5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Vietnam
Vietnam is a place full of wonderment, excitement and mystery. Although many paths are well trodden, there is just something in the air of Vietnam that just breathes unknown.
Although we all know about the war, the peace protests and the beauty of places like Ha Long Bay and Hanoi – there are a lot of things about Vietnam that you will never have realised.
That being said, we’d like to enlighten you and give you some insider knowledge of our beautiful country you might never have come across before.
Here’s 5 Things you never knew about Vietnam:
Fact 1: It Can Snow! (But Only In Sapa)
Vietnam, for the most part, is a really hot and humid country. Temperatures never really drop to ‘freezing’ temperatures and at it’s coldest you might have to put on fleece jacket.
Unless you visit Sapa.
Sapa is one of the few places in the Indochina regions that can actually get snow. And, although it’s never going to be considered a Ski Resort – it’s a beautiful sight to see the valleys and scenery covered in a thick layer of white snow.
It’s a rare sight and something not many travellers have ever experienced.
Fact 2: You Can Make A Living Collecting War Scraps
Southern Laos was so intensely bombarded and fought across in the Vietnam war that even 40 years later people have cultivated whole careers based on collecting scraps from fields and farms.
The collected pieces of weaponry, shells and shrapnel are used to create tools: such as farming implements, cutlery, ladders, buckets, bowls and satellite dishes.
This is a part of the world where $2 a day is not only the average wage, but can feed a family of four.
Turns out one man’s weapon is another mans treasure.
Fact 3: It’s A Coffee Utopia
Okay, so coffee sometimes comes down to opinion and personal preference. But the fact of the matter is – there is a huge presence of Coffee in Vietnam.
Despite a revolution against the French, the one past time of theirs they did keep was Coffee, but they added their own twist.
Normally called Caphe Sua Da, it a version of coffee brewed through aluminium filters and mixed with iced or hot condensed milk. There is even a ‘hipster’ coffee scene in the big cities such as Ho Chi Minhcity and Hanoi, where people are creating their own modern creations.
If you’re a coffee lover – Vietnam is the new Italy.
Fact 4: There Is One Festival To Celebrate Everything
TET is the ‘Festival of the First Day’ in Vietnam, which is the equivalent to New Years Day across the rest of the world.
Although most countries celebrate New Years together for sometimes up to a day, Vietnamese people take it one step further and celebrate for up to week.
That’s because this festival is more than just a celebration of the New Year. It celebrates Birthdays, religious festivals and the presence of luck and family between the local people.
It’s a time of year to feast, to dance, to sing and to be as merry as possible. Think of it as every celebration you’ve ever had, rolled into one week.
The date changes every year, in alignment with Lunar Cycles – so if you want to head to Vietnam for TET check in advanced when it is.
Fact 5: We Have A 94% Literacy Rate and High Employment
Despite being a struggling third world country, Vietnam has employment and literacy rates that are competitive with many countries around the world.
The Vietnamese are hard working people who want to take every opportunity to better themselves, and it shows in their community and their work ethic.
That isn’t to say other countries don’t strive for the same things – it’s just that Vietnam is one of the few countries in the world successfully implementing systems that work to make it happen.
Although their language is hard to learn and understand, almost everyone within the country it literate and in some form of employment.
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