Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with a population of nearly 95 million people. It is bordered by China, Laos, Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand. The country has a rich history and culture with many interesting facts that children will enjoy learning about.
Scroll down below to also get your free download of our Vietnam colouring sheet. We made this colouring sheet for parents to print and download for their kids as it is a good way to keep kids entertained. Colouring is such a fun way for them to learn about shapes, and colours, practice their motor skills as well as learn a little bit about Asian culture at the same time!
25 Fun & Educational Facts about Vietnam
- The word “Vietnam” is actually a made of a combination of two words – Viet and Nam. In ancient Chinese language, ‘Viet’ was used to describe a group of people from outside the country’s borders and ‘Nam’ meant to the south. However, in ancient Vietnamese, ‘Viet’ is used to refer to fairies and dragons – referencing how the Vietnamese people came into being.
- Vietnam’s population is about 90 million people.
- Vietnam’s national flag is red with a five-pointed in the middle. The flag is called Tien-Quoc, meaning “The National Flag”.
- The Vietnamese alphabet was created in the 17th century by King Quang Trung. It consists of 24 letters plus two additional symbols, which are used as tone marks to indicate different tones in pronunciation.
- The shape of Vietnam is very narrow and long and is an S-shape.
- Vietnam is roughly the size of New Mexico/USA and about half as big as France.
- Vietnam was under French colonial rule from 1887-1945 and then again from 1954-1975.
- Vietnam has different climatic zones where the south is much hotter than the country’s north.
- Vietnam’s biggest city is Ho Chi Minh City (formally known as Saigon) in the country’s south. About 9 million people live in the city.
- Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital city and is located in the north.
- Vietnam is a nation of rivers. The Mekong River is one of the most famous and provides 70% of tropical fruits to Vietnam alone and makes up for 60% of the country’s rice.
- Vietnam is a densely populated countries, but large parts of the country are still very rural and consist of arable land (suitable for growing crops), rice fields, forests and rolling hills.
- More than 40% of the Vietnamese people work still in the agricultural sector.
- Vietnam’s tallest mountain is Fansipan and sits at 3143 metres and is known as ‘The Roof of Indochina’.
- Vietnam is sometimes referred to as ‘The King Of Cashews’ as it is the world’s largest exporter of cashew nuts!
- Cities like Nha Trang, Da Nang and Hoi An are popular with tourists for their gorgeous beaches.
- Vietnamese New Year is known as Tet and is the largest and most popular festival in the country. Tet is celebrated by cleaning the house, wearing traditional dress, reuniting with family, giving offerings to ancestors and gifts to family and friends.
- Hang Son Doong stretches over three miles and is the world’s largest cave! It’s so wide that it is wide enough to fly a Boeing 747 through the chambers and large enough to house an entire block of New York City skyscrapers!
- Vietnam is the world’s 2nd largest coffee exporter.
- Vietnam has some of the world’s most impressive waterfalls! Ban Gioc Waterfall is Vietnam’s widest waterfall.
- The official national animal of Vietnam is the water buffalo and is very important to the country’s culture and history. They are widely used for farming and other work tasks especially because of their docile and gentle demeanor which allows it to be tamed easily.
- The Hoan Kiem Turtle was one of the most endangered animals in the world.
- The Vietnam/American War lasted close to twenty years and more than 3,000,000 Vietnamese and 60,000 American lives were lost. The war ended in 1975.
- The Lotus flower is the national flower of Vietnam and symbolizes purity, commitment and optimism for the future. The yellow apricot blossom is a symbol of Tet in Vietnam.
- Many dishes in Vietnam consist mainly of rice and vegetables as well as fish, seafood, chicken or beef. Here are some typical Vietnamese dishes:Nem: Grilled pork meat skewers which have been marinated in fish sauce. They are often served with spicy chilli sauce
Canh chua: sour soup with fish, tomatoes and vegetables as well as pineapple chunks
Pho: traditional soup dish made with clear broth, spring onions and sprouts as well as sliced chicken or beef slices
Traditional Vietnamese food: Pho soup
Banh Bao: Vietnamese pastry dumpling with usually savoury filling such as pork or chicken meat
Xoi: Sweet sticky rice cakes made with coconut milk and mung beans, often with added food colouring