15 Things You Didn’t Know about Vietnam
Welcome to Alux.com,
the place where future billionaires come to get inspired.
and welcome back to yet another amazing video from Alux.com.
Today we want to take you on a trip around Southeastern Asia with a stopover in Vietnam,
bringing you all the interesting things you didn’t know about this controversial and beautiful country.
Situated in the Indochina Peninsula,
Vietnam is one of the most visited cities in Southeastern Asia
along with Thailand and Cambodia,
due to its rich culture,
controversial history and beautiful temples.
Vietnam is relatively small,
only 331,210 square kilometers,
something like the size of California.
And it has more shoreline than Florida.
Since the war ended in 1975,
the country bloomed with tourists willing to see all of its magical rivers and beaches,
and the magical old cities.
If you are new here, welcome.
Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram @ALUX.
越南混合了山脉 平原 海洋以及热带气候
With a mix of mountains, plains, sea and tropical climate,
Vietnam is a nature’s paradise
that will make you fall in love with it instantly
and keep you coming back to the unique culinary experience.
But let’s just cut to the chase,
here are 15 things you didn’t know about Vietnam.
But be warned, this is a travel inspiration alert.
1. Vietnam is a cultural mix of Chinese, French and Japanese.
Being such a small country,
Vietnam has had its struggles with Chinese occupation for over a millennia in the northern area.
The French came over in the 1950s in the first Indochina war,
and the Japanese took over in the 1940s.
Constantly battling with powerful empires,
given the fact the country has a key location in the peninsula,
Vietnam hasn’t had a lot of time to heal.
All this constant fighting for its independence has led to the country that it is today,
with influences from various other nations that ruled over.
We can see these influences everywhere,
从菜肴到文化 音乐 甚至相貌
from cuisine to literature, music, and even looks.
2. It is the home of some amazing UNESCO heritage sites.
越南拥有许多丘陵 森林 河流 三角洲和海岸等地理景观
With a geographical landscape full of hills, forests, rivers, deltas and seashore,
Vietnam scores with its Halong Bay, a UNESCO heritage site.
The bay consists of over 1,600 cliffs of limestone,
rising from the sea at heights of over 200 meters tall.
The cliffs have different geological roots,
长久以来 它们启发了诸多古老故事 神话的产生
and throughout the years they inspired old tales,
myths and increase the tourism in the Quang Ninh Province significantly.
Halong bay is a highly photographed UNESCO heritage site
due to its wide panoramic views that
can be seen from the shore or near islands like Monkey Island.
3. Legend has it that people from Vietnam are descendants of an immortal Chinese princess.
The entire Asian culture is based on legends and myths.
And Vietnamese people don’t lack their fair share of stories.
Legend has it that the people of Vietnam were born
after the union between an immortal Chinese princess from the high mountains
and the Dragon Lord of the Seas.
After their marriage, the princess bore 100 eggs to the Dragon Lord.
And the eggs soon hatched to give 100 sons.
Convinced that their distinct origins would ultimately make them unhappy if they remain together,
the couple went their separate ways,
each taking fifty sons,
and establishing magnificent nations that stretched across Southeast Asia.
The king and his sons ruled over the lowlands,
and his eldest son later established the very first of Vietnamese dynasty.
The story is a beautiful legend that parents still tell their children today.
4. Families can only have two children or else they face dire fiscal repercussions.
Vietnam has recorded an astonishing number of 94.5 million inhabitants.
The country’s population has grown very rapidly since the war ended in the 1970s.
It actually doubled during the past 50 years.
So the government decided to restrict families to only have two children.
Since that law was enforced, the birth rate dropped 1.8 children per woman.
Families that don’t obey this,
face fiscal repercussions like high fines and increased taxes.
The policy comes with a lot of issues,
because many women died from trying to get an abortion,
or get sick from using inadequate contraceptives.
5. Tourism brings in more than 900 million dollars every year.
More than 40 years after the battle stopped,
people still want to visit the war’s most commented battlefields,
and see how it mixes with the ancient culture.
This mix of modern developing cities, rich Asian culture and scraps of war
bring in over 967 million dollars as of December 2016.
Coastal Vietnam is highly visited by tourists all year round,
with more than 10 million international tourists visiting the country in 2016 alone.
Other popular tourist destinations include the former imperial capital of Hue,
the world heritage sites of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and the Marble mountains.
6. The country still faces extreme poverty nowadays.
Like any other developing country,
the capital and some bigger cities are developing and growing very fast,
yet some rural regions still live their lives with less than one dollar per day.
This kind of poverty is smaller than it is in China, India or the Philippines,
but they still have people struggling to make it,
since not all regions can thrive from tourism, agriculture or business opportunities.
The communist government the Americans tried to remove in the 70s
plays a big role in the country’s economic growth and inclusive strategy.
Nowadays, they enjoy the modern means of transportation.
Sanitation has had a substantial improvement,
and their literacy rate is at 95%.
But they still have a long way to go.
7. Vietnam’s first president is embalmed in a public mausoleum.
Their first president Ho Chi Minh, also called Uncle Ho,
died in 1969.
He was loved by many and as a sign of eternal recognition,
they embalmed his body and put it in a granite mausoleum in Hanoi.
It goes by the name of Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi and it is dedicated to his life and work.
Since he was the first president,
his birthday is now a national holiday celebrated across the whole country.
This kind of practice is commonly seen in communist countries,
such as Russia or China,
and their former leader of Lenin or Mao Zedong
are celebrated the same way.
Streams of people cue each day,
sometimes for hours to pass by Ho Chi Minh’s body in silence and to honor him.
8. A big part of the population suffers from PTSD.
Being at war for most of your recent existence as a country
is not something that people can take on very easily.
The constant bombing and injuries caused by grenades and mines
has led to a lot of casualties.
And it’s the reason behind the post traumatic stress disorder most of the population suffers from.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs estimates
that 830,000 Vietnam War veterans suffered symptoms of PTSD,
even 25 years after the war.
To this day, the United States provides a range of benefits for veterans that
include tax-free cash payments, free low-cost mental health treatment,
vocational rehabilitation services,
employment assistance and independent living support.
9. There is a love market in Vietnam where you can find your soul mate.
This interesting social activity takes place every Saturday night in the city of Sapa,
and involves young girls and guys from all villages that come to the city to meet one another.
They don’t actually trade their love,
but they use the market as an excuse for getting to know each other and spend some time together.
Everyone gathered at the market
sings and plays different games according to their ethnic groups tradition.
Lots of people become intimate after the market and even get married.
The main idea is to spot a possible spouse coming from a similar background as you do
based on the clothes worn or the songs played.
As you would imagine, the market brings in a lot of tourists as well.
10. Their local cuisine is to die for.
As it happens with most Asian countries, Vietnamese people eat a lot of rice.
Besides that, one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes is pho,
a beef or chicken noodle soup that most people rely on as comfort food when sick.
It originates from French or Chinese cuisine,
a debate still going strong about this famous dish.
You’ll find Vietnamese restaurants in pretty much every country,
but be aware the fact that it’s very different from your regular Chinese and Japanese food.
Their culinary culture is developed around the five fundamental tastes,
即辣 酸 苦 咸 甜
spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet.
In northern Vietnam, local dishes are often less spicy than southern dishes,
as the colder northern climate limits the production and availability of spices.
Are you a foodie and enjoy eating all kinds of different things?
Get some inspiration from watching our Top 10 Best Street Foods around the World video
by clicking in the top right corner.
11. Michael Jackson has his own Happyland in Vietnam.
Inspired by the Disneyland entertainment parks in Europe and the USA,
Joe Jackson, the father of late American pop star Michael Jackson,
decided to invest 2.2 billion dollars in the Vietnamese region Long An.
creating a commemorative Happyland for his son.
On February 14th, 2011,
he attended a celebrating ceremony
for what he intends to be Southeast Asia’s largest entertainment complex
with a 5 star hotel and amusement park called Happyland.
Don’t get super hyped by the thought of visiting though.
The multi-billion dollar project
which has been designed to accommodate 14 million tourists each year
was expected to be completed in 2014,
but as of 2018, Happyland has yet to open.
12. One of the must see places in Vietnam is the Forbidden Purple City in Hue.
The Forbidden Purple City is a walled fortress and Palace in Hue,
the former imperial capital of Vietnam,
and back then it was only accessible to the royal family and their servants.
Established as the capital of the unified Vietnam in 1802,
Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center under the when dynasty.
The imperial city of Hue is now a complex of monuments available to all visitors and tourists.
Since it’s UNESCO site now and was under construction until 2015.
You should definitely pay a visit to the Forbidden Purple City when in Vietnam.
13. White skin is considered absolute beauty.
While on the western side of the world,
women and men spend time and money trying to get their skin perfectly tanned,
Vietnamese people praise the exact opposite.
White is considered to be the perfect skin color
since tan means laboring in the Sun all day.
This is why whitening products are such big business across the country.
And Vietnamese cover up as much as possible when out in the Sun.
The thought of people trying to meet society set standards of beauty is simply sading.
Here at ALUX we encourage everyone to embrace who they are,
and try not to change their appearance based on societal standards.
14. They drink snake wine for vitality.
Snake venom wine to be more precise.
How do they do it?
By infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol,
and creating what they call snake wine.
This rice wine is commonly drank for health,
vitality and restorative purposes all over Vietnam.
The snakes, preferably venomous ones,
are not usually preserved for their meat,
but have their essence and snake venom dissolved in a liquor.
The snake venom poses no threat to the drinker.
It’s denatured by the ethanol; Its proteins unfolded;
and therefore inactive and would be denatured by stomach acid anyway.
As you would imagine, the beverage is a major tourist attraction,
since it claims to have medicinal values.
15. A Vietnamese man invented the ATM.
Just stop for a second and imagine,
how life would have been different if it wasn’t for the invention of ATMs.
Sounds a bit gray, doesn’t it?
Well, dear Aluxers, I can tell you
that Mr. Do Duc Cuong, a Vietnamese American that had over 50 inventions
worked for the U.S. City Bank invented the ATM,
a breakthrough in the banking history that people use constantly in modern cities.
He was born in the central province of Quang Ngai,
and was well known as a student for being fond of learning and being very smart.
Cuong wanted his work to be about popularizing banking services
and making these kinds of services accessible to everyone.
We are all grateful for your work, Duc Cuong.
That was quite something, wasn’t it?
We hope we inspired you to visit this amazing country
and discover all of its beauties for yourself.
But before you go packing, we’re curious to know
would you dare to drink some snake wine?
Are you still with us Aluxers?
Great, because we owe you a bonus fact.
The first McDonald’s restaurant opened only four years ago.
Having one of the healthiest cuisines in the world,
Vietnam was pretty late on the fast food train.
Other Asian countries adopted the American chains earlier,
and are now battling with obesity among their populations.
But in Vietnam, the first McDonald’s opened in February 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City,
the most populated city in the country.
此后 肯德基 赛百味和汉堡王也在越南开设了餐厅
Since then, KFC, Subway and Burger King opened restaurants in the country.
But the fast food mania is still low with local cuisine being the first choice.
Reports show that these fast-food restaurants are not winning the hearts of Vietnamese consumers,
because they lack local tastes and rice.
Thank you for spending some time with us, Aluxers.
Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE,
so you never miss another video.
We also hand-picked these videos which we recommend you watch next.
Thank you for being an Aluxer,
and we’ll see you back tomorrow.