Vietnam is a very exotic country for us and if you ask an average person on the street about it, you won't find out anything special about it. This place, located almost literally at the other end of the world, is extremely interesting for us, because its climate and culture are historically free from the influences that shaped our society, and modern Vietnam is constantly defending itself against globalism that means that every tourist resort anywhere the globe is almost the same. There you can find villages away from the hustle and bustle, where you can rest in peace and bustling large cities. Noteworthy is the history of Vietnam, whose traces can be found at every turn.
The first state that gave rise to Vietnam dates back to the first millennium BC and it was established in the northern part of its present territory. The numerous clashes and changes that have taken place over the centuries have had a great impact on today's Vietnam. Even during long periods of Chinese civilization, the Vietnamese did not renounce their own statehood. However, despite the uprisings, Chinese writing, Confucius' teachings and (from the sixth century) Buddhism were also taken over. Liberation came in 939, when a new state was created - Dai Co Viet. Native dynasties came to power: Ngo (939–968), Dinh (969–981), Le (981–1009) and Ly (1009–1225). Thanks to the latter, the country has become centralized and able to repel the attacks of neighboring countries. At the same time, culture was developing.
The first rulers of the new dynasty, Le (1428-1788), provided Dai Viet with a "golden age" during which, among others, the areas of Champs were annexed. From the beginning of the 16th century, the ruling dynasty gradually lost power to the great families: Trinh in the north of the country and Nguyen in the south. Then the first Europeans came to Vietnam - the Dutch, Portuguese, French and English, and thanks to the trade factories they set up, trade developed.
In the mid-eighteenth century, the agrarian crisis and political instability began, and less than a century later the first colonial war with France (1852–62) inhibited the development of the state. As a result, the three eastern provinces of southern Vietnam were transformed into a French colony, and in the following years, that in 1883-84 France would impose its protectorate on Vietnam. Colonizers divided the country into 3 parts: Tonkin, Annam, Kochinchina. In Kochinchin, the Vietnamese administration was completely abolished, in Annamie partly, and in Tonkin (protectorates) the king's formal rule was maintained. In 1887 Vietnam together with Cambodia and Laos (from 1893) became part of the French Indochina. The aspirations for independence intensified after the First World War, and in 1927 the Vietnam National Party related to Kuomintang was established, and then in 1930 under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh - the Communist Party of Vietnam.
WWII brought further changes, including the location of Japanese garrisons in northern Vietnam, and soon the area of Japanese military control was extended to all of Indochina while maintaining the French colonial administration. In 1941, the communists established Viet-Minh, i.e. partisan units. In March 1945, the Japanese overthrew the French colonial administration and Emperor Bao Dai proclaimed the independence of Vietnam. Already in April, the Vietnam National Liberation Committee was formed, which called for a nationwide uprising in August in the face of the impending defeat of Japan. On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh announced the creation of the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam throughout the country. The French reacted with military action, which soon turned into an open war, ended with the defeat of the French under Điện Biên Phủ. This is the time when Vietnam is divided into Northern (ruled by communists) and Southern (French supporters).
In 1957, the Vietnam War began, ending in 1975. Fights between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (supported by socialist countries) and the Republic of Vietnam (supported by an international coalition involving the United States and its allies - South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Philippines) took place in the territory of southern Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In the United States, the "domino theory" was adopted, which assumed that socialist states (Russia and China) strive to conquer Third World countries by attacking neighboring states. For this reason, when North Vietnam began to actively support the leftist guerilla in the south, in the US it was decided to send aid to the government in Saigon. The United States withdrew from the conflict in 1972 due to huge losses and the resistance of American society. The South fought off the attacks of the North until April 1975, and as a result of the victory of the North, in 1976 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was formed. Despite the economic crisis that followed the communism of the economy after the war, Vietnam is growing rapidly and is becoming a competitor in many markets - not just touristic.
In Vietnam you can find traces of really many religions. Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Taoism and Hinduism are among the most popular. Vietnamese Buddhism is characterized by emphasizing the social aspect of man as an individual, which is part of the community created in a natural way. Confucianism is not as common as it was a few hundred years ago, but in Vietnamese culture it is easy to find its remains - for example respecting the elderly, paying great attention to knowledge and artistic activity, and reverence to ancestors. Taoism focuses on seeking happiness and longevity, and a small percentage of the population profess it, as does Hinduism. Christianity came to Vietnam around the 15th century and about 10% of Vietnamese profess it.
The climate of Vietnam varies greatly from region to region. Thanks to this, you can visit the country at any time of the year! Of course, you must adapt the tour plan to the temperatures and rainfall in your area. In the north, average annual temperatures are lower and there are 4 seasons, and in the south the climate is tropical, hot and there are dry and rainy seasons. You will find more information HERE.
Describing Vietnamese cuisine is a real challenge, because Vietnam really has a few flagship dishes that everyone knows and loves, but they are made differently in almost every city! For example pho soup - wonderfully filling, strong, meat broth with noodles, meat and ... that's it. In the north (Hanoi is the capital of pho!) It is served with herbs in a soup, and you can season it with lime, chilli or garlic. In the south, you'll get herbs in a large basket and choose which and how much you want to eat.
Salty and sour flavors reign in the north, and chillies are scarcely used, spicy flavors dominate in the center, and the sweetness breaks in the south. Below are some of the region's most popular dishes that are worth trying.
Często pytacie nas co warto przywieźć znajomym z Wietnamu, dlatego poniżej załączamy listę najbardziej popularnych pomysłów!
Z Wietnamem kojarzą się na pewno stożkowe kapelusze – non la, jak i niedroga odzież – poza night marketami warto zajrzeć do krawców w Hoi An! W każdej części Wietnamu znajdziesz ręczne wyroby – od ceramiki, poprzez biżuterię, aż po popularne figurki różnego kształtu. Pamiętaj, że antyki i produkty pochodzenia zwierzęcego (szczególnie wszelkiego rodzaju skóry, rogi) podlegają zawsze specjalnym przepisom! Na pewno trafisz również na stoiska z winem ryżowym, jednak tu sugerujemy wybieranie butelek bez węży w środku – może pojawić się problem z wwozem takiej pamiątki do UE. Polecamy rozejrzeć się za odrobiną sztuki – obrazy, stare plakaty znajdziesz tu w dobrej cenie i długo będą przypominać Ci o wspaniałych wakacjach.
Dobrym pomysłem na prezent z Wietnamu są również produkty spożywcze. O ile z hermetycznie pakowanymi orzechami, kawą, herbatą czy przyprawami nie ma najmniejszego problemu – o tyle w kwestii świeżych produktów sprawdź aktualne przepisy, ponieważ w 2019 roku zostały one zaostrzone.
In Vietnam it is not difficult to move. Within the city, it is worth using taxis (Grab is the local equivalent of Uber, you can order a driver with a scooter or car), preferably on scooters - this avoids standing in traffic jams. The rail network is not very extensive and takes a long time due to stops at each station from north to south, so it is better to use buses (tickets can be bought at any office on site) or domestic flights (they help save a lot of time, and frequent promotions of local airlines allow you to hunt for a ticket at a good price).
Vietnam is the country where most of the Polviet Travel team lives. We know this country from the inside out, and here is our list - what to visit in Vietnam:
At the outset, we emphasize that we always suggest contacting a travel medicine doctor before traveling to exotic places and adjusting vaccinations to the current state of health and situation in a given country.
When entering Vietnam, no mandatory vaccinations are required, and information on current threats and recommendations can be found on the Polish website Ministry Foreign Affairs .