Capital: Hanoi Population: 83.6 million Language: Vietnamese. Time: GMT+7 International Dialling Code: +84 Money: Ð?ng (VND)
Visa: UK nationals need a 30 day tourist visa. Further Information: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
Vietnamese Embassy in London: 020 7937 1912
When to go: The best time to visit is from November to April when the rains abate and the temperatures in Hanoi at least taper off.
Music: There are no doubt cultural icons apart from venerable Mr Ho, I’m not aware of them due to Vietnamese’s music’s low profile. There are indeed countless music shops all over Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and purchasing the cd’s on spec can throw up surprising gems as this scribe discovered!
The furious activity of Ho Chi Minh City is at odds with the nearby paddy fields and orchards dotting the landscape of southern Vietnam. Hanoi on the other hand although catching up in the commercial stakes has an Old City and French Quarter that need hours to digest properly. Hué and the other seaside towns along the coast present the warms waters of the South China Sea for people ready to relax.