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Vietnam is on the southeast edge of Asia. It borders with Cambodia, Laos and China. The Gulf of Thailand, the South China Sea, and the Gulf of Tonkin border the east, south and partial western part of the country. The population is about 85,000,000. The land area is 128,565 sq miles. The GDP per capita is $3, 549. The main language is Vietnamese.

2,700 years ago the population consisted mainly of Khmers and Cham. The Vietnamese arrived after the Chinese forced them out. After that Vietnam stayed in China's control until 938 BC when Vietnam regained it's independence. In the middle of the 19th century France colonized Vietnam. Then during WWII Japan expelled the French and occupied the country, after the war, France attempted to re-establish it's rule over the country, but failed. Then the country was split in two which led to the Vietnam war.

Ngoc Linh is one of the highest mountains in Vietnam at 8,523 ft. The mountain straddles the two provinces of Quang Nam and Kong Tom. It's sometimes called the roof of Southern Vietnam.

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It's located along the banks of the Red River. It's the second largest city in the country. From 1954-1976 it was the capital of North Vietnam. I found a lake in the capital, which held a few things of interest. At first the lake was named Luc Thuy which means Green Water. Now it's called Hoan Kiem Lake. In the lake there are two interesting things. One is a bright red bridge, called the Huc bridge. It's name means Morning Sunlight Bridge. The bridge connects Jade Island to the shore. On jade Island there is a temple, which is called Temple of the Jade Mountain or Ngoc Son Temple. The temple was built in the 18th century to honor a 13th century military leader, Tran Hung Dao, a scholar, Van Xuong, and a Confucian leader, Nguyen Van Sieu.
The other interest is a Tower in the middle of the lake called Turtle Tower. According to a local Vietnamese legend the lake was named because an emperor Le Loi was boating on the lake with his sword, when a turtle grabbed the sword and disappeared. Loi assumed that the Golden Turtle God had taken it back, seeing as the Turlte God had given it to him in the first place. He renamed the lake to it's current name to commemorate this event. The tower has been linked to this legend.

I think this country is much more culturally rich than the other two I visited, only because of the ease to find a legend of a local place. The view from the mountain was very nice as well. I'd compare this view to the one of Taiwan's Jade Mountain.

Ngoc Linh Mt.

Ngoc Linh Mt.

Huc Bridge in Hoan Kiem Lake

Huc Bridge in Hoan Kiem Lake

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake

Posted by JPalmer15 11:42 Archived in Vietnam

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