International

Vietnamese Culture

Published on 27 November 2014

Vietnam country & people:

. Mainland: 331,211.6 km2

. Population: 85,789.6 thousand inhabitants (Apr. 2009)

. National Capital: Hanoi

Lying on the eastern part of the Indochinese peninsula, Vietnam is a strip of land shaped like the letter “S”. China borders it to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, the East Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the east and south.

The country’s total length from north to south is 1,650km. Its width, stretching from east to west, is 600km at the widest point in the north, 400km in the south, and 50km at the narrowest part, in the centre, in Quang Binh Province. The coastline is 3,260km long and the inland border is 4,510km.

Latitude: 102º 08' - 109º 28' east

Longitude:  8º 02' - 23º 23' north

Vietnam is also a transport junction from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Climate: Vietnam lies in the tropics and monsoon (detail)

Topography: Three quarters of Vietnam's territory consist of mountains and hills (detail)

Administrative Units: Vietnam is divided into 63 provinces and cities

Vietnam Map

Photo: Map of Vietnam

More further information: http://www.vietnamtourism.com

Hochiminh City

History

HCM City is only 300 years old but has many human and historical values created by the exchange of different cultures. The culture of the former Saigon and present-day HCM City shows an original characteristic of the Vietnamese culture and nation in the historical and geographical context of the countrys southern region. It is possible to say that Saigon-HCM City is a convergence of many cultural flows during its process of establishment and development, and it has a culture that bears the impressions of the Vietnamese, Chinese, Cham, Khmer, Indians, and so on. Saigon was also one of the countrys main centers to come under the influences of the French and American cultures. This is reflected through constructions such as Nha Rong Wharf, the Post Office, Grand Theater, City Hall, Reunification Palace, and Ben Thanh Market. The system of ancient pagodas andchurches like Giac Lam, Thien Hau, Giac Vien, Notre Dame, Huyen Si, Thong Tay Hoi and Thu Duc reflects a diversity of religions and beliefs with dozens of annual festivals. This has created cultural diversity of this southern land. In each street or at each corner of streets, the citys geographical names link with celebrated people in cultural and historical fields as well as victories of a heroic city. Famous beauty spots and cultural-historical places in the city include Saigon Zoo, Dam Sen, Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa Lake, Museum of History, Museum of Revolutions, Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Duoc Temple, An Phu Dong Resistance Base, 18 betel-growing hamlets, Lang Le Bau Co, the Bung Sau pineapple garden, and Can Gio Ecotourist Resort.

Saigon-HCM City was the first place in Vietnam to publicize the Latinized national language and publish newspapers. The appearance and development of books, newspapers, specialized training schools, the pool of intellectuals and artists, and cultural and artistic exchanges have made the city capable of great cultural influence.

Thanks to a favorable geographical location, a moderate climate with only two seasons in a year, wet and dry, a history of more than 300 years of fighting against invaders, and a distinctive culture, HCM City has become a tourist center of the country.

HCM City attracts tourists because it has not only many scenic spots, cultural-historical places, and architectural works of interest, but also a typical southern-style gastronomy. From Bach Dang Wharf in the downtown, tourists can travel in a boat along Saigon River to enjoy nature, visit traditional craft villages, orchards, ornamental plant gardens, floating markets on the river, or Can Gio Ecotourist Resort, which has been certified by UNESCO as Vietnams first mangrove forest biosphere reserve. The city is also a gateway from which tourists can go to the southern regions famous places such as the Binh Chau hot spring, Nam Cat Tien National Park, Mui Ne Cape, Dalat, and the Mekong Delta, which is widely known for rice baskets, orchards, salt water forests, swamps, and many kinds of natural resources.

Since 1990, HCM City has earned 28%-35% of the countrys tourism revenues. The city has received an increasing number of international tourists, from 180,000 in 1990 to millions now, which accounts for over 50%-70% of the international tourists to the country. The rapid increase of international tourists to Vietnam and HCM City is the outcome of the open-door and international integration policy, the renovation and upgrading of infrastructure and facilities to serve tourists, and the promotion of foreign investment. Compared with other localities countrywide, HCM City has taken the lead in the cause of renovating social life.

A city of sunlight and friendly dynamic people, Saigon-HCM City is a pleasant place for locals and foreigners alike to visit. 

More information:  www.tourism.hochiminhcity.gov.vn 

Short information: 

Area: 2,098.7 km2

Population: around 9 millions habitants (2013)

Administrative divisions:

- Inner districts (19): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Tan Binh, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan, Thu Duc, Go Vap, Binh Tan, Tan Phu

- Suburban districts (5): Nha Be, Can Gio, Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Binh Chanh

Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Chinese, Kh’mer, Cham, etc.

Photo: Saigon river in Hochiminh City

HCM City to develop more cultural works, improve cultural environment

HCM City will upgrade or build 28 cultural works from now to 2010, with the focus on four key projects, according to the HCM City Department of Culture and Information. The four key cultural projects are a circus and multi-function performance complex at Phu Tho in District 11, a museum about HCM City at the Thu Thiem New Urban Town in District 2, a ballet theater at 23 Le Duan Boulevard and a multi-functional cultural complex at 164 Dong Khoi Street in District 1.

Other works include completing technical infrastructure for cultural development at localities, zoning and building a system of museums, preserving and protecting historical sites, and rearranging and modernizing the General Science Library, theaters, cinemas and statues. The movement to encourage all people build a cultural life will be expanded while the gap on cultural enjoyment between urban and rural areas will be narrowed.

At a recent meeting with the Department of Culture and Information on the city’s culture development plan to 2010 and vision to 2020, delegates of the HCM City People ‘s Council remarked that the city still lacks a strategic vision on cultural development. 

The cultural sector to build a civilized and healthy cultural environment, encourage the participation of the society in cultural activities and preservation of traditional cultural values, and improve the qualification of cultural officers.  At present, HCM City has four publishing houses, nearly 300 bookstores and companies engaged in book distribution, 272 printing businesses and 1.500 advertising enterprises and establishments.  The city has 76 historical sites, 10 museums and six commemorating houses, 7 city-level cultural houses and 24 district cultural houses. It has proposed an additional 212 sites for ranking. 

More information : see http://www.eng.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/

 

     

Photos: Foreign tourists on a cyclo tour - Saigonese at a flower festival - University graduates in HCM City