Vietnam

    La Gi, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 430
    Activity and Adventure, Community, Volunteering Abroad
    Assist as a mentor, teacher and caretaker at this sea-town village orphanage, bringing smiles to its children along the way!You will work with a small community orphanage that houses children ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Campus Life (Teaching) in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 116
    Teaching, Volunteering Abroad
    Teaching with a twist! You will be working with students your own age in a two-way learning process that will allow great cultural exchange!This project offers you the opportunity to teach ...
    From £250Member Price £225
    More Info 10% off
  • Construction Effort in Vietnam

    La Gi, Vietnam

    15 people
    7 days
    Code: 428
    Building and Construction, Volunteering Abroad
    Improve homes and community buildings in the La Gi fishing village through light construction work. This project asks you to get your hands dirty doing construction work, repairs and renovations ...
    From £300Member Price £270
    More Info 10% off

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