Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s most visited countries especially to backpackers due to its diversity in many aspects.
You can be strolling around the busy streets flooded with motorbikes one day, beach bumming on a peaceful sandy beach the next, witnessing their beautiful rice terraces the following day, then visiting the world’s largest cave the next few days, and so on!
But that’s not all Vietnam has to offer. Here are 10 things that make Vietnam more interesting:
01 | The North and South have different cultures.
These cultural differences are evident in their clothing, cuisine, personality, beliefs, and mindset.
A lot of people claim that Northern Vietnamese are more conservative and formal while people in the South are more liberated and dynamic.
02 | They have different seasons too.
While the south only has two seasons: wet and dry; people in the north can experience four full seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
03 | They don’t use coins anymore.
It was not until 2014 that Vietnam has officially stopped producing coins and started using banknotes (paper money) when making transactions. Their lowest bill is 200 dong and the highest is 500,000 dong.
04 | You will feel like a millionaire in Vietnam.
1 usd is equivalent to 20,000 dong so that makes your $50 a whopping 1 million Vietnamese Dong.
05 | Vietnam’s most common surname ranks 4th around the world.
According to research, Nguyen is the most common surname in Vietnam used by nearly 40% of their population. This started in the 13th century when people started changing their name to Nguyen because of their royal dynasty and to avoid persecution. Nguyen is also the 4th most popular surname in the world.
06 | Their hottest hot spring gets so hot that it can boil eggs.
The hottest spring in Vietnam can be found in Binh Chau village which is only a 3-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh. Its temperature can reach 82°C which is hot enough to boil eggs.
07 | The world’s largest cave can also be found in Vietnam.
Han Son Doong is the largest cave in the world and is located in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province. It was discovered by a local named Ho Khanh in 1991 while out for a hunting mission. The cave has a length of approximately 9 kilometers and a depth of 150 meters. It also has its own jungle and river.
08 | Drinking Cobra wine is popular in Vietnam.
Cobra wine is produced by infusing the snake in rice wine. Vietnamese consider this drink medicinal and healthy. This drink is also believed to enhance male virility.
09 | Eating snails is also their pastime.
A variety of snail dishes are offered in many food shops around Vietnam. If you stroll along the streets of Vietnam, you will surely see food stalls selling different types of snails. Snail eating is a favorite pastime among Vietnamese especially when paired with beer.
10 | Vietnam is the world’s 2nd largest coffee producer.
If you’ve visited Vietnam, this probably comes as no surprise to you seeing all the coffee shops and cafes just right next to each other. Their signature drink is coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk.
In addition to number 10, Vietnam is also the world’s top cashew nut producer and exporter with 37% share of the global market.