Vietnam stretches the length of the Chinese sea. With two bulges, one to the North and one to the South, the country is often compared to a pole with a basket at each end. Three regions are especially worthy of mention: Tonkin, with its Truong Son cordillera, Cochinchina, and the mountains of Annam. Each of these has a unique setting.
The country has 1988 miles of coastline. Not greatly used for seaside tourism, it does still have some seaside resorts. This is the case at Vung Tau, to the south of Ho Chi Minh City, and on the coasts of Annam, to the east of the Country. Further East is a region offering a total change of scenery and sumptuous views. Its waters are pleasant, warm and ideal for swimming.
Vietnam has a rich and varied flora. Deforestation has had its effect in the last 50 years. Vietnamese forests are made up of some trees similar to those seen in Europe (fir trees, oaks), but also rare and precious species (teak, mahogany). The diversity of natural habitats works well alongside the rich and varied fauna. Tigers, lepoards, rhinos, bears and monkeys of all sorts make up the Vietnamese fauna, or what's left of it... Aware of the danger its lands are in, the government is trying to preserve its natural heritage and curb poaching and deforestation, but this has come quite late in the day. Today, sadly, we are a long way from the Vietnam of yesteryear.
Due to its location and history, Vietnam has inherited various cultural influences. Puppets and dragons, inherited from the Chinese era, are an integral part of local folklore. This also gets mixed with an Indian influence, particularly in terms of music. Vietnamese craft is varied - painting, music and theatre. Hanoi is well known for its silk work as well as its pictures, many of which you can find for purchase there.