10 Fun Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Vietnam

Vietnam (Vietnamese: Việt Nam) has a lot more to tell than a controversial Vietnam war. Vietnam is an Asian country with a long-standing history and a vibrant culture. Vietnam has lots of fun facts untold at the same time. There are some that may surprise you and some that make you laugh. Just here we go!

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Vietnam is an S-shaped country.

With just two eyes and a great imagination, we can actually see lots of countries in familiar shapes. While Finland with two ears makes itself look like a bunny, and Japan resembles a seahorse on the map, Vietnam is an S-shaped country. If your name begins with an S, now you know which country you should visit, right? 😉

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Photo via j84olc9vvi-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com | Vietnam

Everyone can be a millionaire in Vietnam.

Vietnamese currency – VND (Vietnam Dong – I know you are giggling) is hilarious. USD 1 is more than VND 22,000. No doubt that you may feel like a millionaire in Vietnam since you pay couples of millions of Dongs for a stay here. Actually, so many zeros of money (VND 10 000 and VND 100,000 are different) are confusing to so many tourists when it comes to purchasing. So be careful with the money in Vietnam!

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Vietnam has breast milk fruit (vú sữa).

If you are a fruit lover, you better try Vietnam’s breast milk fruit. This fruit got the name because as you peel it, some milky drops come out. The breast milk fruit is mostly grown in Southern Vietnam with the crop falling in February – March every year.

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Ho Chi Minh’s body is on display for public viewing.

Ho Chi Minh himself had requested cremation, but The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam decided to have him embalmed, together with the world’s communist leaders: Soviet hero – Vladimir Lenin, China’s red star follower – Mao Zedong, North Korea’s hammer and sickle holders – Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong-il. If you want to join the queue to see Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed corpse, you have to leave all your bags and cameras outside. Remember that you have to move in the queue constantly as you are not allowed to stop inside the hall. Visit other destinations near the mausoleum here.

Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday
1 April – 31 October: 7:30 to 22:30. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 7:30 to 11:00
1 November – 31 March: 8:00 to 11:00. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 8:00 to 11:30

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Vietnam no longer uses coins.

Like Laos and Cambodia, Vietnam does not use coins. People use paper money for all currency transactions. Vietnam used to produce coins; however, inflation rendered them to be worthless.

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Nguyen is the most popular surname in Vietnam.

Everyone knows a Nguyen but has no idea how to pronounce it!

In Vietnam, Nguyen is the most popular last name with nearly 40% of the country’s population named. In some countries, last names are so important that they can indicate people’s origins, deep roots of ancestry, religions, and social status. In Vietnam, last names do not indicate much more than that you are Vietnamese. The fact (which might contribute to Nguyen name’s prominence) is that hundreds of years ago, a large number of descendants in different dynasties such as Ly, Ho, Mac, etc. forced themselves to change their surname into Nguyen in fear of retribution or prosecution. As a result, someone with the last name Nguyen in these days may find it difficult to trace back beyond generations.

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More fun facts about Vietnam? Read our article here and take a look at our vivid album here

White skin is “the beast”.

In the West, most people are likely to sunbathe and get tanned skin. They find tanned skin more attractive than pale white. However, in Asia, particularly Vietnam, the reverse is true. White skin is much preferred and any form of tanned skin is left behind, so whitening products and skin bleaching treatments are a big business throughout the country.

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Photo via teachingenglishinvietnam

Besides, white privilege exists in Vietnam. There is no doubt that white teachers are preferred as English teachers here – probably same as in China. Vietnamese parents and teachers believe that their children can learn the “best English” only by learning from someone who is white no matter where they are from or what level of their English is. If you are a native English speaker, but you are not white, chances are you could hardly be invited to work in Vietnam’s English centers. However, if you are white and sick of working hard for a living in your country, Vietnam might be your promising destination. You can get a teaching job at English schools in Vietnam without any prior experience, or teaching credentials. Sometimes you don’t even need to apply for the job!

Vietnam has a lot of strange foods.

There are many Vietnamese foods and drinks that are bizarre to most tourists. Among the exotic dishes are duck embryo (fatal duck egg), mouse meat, snake meat, dog meat, insects, raw blood soup, etc., dog meat is a favorite dish Vietnam. People eating dog meat think this food is just similar to pork, or chicken while others find it disgusting. The worst part of it is in the countryside, most dogs are eaten by their owners. These dogs are home-raised and live with the people. They are treated nicely, but by the time they turn 2 years old (people claim the younger dog is, the better its meat is), they are killed and served with rice, eaten by the owners. How scary! Of course, not every Vietnamese eats dog though.
Top 10 Strangest Dishes in Vietnam

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Vietnamese coffee is super strong.

Even if you drink coffee like water every single day and sleep well every night, Vietnamese coffee still may change your life. Just one cup in the morning is enough to keep you awake for the rest of the day and so. If you want to taste the real Vietnamese coffee, you better order the special cup (cà phê phin) with a lid and a drip filter with all coarsely ground beans loaded into. You have to sit and wait for your coffee to slowly spit out into your cup – good things always take time! Add some ice cubes and condensed milk on top if you want. BAM you have just got a Vietnam-style caffeinated cup of coffee!

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Vietnamese people just love Happy New Year by ABBA.

Regular New Year 2018 has arrived and Lunar 2018 – Our Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday) is coming so soon. We are all very excited to clap and dance along to Happy New Year. Happy New Year by ABBA rules throughout Vietnam all over the year. It is often played in shopping centers, schools, karaoke, etc. no matter whether it is New Year’s Day or not. It is a real favorite song here. When people celebrate New Year’s Day, you will not get to hear Auld Lang Syne but Happy New Year by ABBA.

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More fun facts about Vietnam? Read our article here and take a look at our vivid album here

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