Capital: Hanoi  |  Population:

Country Overview

Welcome to Vietnam, the land of lunar festivals, fresh foods and serene rice fields.

Vietnam is famous for its cuisine and use of fish sauce, rice, and fresh herbs. One of Vietnam’s most famous dishes is Pho, in which a clear beef broth is poured over rice noodles and eaten with sliced beef, lemon, and various herbs. Respect and politeness are highly valued in Vietnam.

Vietnam is a communist state with a President and Prime Minister. Many different languages are spoken in Vietnam. Vietnamese is the official language and English is increasingly favored as a second language. Some French, Chinese, Khmer, and mountain area languages are also spoken.

Daily Life

It is common for homes in Vietnam to have two or three generations living together. Residence in most homes is organized around the male line. Authority within the household is usually exercised by the eldest male, although his wife will often have an important say in family matters. 

The Vietnamese have many daily customs, such as not touching someone’s head, passing items with both hands, and using their hand to point, instead of their finger. 

A typical family meal includes individual bowls of rice, soup, a stir-fried vegetable dish, roasted meat or fish, and fish and soy sauce for dipping. 



There are 5 levels of schooling in Vietnam; kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, and college or university. Education is free and required from ages 6-11. 

Most students in Vietnam are very academically focused, and tend to spend much of their time on their studies.

Vietnam has a high literacy rate of 94%, and most public schools aim to increase this number.


Teenagers in Vietnam enjoy going out with friends, often going out to restaurants, clubs, or the movies. Singing karaoke is also popular.

One of the most important dimensions of politeness is for the young to show respect to their elders. In everyday life, younger people show this respect by using hierarchical terms of address when interacting with their seniors, and parents regularly instruct their children on their proper usage.