Things You May Not Know About Vietnam

When people hear of Vietnam, images of stunning rice fields, gorgeous beaches, and the majestic Halong Bay would often come to mind. But there’s definitely more to Vietnam than these. As a matter of fact, there are still lots of things that might surprise you about this amazing country. So here are some of the things that you didn’t know about Vietnam.

The Vietnamese People Are Consist of 54 Ethnic Groups

You probably have heard about the H’mong tribe of Vietnam, especially if you’ve gone hiking to Sapa, which is where most of them live. But aside from the H’mong, there are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam that are officially recognized by the local government. Of these groups, the Kinh people are considered the largest, which makes up 85% of the population. Other tribes in Vietnam are the Tay, Khmer Krom, Mường, and several other distinct H’mong tribes. Most of the minority ethnic groups dwell in the mountainous region of the country, such as in the Central and Northern Vietnam.

The Country is Shaped Like the Letter S

Located along the eastern edge of the Indochina, Vietnam is long and narrow. In fact, if you take a look at the country’s map, you’ll notice that it’s shaped like the letter S. Because of the shape of the country, it will take several weeks and even months before you can explore it from north to south or vice versa. Its neighboring countries include China, which is in the north, and in the west is Cambodia and Laos.

Second Largest Producer of Coffee in the World

Sure, you must have heard about the delicious Vietnamese coffee. But do you know that Vietnam is actually the second largest producer of coffee in the world, next to Brazil? Vietnam exports a vast number of coffee products each year, which is a lesser-known fact of the country since most people think that the country’s major produce is rice. But if you explore the country’s central area, you’ll discover a vast plantation of coffee beans. Almost 95% of the coffee is robusta, which has more caffeine than arabica coffee.

Their Official Animal is Water Buffalo

If you visit the rural areas of Vietnam, especially those towns that are home to expansive rice fields, it’s not surprising to come across a water buffalo. That’s because these gentle animals help the farmers in cultivating the rice fields. They are also used in carrying out several other tasks, such as pulling plows, hauling carts, and carrying the farmers as they journey across the vast rice fields. It is for this reason why the animal holds a very special place in the hearts of the Vietnamese that they even consider it their country’s official animal.

English is becoming their Second Language

Although a vast number of Vietnamese are still not fluent with the English language, it’s increasingly becoming the country’s second language. With the influx of tourists, more and more Vietnamese locals are learning the language in order to take advantage of the thriving tourism industry. All over the country, you’ll find plenty of English language learning centers and Western travelers often end up working as English teachers. But take note that if you are planning to become an English teacher in Vietnam, you need to have the right paperwork and acquire a proper visa. For more information about different Vietnam Visas, check out

With more and more Vietnamese learning the English language, there’s no longer an issue on language barrier when traveling to Vietnam these days. There’s a good chance that you’ll meet someone who speaks English in the streets especially in the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

The Country’s National Flag Has Significant Meanings

Vietnam’s flag is among the simplest flags in the world and its simple design is easy to recognize, which is color red and has a yellow star in the middle. But there are significant meanings behind the design. The five points of the star signify the five main classes of Vietnamese people in the socialist society. These include workers, soldiers, peasants, youths, and intellectuals. As for the red color, it represents the bloodshed during the revolutionary struggle, from World War II to the war against the French and American colonialists.

Vietnam is Home to Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Halong Bay is perhaps the most recognized World Heritage Site in Vietnam. But aside from the Halong Bay, the country is also home to several other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In fact, there are eight of them. These include the Hoi An, the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the Citadel of Ho Dynasty in Than Hoa, the Hindu temples in Quang Nam, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Trang An Complex, and the Forbidden City in Hue. All these sites are truly magnificent and are worth a visit during your trip to Vietnam.