Currently, many people, both foreign visitors and the Vietnamese oversea, wish to see Vietnam and learn more about the country and people. Places and geographical regions are located on the map showing where it is all about. We would like to mention the Vietnam map in order to help tourists learn better of places in Vietnam. Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the East Sea to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world. Emerging from a long and bitter war, the war-ravaged nation was politically isolated. The government’s centrally-planned economic decisions hindered post-war reconstruction and its treatment of the losing side engendered more resentment than reconciliation. In 1986, it instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth had been among the highest in the world in the past decade. These efforts culminated in Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007 and its successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2008. Vietnam is divided into 58 provinces as you can view on the Vietnam Map. There are 5 centrally-controlled municipalities existing at the same level as provinces, including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Danang, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho. People’s Council Each People’s Council has a Standing Committee made up of the Chairperson and his/her deputies, who are elected from among the representatives in the People’s Council. The Standing Committee has a number of functions, including representing the People’s Council when it is not in session. There are also a number of other committees established to deal with specific issues. All provinces have an Economic and Budgetary Committee, a Social and Cultural Committee, and a Legal Committee. If a province has many inhabitants who are not ethnically Vietnamese, there will probably be a Committee for Ethnic Affairs as well. Citizens are eligible to vote in People’s Council elections from when they are aged eighteen, but cannot stand for election until they are aged twenty-one. To become a candidate, one can either nominate oneself or be selected by the Fatherland Front. Nominated candidates are then voted on at “voters’ conferences”, which are organized by the Fatherland Front. Attendees determine, sometimes by secret balot and sometimes by a show of hands, whether candidates meet the criteria set down by the People’s Council. Candidates who the conference does not “express trust” in cannot stand for election. People’s Committee The People’s Committee is, as mentioned previously, the executive arm of a provincial government, and is responsible for formulating and implementing policy. It may be thought of as the equivalent of a cabinet. The People’s Committee will have a President and a Vice-President, and between nine or eleven ordinary members. Regions The Vietnamese government often groups the various provinces into eight regions. These regions are not always used, and alternative classifications are possible. The regions include: Northwestern contains four inland provinces in the west of Vietnam’s northern part. Two of them border with Laos, and one borders China. Northeastern contains eleven provinces (many of which are mountainous) that lie to north of the highly populated Red River lowlands. Greater Ha Noi – Red River Delta contains nine provinces that are small but populous – based around the Red River, including the national capital Hanoi, and the municipality of Hai Phong (both of which are independent of any provincial government). North Central Coast contains six provinces in the northern half of Vietnam’s narrow central part. All provinces in this region stretch from the coast in the east to Laos in the west. South Central Coast contains five coastal provinces in the southern half of Vietnam’s central part. Vietnam is wider at this point than in the North Central Coast region, so the inland areas are separate provinces. The region also includes the independent municipality of Da Nang. Central Highlands contains the five inland provinces (much of whose terrain is mountainous) of south-central Vietnam, mostly inhabited by ethnic minorities, although many Viet people live there as well. Southeastern contains those parts of lowland southern Vietnam which are north of the Mekong delta. There are seven provinces, plus the independent municipality of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Southwestern – Mekong River Delta is Vietnam’s southernmost region, and contains twelve mostly small but populous provinces in the delta of the Mekong, plus the independent municipality of Can Tho. The National Flag The natinal flag of Vietnam is the “red flag with yellow star”, which was adopted as the flag of the Viet Minh, a communist army, in 1941. In 1945, it was adopted by the newly-established Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which became the government of North Vietnam in 1954. The flag was adopted by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (united Vietnam), which was founded in 1976 following the Vietnam War. The flag has a red background with a golden five-pointed star in the center. The flag is so meaningful. In the years following 1945, during the independence movement of Vietnam, red represented the struggle for independence, yellow represented the color of Vietnamese people, and the five points of the star were widely believed to represent the 5 traditional Confucian classes of people: the scholars (sĩ), the peasants (nông), the craftsmen (công), the merchants (thương), and the soldiers (binh). The flag was designed by Nguyen Huu Tien, a communist revolutionary of the 1940 Cochinchina Uprising against French colonialism, when the flag was seen on the first time. The uprising failed, and he was arrested and executed along with other leaders of the uprising. On the National Days, the Vietnamesehang the National Flag on public buildings, in the streets and on most private houses. The red flag with yellow star always flies beautifully outside the buildings and private properties as well as in the streets during the celebration of the days. Travel Information Attractions: Vietnam is a visually stunning destination, one crammed with interesting things to see and do.International travelers visiting Vietnam may wish to consider travel insurance. Major points-of-interest include the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO site featuring over 3,000 islands; Phong Nha Cave, one of the largest and most beautiful caves on the planet; the mountain villages of Sapa and Dalat; hundreds of historical and cultural sites including the Hung Temple, Co Loa Citadel, the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, My Son Sanctuary, and the ancient city of Hoi An. Add to the brief list above, the picturesque emerald-green rice paddy fields; boat trips through floating canal markets; Mekong Delta tours and sunset views atop Sam Mountain; thousands of inspiring pagodas and temples throughout the country, colorful festivals galore, and dozens of beautiful, clean beaches, north to south. 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