• The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Capital of which is Hanoi, is one of the world’s last surviving one-party Communist states. It shares land borders with China, Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam comprises over 330,000 square kilometres, with more than 3400km of coastline.

• Vietnam has a population of ninety million, of which around seventy percent live in the countryside, giving Vietnam some of the highest rural population densities in Southeast Asia. Over half the people are under 25 years old and thirteen percent belong to one of the many ethnic minority groups.

• Over half of the Vietnamese population earn their living from agriculture. The average per capita income hovers around $1000 a year, though many people survive on less than $2 a day.

• During the last decade the Vietnamese economy has grown at over seven percent a year. Vietnam has transformed itself from being a rice-importer before 1986 to become the world’s second largest rice-exporter after Thailand. The percentage of households living in poverty has fallen from seventy percent in the 1980s to around ten percent today.

• Vietnam is home to a tremendous diversity of plant and animal life, including some of the world’s rarest species, a number of which have only been discovered in the last few years. The Asiatic black bear, Sarus crane and Golden-headed langur are just some of the endangered species maintaining a toehold in the forests and wetlands of Vietnam.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Vietnam features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Vietnam

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Vietnam

The verdant limestone stacks of Ha Long Bay and the bustling streets of Hanoi are well established (and essential) stops along Vietnam’s tourist trail. But th…

02 Nov 2017 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook