Vietnam is located in both a tropical and a temperate zone. It is characterized by strong monsoon influences, but has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity. Regions located near the tropics and in the mountainous regions are endowed with a temperate climate.
The monsoon climate also influences to the changes of the tropical humidity. In general, in Vietnam there are two seasons, the cold season occurs from November to April and the hot season from May to October. The difference in temperature between the two seasons in southern is almost unnoticeable, averaging 3ºC. The most noticeable variations are found in the northern where differences of 12ºC have been observed. There are essentially four distinct seasons, which are most evident in the northern provinces (from Hai Van Pass toward to the north): Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
Every year there are 100 rainy days and the average rainfall is 1,500 to 2,000mm. The humidity ranges around 80%. The sunny hours are 1,500 to 2,000 and the average solar radiation of 100kcal/cm2 in a year.
Because Vietnam is affected by the monsoon, that why the average temperature is lower than the other countries which are located in the same longitude in Asia. The annual average temperatures range from 22oC to 27oC. In comparing with these countries, the temperature in winter is colder and in summer is less hoter in Vietnam.
Under influence of monsoon, and further because of the complicated topography, the climate in Vietnam always changes in one year, between the years, or between the areas (from North to South and from low to high). The climate in Vietnam is also under disadvantage of weather, such as typhoons (advantage there are 6-10 storms and tropical low atmosphere in year, floods and droughts are threaten the life and the agriculture of Vietnam).
It's one province in the North then Haiphong is influenced by a tropical monsoon climate too. There are 4 seasons and the annual average temperature is between 23oC and 24oC. Rainfall total is between 1,600 and 1,800mm. The weather is warm throughout the year.
The climate is symbolic of the climate of North Vietnam; featuring all four seasons. In summer (from May to September), it's hot, humid and rainy, while monsoons flourish. In winter (from October to April), it's cold, dry, and sees little rainfall. The average temperature is over 25oC. Annual rainfall totals between 1,700 and 2,400mm.
It features a tropical monsoon climate, featuring all four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The spring is cool and warm, the summer is hot, the autumn is cool and the winter is cold. Average temperature is 25oC. The best time for tourists is from November to April next year.
Its climate is tropical, with two distinct rainy and dry seasons. The average annual temperature is between 28oC and 29oC, and storms hit the area every year in September and October.
The climate here is oceanic tropical monsoon, but is quite mild. The average annual temperature is 26.5oC. Annual rainfall totals over 1,200mm.
The climate here is cold, with an average annual temperature of 18oC. Dalat is a city town, the climate is temperature and there are the beautiful natural landscapes with the waterfalls, lakes and pine groves, and is well known as Vietnam’s flower city.
The climate is divided into two seasons, with the rainy season lasting from May to November. The average annual temperature is 27.5oC without winter, and yearly rainfall totals 1,979mm. Tourism is convenient for all 12 months of the year.
The climate here is tropical monsoon. The average annual temperature is 27oC, rarely stormy, rich in sunshine. Vung Tau is without winter so resorts can active throughout the year.
Three quarters of Vietnam's territory consists of mountains and hills. Vietnam is divided into four distinct mountainous zones.
The Northeastern Zone (Viet Bac)
This zone stretches from the Red River Valley to the Gulf of Tonkin. The mountainous area of Viet Bac is scattered with famous sights: Dong Nhat Grotto, Dong Nhi Grotto, and Tam Thanh Grotto in Lang Son Province; Pac Bo Grotto and Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang; Ba Be Lake in Bac Kan; Yen Tu Mountain and Halong Bay in Quang Ninh; and Tay Con Linh, the highest mountain peak in the region reaching 2,341 meters above sea level.
The Northwestern Zone
This zone is comprised of mountains that run from the north of the Sino-Vietnamese border to the west of Thanh Hoa Province. This magnificent mountain range is nationally known for its resort town of Sapa in Lao Cai Province, which is perched 1500 meters above sea level. Several ethnic groups, such as the H'mong, Dao, Kinh, Tay, Giay, Hoa, and Xa Pho, still reside in this region.
The North Truong Son Zone
This zone runs from the western part of Thanh Hoa Province to the Quang Nam-Da Nang Mountains. This region is known locally for its picturesque Phong Nha Grotto and its two breathtaking passes, the Ngang Pass and the Hai Van Pass. It is also known worldwide for being the location of the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail constructed during the second great resistance war.
The South Truong Son Zone
This zone is located to the west of the south central coast provinces. Behind these huge mountains is a vast area of red soil known locally as "Tay Nguyen" (the Central Highlands). There are numerous legendary accounts of the flora and fauna and of the lives of several different ethnic minorities living in the Central Highlands. Dalat, established during the 19th century, is a popular resort town in this part of Vietnam.
The Red River Delta, or Northern Delta
This region stretches for15,000 sq. km. Over time, deposits of alluvium carried from the Red River and Thai Binh River have accumulated to form the delta. The ancient Viet people settled at the junction of the two rivers . At that time, the wet rice civilization was established
The Mekong River Delta, or Southern Delta
This region is approximately 40,000 sq. km. The land is very fertile and has favorable climate conditions for agriculture. As a result, it is the largest rice growing region in Vietnam.
Vietnam's coastline is 3,260km long. If you have a chance to travel along the coast of Vietnam, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Tra Co, Sam Son, Lang Co, Non Nuoc, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, and Ha Tien. In some places, you will see mountains jutting out to the sea. One such magnificent site is Halong Bay, which has recently been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The forests of Vietnam account for most of the total land area. National parks are preserved by the state and follow a steady development plan. Some of the more famous national parks located throughout the country include Ba Vi in Ha Tay, Cat Ba in Haiphong, Cuc Phuong in Ninh Binh, Bach Ma in Hue, and Cat Tien in Dong Nai.
Viet Nam's diverse natural environment, geography, history, and culture have created a great potential for the tourism industry. Viet Nam consists of long coastlines, forests, and mountainous regions with numerous magnificent landscapes. As well, Viet Nam has a long history and diversified culture with variety of ancient architecture constructions, and wonderful legends.
Viet Nam has a long coastline that extends along the eastern mainland boundary and wraps around the southern tip for 3,260 km, a distance geographically longer than the length of the country. With 125 beaches, of which almost of all are beautiful beaches andconvenient for tourism but not every country can have. Traveling from north to south, many famous beaches will be found such as Tra Co, Ha Long, Do Son, Cat Ba, Sam Son, Cua Lo, Thien Cam, Lang Co, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ca Na, Mui Ne, Vung Tau, Ha Tien, Phu Quoc... Especially, Ha Long Bay, a creation of Mother Nature which is recognized as the World Natural Heritage Site by the UNESCO twice in 1994 and 2000 for its natural beauty and geological value and now provisionally listed among the new seven natural wonders of the world. In addition,three bays including Ha Long, Nha Trang, Lang Co are members of the Club of themost beautiful bays of t
he world. Moreover,many beaches and islands are voted by worldwide prestigious news agencies,magazines, guidebooks with impressive titlessuch as Da Nang Beach voted by Forbesmagazine (USA) as one of six most beautiful beaches on the planet in 2005; Bai Dai (Dai Beach) in Phu Quoc voted to be among the world's five best hidden beaches by the ABC News in 2008; Con Dao selected as one of the most impressive destinations in Southeast Asia in 2010 by the New York Times magazine. Specifically, in 2011 Con Dao listed in the top 20 most mysterious islands in the world of Travel and Leisuremagazine (USA) and was voted as one of 10 best and mysterious islands in the worldto enjoy a romantic holiday by Lonely Planet travel guide (UK). The sea reservations in Phu Quoc and Con Dao are home of dugong, one of the extremely rare species in the world. Beach lovers can enjoy exciting activities and water sports at almost of all beaches.
With a large space of coastal lines of thousands islands nearing the mainland and archipelagos of Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands) and Truong Sa (Spratly Islands), sea and island tourism with specific products, has played an important role in the Viet Nam's tourism development strategy.
Viet Nam is a tropical country in the northern hemisphere. With its geographical diversity, the country has inherited many famous natural tourist sites such as Sa Pa, Tam Dao, Bach Ma, Ba Na, Da Lat... These sites are usually located 1,000 meters above sea level; therefore, they have climates that are similar to those of the temperate zones. Sa Pa Town isattractive with old French style villas andmodern buildings interspersed in peach garden and very green lines of sa mu(cunnighamia konishii). Especially, Sa Pa Town was voted one of the world's top ten places for walking by popular Lonely Planet guidebook. The road will take you tointegrate into local life among terraced rice fields and villages nearby. Moreover, the Sa Pa beautiful terraced rice fields along mountain sides, winding along the roads have been announced as one of seven most beautiful and spectacular terraced rice fields in Asia and the world by Travel and Leisure magazine (the United States). Da Lat is an ideal tourist area, famous for pine forests, waterfalls and many kinds of beautiful flowers. Coming to Da Lat, tourists are diverted by the strong and tender melodies of the T'rung and Gongs, two typical musical instruments of the highlanders commonly played at evening parties.
Besides, Viet Nam has 30 national parks and many nature reserves which are great collections of precious plant and animal species of the tropical zone. Especially, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park with its vivid evidences of the Earth's formation, geological, topographic and geomorphologic history, mysterious landscapes and the bio-diversity of the national park as well as its unique historical and cultural values, has been declared a world natural heritage by UNESCO in 2003.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang is home to the largest cave in the world and 300 different grottoes and caves. Phong Nha Cave has been regarded by British Cave Research Association as the top cave in the world due to its 4 top records: the longest underground river, the highest and longest cave, broadest and most beautiful fine sand beaches inside the caves, the most spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. Son Doong Cave has been recognized as the largest natural cave in the world.
In addition, up to 2011, there are 8 world biosphere reserves recognized by UNESCO in Viet Nam including Cat Tien National Park (now known as Dong Nai biosphere reserve) (2001), Can Gio mangrove in Ho Chi Minh City (2000), Cat Ba Island in Hai Phong City (2004), Red River Delta (coastal wetlands of the three provinces of Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh) (2004), sea island and coastal of Kien Giang (2006), Western Nghe An (2007), Cu Lao Cham in Hoi An - Quang Nam (2009), and Ca Mau Cape in Ca Mau Province (2009). Four national parks recognized as ASEANheritage parks include Hoang Lien, Ba Be, Chu Mom Ray and Kon Ka Kinh.
There are several regions in Viet Nam that have been reserved as bird gardens and sanctuaries. At Tam Nong Bird Sanctuary, there is a garden conservatory for redhead cranes, established as an information center for cranes funded by the International Fund for Bird Protection in Bergheim, Germany.
Viet Nam has abundant mineral water sources found throughout the country, such as Quang Hanh hot stream in Quang Ninh Province, Kim Boi mineral spring in Hoa Binh Province, Bang mineral spring in Quang Binh Province, Hoi Van mineral spring in Binh Dinh Province, Duc My and Thap Ba hot springs in Nha Trang City of Khanh Hoa Province, Vinh Hao mineral spring in Binh Thuan Province, and Binh Chau - Ho Coc in Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province... These areas have become destinations for health rehabilitation and relaxation attracting numerous tourists every year.
Viet Nam has a long 4,000-year history, over which many valuable architectural monuments of typical oriental culture have been built. Many of these vestiges maintain their ancient appearances, such as the One Pillar Pagoda, Kim Lien Pagoda, Tay Phuong Pagoda, Tay Dang Temple and Chu Quyen Temple in Hanoi, Pho Minh Pagoda-Tower in Nam Dinh Province, Binh Son Tower in Vinh Phuc Province, Keo Pagoda in Thai Binh Province, But Thap Pagoda and Dinh Bang Temple in Bac Ninh Province, Cham Towers in the provinces of the Central Coast of Viet Nam and the royal architectures of Hue Citadel.
Up to December 2011, there are more than 3,000 relics and landscapes classified national heritage, 10 special national relics out of tens of thousands of historical - cultural sites andlandscapes in Viet Nam. Besides the twoabove world natural heritage sites,UNESCO recognized five world cultural heritage sites: Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Ha Noi, Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, Complex of Hue Monuments, Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary; six in the world intangible heritage lists: Nha Nhac - Vietnamese Court Music, the Space of Gong Culture in Central Highland, Quan Ho Bac Ninh folk songs, Ca Tru singing, Xoan singing of Phu Tho Province and Giong Festival of Phu Dong and Soc Temples (Hanoi);two in the World Documentary Heritage list: Woodblocks of Nguyen Dynasty, Stone steles in Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Hanoi). Besides, Dong Van Karst Plateau is member of Global Geopark Network. In the future, a number of cultural and natural heritage sites will continue to be proposed for the UNESCO's recognition.
In addition, tens of millions of valuable antiques and national treasures are being preserved and on display at the system of 125 museums distributed all over the country. Also, the traditional festivals, custom, arts performances, handicrafts, gastronomy, costumes... of the community of 54 ethnic groups have been becoming the important tourism resources.
Country's official name
At the beginning of the Bronze Age, the Viet tribe groups had settled down in the North and in the north of Central Vietnam. There were about 15 groups of Lac Viet tribesmen living mainly in the northern highland and delta and a dozen Au Viet groups of tribesmen living in Viet Bac, the northern region of old Vietnam.
Van Lang (2876 BC – 258 BC)
At that time, the two ethnic tribes of the Lac Viet and Au Viet lived together in many areas with other inhabitants. Due to the increasing need to control floods, fight against invaders, and exchange culture and economy, these tribes living near each other tended to gather together and integrate into a larger mixed group. Among these Lac Viet tribes was the Van Lang, which was the most powerful tribe. The leader of this tribe joined all the Lac Viet tribes together to found Van Lang Nation, addressing himself as King Hung. The next generations followed in their father’s footsteps and kept this appellation. Based on historical documents, researchers correlatively delineated the location of Van Lang Nation to the present day regions of North and north of Central Vietnam, as well as the south of present-day Kwangsi (China). The Van Lang Nation approximately lasted from the beginning of the first millennium B.C. to the 3rd century B.C.
In 221 BC, Qin Shihuangdi (Tan Thuy Hoang), King of Qin (China), invaded the land of the Viet tribes. Thuc Phan, the leader of the alliance of Au-Viet tribes was respected as the chief of the resistance war against the Tan enemy that later, in 208 BC, was forced to withdraw. With his imposing power, Thuc Phan nominated himself as King An Duong Vuong and founded Au Lac Nation with groups of Lac Viet and Au Viet tribes. In 207 BC, Trieu Da, King of Nam Viet (China), invaded Au Lac country. The resistance of An Duong Vuong failed soon after this invasion. As a result, the northern feudalist took turns dominating the country over the next seven centuries, establishing their harsh regime in the country and dividing the country into administrative regions and districts with unfamiliar names. However, the country’s name of Au Lac could not be erased from the people’s minds in their everyday life.
In the spring of 542, Ly Bi rose up in arms and swept away the Chinese administration, liberating the territory. He declared himself King of Van Xuan Kingdom in February 544, acknowledging the national superiority complex of the independent spirits to live in eternal peace. However, the existence of Ly Bi’s administration was very brief. He was defeated by the Chinese imperial army, and the country returned to feudal Chinese domination again in 602. The name Van Xuan was restored only after the victory over the Han army at the Bach Dang River led by General Ngo Quyen in 938. This victory marked the end of the Chinese domination period in Vietnam.
In 968, Dinh Bo Linh defeated the twelve lords and unified the country. He declared himself King and named the country Dai Co Viet. This name remained throughout the Dinh Dynasty (968-980), Pre-Le Dynasty (980-1009) and the beginning of Ly Dynasty (1010-1225).
In 1054, a flaming bright star appeared in the sky for many days, which was considered a good omen. As a result, the King Ly changed the name of the country to Dai Viet. This name remained until the end of Tran Dynasty (1126 - 1400). The name Dai Viet remained under the Le Dynasty (1428-1788) and the Tay Son Dynasty (1788-1802).
In March 1400, Ho Quy Ly usurped the throne of King Tran Thieu De, founded the Ho Dynasty and changed the country’s name to Dai Ngu, meaning peace in the ancient language. This name only lasted for very short time, until April 1407, when the Ming enemy invaded Dai Ngu and defeated the Ho Dynasty (1400- 1407).
After 10 years of resistance against the Ming occupation (1418-1427), Le Loi had achieved a victorious triumph. In 1428, Le Loi declared himself King of Le Dynasty and changed the name of the country back to Dai Viet. At this time, the territory of Vietnam had expanded to the region of present-day Hue.
In 1802, Nguyen Anh claimed his coronation to become the first King Nguyen, starting the Nguyen dynasty and changing the country’s name to Viet Nam. This name was officially recognized in many diplomatic missions in 1804. However, the words "Viet Nam" had already appeared very early in history. In the 14th century, there was a book of code entitled "Viet Nam the Chi", edited by Doctor Ho Tong Thoc. In the book by scholar Nguyen Trai entitled "Du Dia Chi" at the beginning of 15th century; the words "Viet Nam" were repeated several times. Doctor Trinh Nguyen Binh Khiem (1491-1585) had written on the first page of his work "Trinh Tien Sinh Quoc Ngu" the following: "... Viet Nam have constructed its foundation..." The words "Viet Nam" were also found in some carved stelae of the 16th - 17th century in Bao Lam Pagoda, Haiphong (1558), in Cam Lo Pagoda, Ha Tay (1590), in Phuc Thanh Pagoda, Bac Ninh (1664), etc. In particular, in the first sentence on the stele Thuy Mon Dinh (1670) at the landmark on the border at Lang Son, it was written: "This is the gateway of Viet Nam that guards the northern frontiers..." In terms of meaning, there are many theories that prove the words "Viet Nam" are created by combining two racial and geographic elements, which is understood as "Viet people from the south". During the reign of King Minh Mang (1820-1840), the name of the country was changed to Dai Nam, but Viet Nam was still widely used in many literary works, civil business affairs, and social relations.
Foundation of the Nation
Metal Age (about 4,000 years ago): Vietnam existed three major cultural centers: Phung Nguyen - Dong Son (The North), Long Thanh - Sa Huynh (The Centre) and Cau Sat, Doc Chua - Dong Nai (The South) from Bronze Age to Iron Age. These three major cultural centers had close and long mutual relationship, contributed to specific traditional culture of Vietnam. It's unity in abundance.
Van Lang Nation
During the Dong Son period, only one state had formed. The unified culture prevailing in this region stretched from the Sino-Vietnamese border to the northern banks of the Gianh River. The nation of the ancient Viet people existed as the Van Lang Nation, which was ruled by the Kings Hung.
The Pre-Sa Huynh culture evolved in South Central Vietnam during the Iron Age. The people of this group lived between Thua Thien and the Dong Nai River Delta. At that time, people were buried in tombs which contained many tools made of iron and jewelry made of agate and jasper.. The Sa Huynh culture was founded by the ancestors of the Cham who founded the Champa Kingdom.