Essential Info for Vietnam

Official name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Population: About 92 million

Capital city: Hanoi

Other major cities: Ho Chi Minh City (largest city), Haiphong, Cantho, Bienhoa

Neighbouring countries: China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar,  

Geography: Vietnam is a long, narrow S-shaped country on the eastern Indo-China Peninsula. Most of its landscape is mountainous and densely forested. The country is generally divided into four different geographic regions: the highlands and Red River Delta in the north, the Chaine Annamitique central mountains, the coastal lowlands and the Mekong River Delta in the south.

Political system: Socialist single-party state

Major religions: Buddhism - although Vietnam is also recognised as being among the least religious countries in the world.

Main languages: Vietnamese (official), Chinese (north), some English and French (tourist areas and cities)

Time: GMT +7

Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz. Plugs in Vietnam are generally the two flat-pin or two round-pin types, but some rectangular three-pin plugs are also supported.

Money: The Vietnamese Dông (VND) is the official currency, and it’s divided into 10 hao. The US Dollar (USD) is often used for large amounts. Although credit cards are accepted in major centres, Vietnam remains a largely cash-based society.

International dialling code: +84. Areas and cities in Vietnam have their own access codes, such as (0)4 for Hanoi or (0)8 for Ho Chi Minh City.

Emergency numbers: 113 (police), 115 (ambulance), 114 (fire). Emergency services are extremely limited in rural areas.

Internet domain: .vn

Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right. Motorbikes and bicycles are two of the most popular modes of transport among the locals. Expats often find driving to be risky in Vietnam and avoid driving their own vehicle, especially in the bigger cities, where it’s possible to get around quite easily with public transport.