Visitors to Vietnam today (including TOP
participants) usually experience a country at peace with beautiful
scenery, a vibrant culture, friendly people, a robust economy and first
class tourist facilities.
People and Culture -
Vietnam today is a country of nearly 80
million people. About 86% of them are ethnic Vietnamese (or Kinh). The
other 14% are made up largely of ethnic minority tribes people including
Hmong, Cham, Khmer, Han, Dao an others.
The principal religion in Vietnam is
Buddhism. But its adherents in Vietnam are also much influenced by
Confucianism and Daoism. The Vietnamese also worship their ancestors.
Almost every home in Vietnam will contain a shrine reminding us that they
greatly revere their ancestors. The unique Cao Dai religion, with its
central cathedral in Tay Ninh, comprises about 10 to 15 percent of the
population and Roman Catholicism accounts for another 8%.
TOP travelers to Vietnam typically find the
people to be very friendly and welcoming.
Economy and Development -
In recent years, Vietnam has enjoyed the
second strongest economy in Asia, with growth at 10% annually.
The literacy rate in Vietnam is over 90%,
with three-quarters of children of secondary-school age attending classes.
Travel In-country (transportation,
food, accommodation, money exchange) -
For the most part, Vietnam is clean and safe
for travel. Tourist accommodations range from modest to four- and
five-star luxury hotels. Many TOP travelers in Vietnam have described the
hotels in resort locales like Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Hoi An and Hue as "the
nicest they have every stayed in."
Food in Vietnam is delicious and plentiful.
Many hotels, including those used by TOP, offer a bountiful breakfast
buffet including a wide assortment of Western as well as Asian entrees.
Lunches and dinner menus typically offer choices of pork, fish, poultry
and sometimes beef as well as rice, noodles, spring rolls, many varieties
of vegetables and fruits and, of course, nuoc maam (fish sauce). One must
be judicious about drinking only bottled water or other bottled or canned
beverages and eating only vegetables which have been cooked and fruit
which can be peeled.
For More Information:
The Vietnam War and Vietnam Veterans |
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder |
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TOP (Tours Of Peace) Vietnam
8000 S. Kolb Road
Tucson, Arizona 85756-9275