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Vietnam
Traveling Tales
Buddhist Nuns by Beth Buffam
Buddhist Nuns by Beth Buffam
Mekong Fisherman by Beth Buffam
Mekong Fisherman by Beth Buffam
Cao Dai Nun
Cao Dai Nun
When you open the door for new winds, the dirt comes in too.
- Vietnamese Proverb

Stories
My Son by Melissa Broudy
Sipping Wine by Melissa Broudy
Cho Moi, The Mekong (1) by Beth Buffam
Rach Gia, Western Mekong (2) by Beth Buffam
Ca Mau (3) by Beth Buffam
Ben Tre, Tien Tuy and Can Tho (4) by Beth Buffam
Sai Gon (5) by Beth Buffam
Sai Gon (6) by Beth Buffam
Tay Ninh (7) by Beth Buffam
Nha Trang (8) by Beth Buffam


Country Overview

Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia with a total land area of 325,360 km and 3,444 km of coastline on the South China Sea. Climate is tropical with rainy season from May to September. Terrain varies dramatically from low Mekong delta in south to central highlands to mountainous north/northwest.

Government type is a communist state governed by the Comunist Party of Vietnam (CPV). Hanoi is the capital where President Tran Duc Luong, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, and cabinet reside.

Population is 78.7 million with a 1.4% rate of natural increase.

Language belongs to the Mon-Khmer stock, arising from the ancient languages of Burma (Mon) and Cambodia (Khmer). The official language of Vietnam, Vietnamese, is also influenced by Tai and Chinese elements. Hundreds of tribal languages, spoken mainly by peoples in the central and northern highlands, are threatened with extinction. The most widely spoken foreign languages are Chinese, English, French and Russian.

Economy is considered less developed, undergoing a complex transition from state ownership to privitazation in several major industries. The majority of the population resides in rural areas engaged in farming paddy rice, corn, bananas and other goods. GDP per capita is approximately US$1,950 with an unemployment rate of 25% and 37% of the population living below the poverty line.

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