General Information


Vietnam - The fast facts

  • Location:  South East Asia
  • Full country name:  Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Area: 329,566 sq. km (128, 527 square miles)
  • Population: 93,421,835 (July 2014 estimate)
  • Capital city: Hanoi (population 4 million)
  • People:  85% Vietnamese, 3% ethnic Chinese, Khmer, Cham and members of some 55 ethno-linguistic groups.
  • Languages: Vietnamese, French, Chinese, English and a variety of Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian local dialects.
  • Religions: Buddhism is the principal religion but there are also sizeable Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Muslim and Christian minorities.
  • Currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)
  • Voltage: Electricity in Vietnam is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. You might also come across 127-volt sockets or appliances, but they are being phased out. 
  • Geography: Hue City is positioned in Central Vietnam, just few miles from the East Sea; about 700km south of the Hanoi and 1100km north of Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Climate: Hue’s dry season is from March to September, and its rainy season from mid-October  to January. Spring has a short run from January to the end of February.
  • Hospitals: Hanoi, HCMC & Danang all have international clinics and hospitals. Hue City is a famous regional health centre. 

Where are the World Heritage Sites located in Vietnam?

1. Hue City - UNESCO World Heritage (Dec. 1993)
2. Ha Long Bay - UNESCO World Heritage (Dec. 1994)
3. Hoi An - UNESCO World Heritage (Dec. 1999)
4. My Son Sanctuary - UNESCO World Heritage (Dec. 1999)
5. Phong Nha Cave - UNESCO World Heritage (Jul. 2003)
6. Trang An - Ninh Binh - UNESCO World Heritage (Jun. 2014)

Hue Airport: Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air offer daily flights to and from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Train: Hue City is at a crossroads between north and south Vietnam. The railway passes right through the city, and connects to the country’s major cities.

Bus: Hue City is served by the country’s major bus companies, connecting Northern and Southern Vietnam.

Visas: Most nationalities require a visa prior to entering Vietnamese soil. Passports need to be valid for 6 months upon arrival.

Countries that do not require a visa to enter Vietnam:

Countries

Timeframe

Singapore

less than 30 days

Thailand

less than 30 days

Malaysia

less than 30 days

Philippines

less than 21 days

Laos

less than 30 days

Indonesia

less than 30 days

Japan

less than 15 days

South Korea

less than 15 days

Sweden

less than 15 days

Finland

less than 15 days

Denmark

less than 15 days

Norway

less than 15 days

Russia

less than 15 days

Germany

less than 15 days

France

less than 15 days

Spain

less than 15 days

Italy

less than 15 days

United Kingdom

less than 15 days

Belarus

less than 15 days

Brunei

less than 15 days

Kyrgyzstan

less than 30 days

Cambodia

less than 30 days

Myanmar

less than 14 days

Main Festivals in Hue

Hue Festivals: Every two years (running on even years) in April, Hue is host to an intercultural exchange between Vietnam and many different countries from around the world. The local government in Hue collaborates with foreign embassies in Vietnam to bring together numerous artists to perform traditional and contemporary art performances at more than 40 venues throughout the city. Each festival centers around a distinctive theme. The theme for 2014 was “Cultural Heritage with Integration and Development”. A wide variety of activities are conducted in this special event, such as calligraphy, traditional kite flying, human chess playing, installation art, street music and fine art, workshops, international trade fairs, tourism fairs, children's festivals with colorful activities aimed at disadvantaged children, sporting activities, dining and sightseeing tours. Also, re-creations of historical events are carried out, such as the occasion of Nguyen Hue’s enthronement and Nguyen Dynasty’s Doctoral examinations, and performances of dance and fireworks are included. The Truong Tien Bridge is lit up with candles and visited by thousands of locals and tourists.

Wrestling Competitions and Exhibitions: Nowhere in Hue is more famous for wrestling than Sinh Village. This style of wrestling is akin to Mongolian wrestling and is based on winning points rather than incapacitating the opponent. The Sinh Wrestling Festival is organized annually on the 10th of January based on the lunar calendar.

Fishermen's offering: Surprisingly, this activity is performed on land rather than at sea and is centred on the ritual of offering large fish to the founder of the village who will then bestow on the givers a plentiful healthy catch in the year to come. Adults and children disguise themselves into fish, prawns and crabs, while the rest of the locals at the festival throw candy or cake for the disguised sea creatures to catch in their nets. Traditional music is played throughout.

Religious Ceremonies: Numerous religious ceremonies of varying types are celebrated at different locations throughout the year. One such example is at the Hon Chen Temple where followers congregate to celebrate their ancestors. They create amazing everyday objects from paper or paper mache, such as boots, bicycles, motorbikes, clothes and ritually burn these items in the belief that they are transported into the next world for their ancestors’ use.