Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities.
Although many westerners still imagine Vietnam through the lens of war, it is in reality a country filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands and rainforest regions, far from being devastated, continue to yield new species and team with exotic wildlife. Its islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is very possibly the most delicious you will ever find. Over two decades have passed since Vietnam was officially united, and in that time it has done a remarkable job of healing its wounds. Today, this gracious and graceful country is an outstanding travel destination.
Shaped like an elongated S, Vietnam stretches the length of the Indochinese Peninsula and covers a surface area of 128,000 square miles–making it roughly the size of Italy or, in the U.S., New Mexico. China lies to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and the South China Sea to the east.
Topographically, Vietnam is a verdant tapestry of soaring mountains, fertile deltas, primeval forests inhabited by exotic fauna, sinuous rivers, mysterious caves, otherworldly rock formations, and heavenly waterfalls and beaches. Beyond nature, the curious and open-minded visitor will find in Vietnam a feast of culture and history.
Source – http://www.geographia.com/vietnam/
Good To Know
The full name for Tet is Tet Nguyen Dan. It is the most important and widely celebrated public festival of the year in Vietnam. It is the occasion for Vietnamese to express their respects for ancestors as well as welcoming the lunar New Year with family members. Overall, Tet holiday for Vietnam is a bit like the Spring Festival for Chinese: every family will get together to have big meals to welcome the New Year.
Since Tet is the most important festival for Vietnamese, preparations for celebration begins well in advance. They make offering and pray at temples about the two weeks before and immediately after Tet because visiting temples is considered auspicious. Many families visit the graves of ancestors in the week prior to Tet. Homes are cleaned and decorated with Hoa Mai (yellow apricot blossom), Hoa Dao (peach blossom), Kumquat tree and many other colorful flowers. On the eve of Tet, they cook an abundance of food. On the first days of New Year, everybody, especially kids, wear new clothes and shoes to visit families and friends and enjoy the traditional Tet food like Banh Chung (a sticky rice cake). Many children receive “lucky money” in red envelopes.