The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi. Vietnam has contrasting terrain, where mountains and high plateaus cover two thirds of the Vietnamese territory. From the Thang Hoa region to the Chinese border, at the mountain pass of Lao Bao (Đà Nẵng region), its western frontier is the northern cordillera of Truong-Son, coming from the Tibetan plateau. The southern cordillera stretches from the Clouds Pass south of the region of Đanang till the Đalat region. Traditionally on distinguishes three main areas: the north, former Tonkin, the center, former Annam and the south, former Cochinchina.
The Vietnamese climate is tropical and sub-tropical, with monsoons; humidity can be as high as 84%. There are two seasons in the south: the dry season (from November to April) and the rainy season (from May to October). However, in the northern part of Vietnam, seasons differe more (4 seasons) than in the south where temperatures is almost always between 21 to 28°C. Because of the differences in latitude and the different relief, the climate differs considerably from place to place. The average annual temperature is generally higher on the plains than in the mountains and plateaus where it varies between 5°C in December and January to over 37°C in April.
As of January 2007 Vietnam is member of the WTO (World Trade Organisation). The currency is called dong (1€ ≈ 28.500 dong, 2011) and the smallest note is 200 and the largest is 500.000. There are many ATMs and not only in the cities. In 2010 inflation was 13.89 %, but 18.2 % in 2011. Food price inflation was even higher, almost 30 %. In 2011 the GBP was about $299.2 billion, which means $3,300 per capita. However, in 2011 the average salary was only about $150 and the minimum salary was $75. In 2010 the GBP per sector was about: agriculture = 20%, industry = 41.4% and services = 38.6%. The GBP growth was about 5.8%. The population below the poverty line was 18.9% of the population (2011 est.). In 2010 the amount was fixed on 400,000 dong and 500,000 dong per month for the country side and the city respectively.
In Vietnam the following materials are exploited: phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, oil (approximately. 7 million tons). Also coal (6 million tons) and gas is found and hydro-electrical energy is produced. There are amongst others the following industrial sectors: manufacturing, food, apparel (clothing), shoes.
Vietnam is a large exporter of rice, pepper, cashew nuts and coffee. The agricultural and marine production consists of: rice, coffee, rubber, cotton, tea, pepper, peanuts, cashew nuts, sugar cane, bananas, fish and sea food.
Arable land: 17%
Others: 48% (est. 1993)
Irrigated land: 18,600 km² (estimate)
Politics of Vietnam
Socialist Republic, people’s democracy, 1980 constitution with a single-party system led by President M. Trương Tấn San and Prime Minister Nguyễn Thị Doan (25/07/2011). Parliament: assembly elected by general elections for five years (latest elections on 22 May 2011 – 500 members of parliament elected out of 827 candidates).
All schools in Vietnam were nationalized following reunification in 1976. It is estimated that in 1992 about 47 % of the 12-17-year-old children were going to school. “Free” and mandatory education has allowed to reduce illiteracy by 16.6% till 9.7% in 2008.