33 interesting facts about Vietnam you probably didn’t know

Looking for interesting facts about Vietnam? Get the best facts here.

interesting facts about Vietnam

Did you know that Vietnam is one of the worlds largest coffee producers or that it’s home to the world’s largest cave?

This country in Southeast Asia actually holds several world records.

If you want to know more, keep reading! Here are the most interesting fun facts about Vietnam.

Read next: 7 days in Vietnam itinerary with the best highlights

This post contains referral links for products I love. Adventurous Miriam earns a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through my links. I appreciate your support ♡ Learn more

The most interesting Vietnam facts

1. Vietnam is shaped like an “S”

Next time you’re checking out a world map, take a closer look at Viet Nam.

It’s got an “S” shape, stretching from north at the Chinese border to the south.

2. Trang An is called “Halong Bay on land”

Okay, so you’ve probably heard of Halong Bay with its 1.600 limestone islands popping out of the water, right?

Trang An is Halong Bay’s landlocked sibling.

Known as “Ha Long bay on land”, Trang An has limestone karst peaks that dramatically jut out, not from water, but from scenic rice paddies and winding rivers.

You can visit on a deluxe day tour from Hanoi (⭐ 5/5).

interesting facts about Vietnam - Trang An

3. Vietnam is home to the world’s largest cave, Son Doong

Vietnam isn’t just a country with mouth-watering food and stunning beaches; it’s also home to the world’s largest cave, Son Doong.

We’re talking so massive that you could park a Boeing 747 in one of its sections.

Nestled in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, this cave is like Mother Nature’s palace with underground jungles, ginormous stalactites, and misty clouds floating inside.

You can visit the smaller version, Dark Cave, which is about 30 km away.

 Son Doong
Inside the Son Doong cave

4. Tết is the most important holiday

Imagine your birthday, New Year’s, and the biggest family reunion all rolled into one massive party – that’s Tết for the Vietnamese.

Tet is the Vietnamese new year, during which the whole country goes into celebration mode!

interesting facts about Vietnam - Tet

5. Vietnam has 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites

Vietnam has no less than five UNESCO sites.

We’re talking about the epic natural beauty of Halong Bay, the ancient royal architecture in Hue’s Complex of Monuments, the Champa ruins at My Son Sanctuary, the picturesque karst scenery in the Trang An Landscape Complex, and the blend of cultures seen at Hoi An Ancient Town.

Hoi An
Hoi An Ancient Town is a UNESCO world heritage site

6. Vietnamese hats are handcrafted from bamboo

You know those iconic pointy hats you see folks wearing in Vietnam?

They’re called “nón lá” and they’re hand-whittled from bamboo.

 Vietnamese hats

7. The world’s second-largest exporter of coffee

Here’s a caffeine-filled fun fact:

Vietnam is one of the world’s largest exporters of coffee, only topped by Brazil.

👉 Bonus tip: In Vietnam, you should try their iced coffee and egg coffee!

 Vietnamese coffee

8. More than 45 million motorbikes

One of the most fun Vietnam facts is that it’s filled with motorbikes.

There are over 45 million of them! That’s more than half the country’s population on two wheels.

Vietnam traffic

9. Vietnamese is all about the tone

The Vietnamese language is tonal, so the same word can mean totally different things based on how you say it.

So if you’re saying “ma” and aiming for “ghost” but end up with “horse”… well, that’s just part of the fun!

Read next: 18 best souvenirs from Vietnam

10. The Mekong Delta is called the “Rice Bowl”

The Mekong Delta is also known as the “Rice Bowl”, and there’s a reason for it: this place churns out a massive chunk of the country’s rice.

Next time you have a rice dish, there’s a good chance it started here.

Mekong Delta rice

11. Vietnamese people often keep potbelly pigs as pets

So, while many of us are over here walking dogs or cuddling cats, a bunch of folks in Vietnam have a different fluffy friend in mind: potbelly pigs!

Yep, these chunky, snout-nosed cuties aren’t just farm regulars; they’re often chilling in homes as pets.

12. The Hanoi Hilton was originally a prison

In Hanoi, there’s this place called the “Hanoi Hilton”, but it’s no hotel. It’s actually the old Hoa Lo Prison turned museum.

Back in the Vietnam War days, it housed a mix of locals and American POWs. Today?

It’s where you can get a raw glimpse into prison life during some intense times.

Hoa Lo Prison

13. The Golden Bridge is held up by two giant hands

There’s a bridge in Da Nang that’s straight-up wild.

The Golden Bridge is literally held up by two huge stone hands. Bet you haven’t seen that before!

Golden Bridge in Da Nang

14. Pho is the national dish

When you think of Vietnamese cuisine, think pho.

It’s not just any soup; it’s a fragrant broth typically made of beef or chicken, served with rice noodles and topped with herbs.

There are several variations like “pho bo” for beef and “pho ga” for chicken.


15. The flag of Vietnam symbolizes revolution and bloodshed

The Vietnam flag has a central yellow star symbolizing its revolutionary past. The red background represents the sacrifices made in its history.

Together, they reflect the nation’s journey and resilience.

flag of Vietnam

16. Vietnam has the world’s longest cable car

Phu Quoc Island has the world’s longest cable car (try it here).

Imagine gliding over turquoise waters, lush jungles, and shimmering coastlines, all from a bird’s-eye view.

 Phu Quoc Island

17. “Ao Dai” is the traditional Vietnamese dress

The “Ao Dai” is a dress with a long top over pants.

It’s not just any dress, though; it’s the national dress that shows off Vietnamese pride and beauty.

Ao Dai
Vietnamese women and men wear the ao dai for special occasions

18. The world’s rarest large mammal, the Saola, was discovered in Vietnam in 1992

Until 1992, Vietnam had a secret in its forests: the Saola called the “Asian unicorn”.

Not because it has a horn, but it’s super hard to find.

Being the world’s rarest big animal, its discovery was a big deal. It’s a hint that Vietnam’s wild places might still have more awesome secrets.

19. Water puppetry is more than 1000 years old

Vietnam’s water puppetry isn’t just a regular show. It’s been around for over a thousand years!

Puppets dance on water, sharing stories from old legends and daily life.

There are puppeteers behind the scenes pulling the strings, making it a unique way to dive into Vietnam’s deep culture.

Water puppetry

20. Vietnam’s currency features iconic landmarks

The dong, Vietnam’s currency, has images of its iconic landmarks and breathtaking landscapes on it.

The 5 most popular landmarks are:

  • Hoi An Cau pagoda on 20,000 VND
  • Nghenh Luong Dinh, Phu Van Lau on 50,000 VND
  • Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam on 100,000 VND
  • Halong Bay on 200,000 VND
  • Cottage in the Sen Village of President Ho Chi Minh Countryside on 500,000 VND

21. Vietnam has multiple climate zones

Vietnam’s got it all, geographically speaking. From chilly highlands in the North to sunny tropical spots in the South.

Lined up along the Indochinese Peninsula, it offers a mix of weather.

22. Vietnam was once a part of the ancient Champa Kingdom

From the 2nd to the 15th century, some of today’s Vietnam was part of the Champa Kingdom.

The Cham people left their mark with places like My Son Sanctuary which has a long history.

You can still see their impact on Vietnam’s art and history.

My Son

23. Vietnam has over 50 ethnic groups

In Vietnam, there are more than 50 distinct ethnic groups.

The Kinh (or Viet) group is the majority, but many other groups have their own unique languages and traditions.


24. You can be a millionaire in Vietnam!

The Vietnamese money – the dong – has bills with thousands and millions on it. So, it’s quite easy to be a millionaire here.

vietnam dong

25. Vietnamese have kitchen gods

In Vietnamese culture, they believe that kitchen gods watch daily life and report yearly to the Jade Emperor.

Families clean and offer treats before the gods’ trip, hoping for a heavenly good word.

26. You can visit tunnels from the Vietnam war

Cu Chi tunnels – an extensive network of subterranean passageways, just outside of Ho Chi Minh City, were used by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War.

You can visit the tunnels on a tour (⭐ 5/5). But be warned, they’re narrow and dark – not for the claustrophobic!

 Cu Chi tunnels

27. … And taste snake wine

Snake wine is popular in Vietnam, and you can taste it at many bars around the country.

This potent drink isn’t just wine; it literally has a snake inside the bottle, believed to make you more vital.

I’ve had it a few times and it’s strong!

 snake wine

28. Basket boats are used for fishing

Basket boats are traditional Vietnamese boats.

Made entirely from bamboo, these oversized baskets are used primarily for fishing in shallow waters.

In Hoi An, you can even get a ride (⭐ 5/5) in one of the boats.

interesting facts about Vietnam - Basket boat

29. There’s a “love market” in Sapa

In Sapa, ethnic minority groups get together every Saturday night at the Love Market.

They gather, not just to trade but also to find partners and celebrate love through songs and dances.

30. Vietnam has an egg coffee

Looking for a unique coffee in Vietnam? Meet egg coffee.

This Hanoi specialty takes robust coffee and whisks it with creamy egg yolk and sugar.

Vietnamese egg coffee

31. Hue’s Imperial City is a walled fortress and palace

The Imperial City in Hue is walled.

Built in the early 1800s, it was the Nguyen dynasty’s center. Inside its walls, the palace shows Vietnam’s royal history from that era.

Hue's Imperial City

32. The Vietnamese lunar calendar has its own zodiac

Vietnam’s lunar calendar has its very own zodiac system.

It’s a bit different from China’s. While they’re similar, Vietnam swaps out the rabbit for a cat.

33. Many Vietnamese names have beautiful meanings

Unlike some cultures that might go for traditional or family names, many Vietnamese choose first names that have profound, beautiful meanings.

Like “Mai” for cherry blossom or “Bình” for peace.

More posts from Vietnam you might like

Save it!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *