One of the fastest-growing economies in south-east Asia, Vietnam has set its sights on becoming a developed nation by 2020.

As a result of the Communist north’s seizure of the south in 1975, the country became once again a unified nation.

During the three decades that followed, the Communists fought first against France, then against South Vietnam and its US backers. During its latter stages, the conflict attracted the attention of the entire world.

In an effort to stop the “domino effect” of communist nations falling successively, the US joined the hostilities. Check more info on


In April 2021, parliament appointed Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the largely ceremonial post of president, taking over from Nguyen Phu Trong.

As prime minister since April 2016, he steered Vietnam through the Covid-19 pandemic with his technocratic style.

Outgoing president Nguyen Phu Tr*ng has held the position of general-secretary of the Communist Party since 2011.


It is well known that the Communist Party controls the media.

For criticizing the government or broaching sensitive topics, media outlets and journalists risk sanctions.

Content deemed to threaten Communist rule is blocked online.


Located around 1,025 miles (1,650 km) from north to south, Vietnam is about 30 miles (50 km) wide at its narrowest point and extends about 1,025 miles (1,650 km) from north to south. The country borders China to the north, the South China Sea to the east and south, the Gulf of Thailand (Gulf of Siam) to the southwest, and Cambodia and Laos to the west.


Its principal physiographic features are the Annamese Cordillera (French: Chaîne Annamitique; Vietnamese: Nui Truong Son), which dominates the interior, and two extensive alluvial deltas formed by the Red (Hong) River in the north and the Mekong (Cuu Long) River in the south. Long and relatively narrow coastal plains separate these two deltas.

Northern Vietnam’s uplands can be divided into two distinct regions from north to south — the area north of the Red River, and the massif south of the Red River into neighbouring Laos. From the Chinese border to the edge of its delta, the Red River forms a deep, relatively wide valley that runs northwest-southeast. A marked depression stretches from Cao Bang to the sea north of the Red River, with the highest elevations occurring between the Red and Lo (Clear) rivers. Large limestone terraces, extensive alluvial plains, and low hills are found in the Red River delta and in the valleys of the region’s other major rivers. Most of the islands along the northeast coast are made of limestone.


The heavy monsoon rains in northern Vietnam wash away rich humus from the highlands, leaving alumina and iron oxides that give the soil its distinctive reddish hue. Some soils in the Red River delta are fertile and suitable for intensive cultivation, while others lack soluble bases. The delta soils, however, are easily worked. As a result of diking the Red River to prevent flooding, the delta’s rice fields no longer receive the enriching silts they once received, so chemical fertilizers have been applied.

Climate of Vietnam

In the northern part of Vietnam, the climate is tropical. On January, the coldest month of the year, Hanoi has a mean temperature of 63°F (17°C), while the average annual temperature is 74°F (23°C). The average annual temperature in Hue is 77 °F (25 °C), and in Ho Chi Minh City is 81 °F (27 °C); in Da Lat, it’s 70 °F (21 °C). In northern Vietnam, winter lasts from November to April; from February to March, there is a persistent drizzle, and March and April are considered transitional months. In northern Vietnam, summer lasts from April or May to October, and it is characterized by high temperatures, heavy rain, and typhoons. Southeast monsoon winds bring rains and typhoons to the eastern slopes of mountain ranges and lowland plains in central and southern Vietnam between June and November. The period between December and April is drier and is characterized by the winds of the northeast monsoon and, in the south, by high temperatures.