Although many people still imagine Vietnam as a country of war, it is in reality a country filled with luscious beauty and tranquility. Its highland and islands beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is quite possibly the most delicious you will ever encountered. Today, this gracious and graceful country is an outstanding travel destination for anyone who seeks adventure.
- Geographic facts
Here are three geographic facts about Vietnam:
- Shaped like an elongated S, Vietnam stretches the length of the Indochinese Peninsula and covers a surface area of 128,000 square miles, making it roughly the size of Italy or New Mexico.
- China lies to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and the South China Sea to the east.
- The country can be divided into three unique areas with different climate and topography: The North is known for its alpine peaks, the Red River Delta, the Plains of Cao Bang. Central Vietnam is characterized by high temperate plateaus rich in volcanic soil and by spectacular beaches, dunes, and lagoons. Southern Vietnam has a fertile alluvial delta of Mekong River and the modern life in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).
- 3 “Serious” Facts
Here are three serious facts about Vietnam:
- Chinese ruled Vietnam for an entire millennium, but was thrown off power in the 9th century
- External control was imposed once again in the 19th century, when Vietnam was occupied by the French, and it lasted till WWII.
- In 1975, North Vietnam seizes control of the country and took over the southern capital of Saigon. However, in 1991, with the fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War, many western powers reestablished diplomatic and trade relations with Vietnam.
- 3 “Fun” Facts
Here are three fun facts about Vietnam:
- Spiritual life in Vietnam is a grand splendor of belief systems, including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Tam Giao, which is a blend of Taoism, popular Chinese beliefs, and ancient Vietnamese animism.
- The most important festival of the year is Tet, a week-long event in late January or early February that heralds the new lunar year and the advent of spring. Celebration consists of both festive activity (fireworks, drums, gongs, dragon dance) and quiet meditation.
- The national condiment is nuoc mam, a piquant fermented fish sauce served with every meal; it has a very strong and exotic aroma, which if not used to will make you dislike it.
- A “Potpourri” Item
Here is an unusual fact about Vietnam:
- Ha Long Bay is considered to be the most beautiful vista in entire Vietnam. It consists of 1,969 islands and islets situated in the Gulf of Tonkin. This zone is known for its spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Ha Long Bay has been recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- 3 Pieces of Travel Information
Here are three pieces of info that travelers to Vietnam will want to know about where to go, what to see, and/or how to stay safe while there:
- The best season to travel to North Vietnam is during the hot summers, from May to October, and during Vietnamese New Year (Tet ), which range from January to February.
- Moving around Vietnam can be accomplished on bus, train or plane. For long distances I recommend plane, train is also a viable option, however, bus should only be considered in short journey because most of the time it will be very crowded.
- The non-convertible Vietnamese Dong is the local currency. USD may be accepted in some tourist areas. Prices regarding accommodation and food are low and relatively inexpensive.
Vietnamese Friend Rice Recipe
Ingredients : Serves 4
Eggs, lightly beaten
Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Shallots, peeled and finely chopped
Chinese sausages, diced
Chicken seasoning powder
Ground white pepper
Spring onion, thinly sliced
Coriander (cilantro) leaves
- Wash and cook rice. Set cooked rice aside for it to cool completely.
- Blanch diced carrot in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain well.
- Blanch shrimps in boiling water. Drain well, peel and dice.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium heat. Add eggs, stirring quickly until cooked, then set aside.
- Reheat wok and add remaining oil. Sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant.
- Add shrimps, Chinese sausages and carrot. Stir fry for 5 minutes then add rice and green peas. Mix well.
- Season with salt, sugar, chicken seasoning powder and pepper. Mix in eggs and continue to fry for another 5 minutes or until rice is dry.
- Mix well for another few minutes until ingredients are well combined. Sprinkle in spring onion.
- Garnish with coriander and serve with fish sauce and sliced chili.
My kitchen story
I learned how to cook fried rice from my Mom. I cooked fried rice many times already but this is the first time I cooked for classmates. I didn’t burn anything in the kitchen and it turned out good. I did different from the receipt above. First, I put oil on the hot pan. Then, I added garlic, white rice, eggs, shrimps, pepper, soy sauce, and salt. Hope everyone will enjoy it!
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David C. Wyld (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/. He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (http://reverseauctionresearch.blogspot.com/), a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites: