Your guide to being an expatriate in Vietnam

Caffeinate Your Vietnam Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is a country located in Southeast Asia. Bordered by China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and the East Sea to the east and southeast, Vietnam is home to a diverse blend of cultures and traditions. With a vibrant economy, a rapidly growing middle class, and a rapidly expanding service sector, Vietnam has emerged as a regional and global player in various fields.


Expat destinations in Vietnam

Demographics of Vietnam:

Ethnic groups

Hoa: 1.8%

Kinh: 86%

Nung: 1.5%

Taye: 1.9%

San Chay: 0.9%


Vietnamese: 100%

Religion Overview

Vietnam is predominantly Buddhist, with Taosim and Confucianism also holding significant cultural weight. Catholicism and other forms of Christianity are practiced by a growing minority, while Islam, Hinduism, and animism are lesser-known religious traditions in Vietnam.

Major Religions


Vietnam's climate is primarily tropical, with annual rainfall varying greatly depending on location. In the north, all four seasons are evident, while the central and southern regions have distinct rainy and dry seasons.

Economy Overview

Vietnam has experienced exceptional economic growth in recent decades, with a GDP rate of approximately 7% each year between 2011 and 2018. The country is transitioning from a primarily agricultural and low-wage economy to a more diversified and service-oriented one. Real estate, IT, and finance are particularly prosperous industries, while major multinational firms such as Intel, Nokia, and Samsung have established a presence in Vietnam.

Key Industries

  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate
  • IT
  • Finance
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism

Major Companies

  • VietTel
  • MobileWorld
  • FPT Corporation
  • Samsung Electronics Vietnam
  • Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN)
  • Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation (Sabeco)
  • PetroVietnam

Culture and Language Overview

Vietnam has a rich cultural melting pot, blending elements of Chinese, Indian, and Southeast Asian traditions. Food, art, festivals, music, and fashion are all integral aspects of Vietnamese culture. The classical language is Vietnamese, but French and English are strongly represented in urban centers.

Cultural Highlights

  • Discover the vibrant street food culture
  • Explore traditional crafts such as conical hats, lacquerware, and embroidery
  • Experience colorful festivals like Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year) or Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Listen to both traditional and modern Vietnamese music
  • Revel in the abundance of street markets and fashion hubs

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Vietnam spans a total area of approximately 331,210 square kilometers and encompasses a diverse and captivating geography. The country boasts breathtaking landscapes, coastal cities, and lush jungles. Natural landmarks like Ha Long Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and Dalat's pine forests highlight its beauty.

Notable Landmarks

  • Ha Long Bay
  • Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
  • Dalat's pine forests
  • Mekong Delta
  • Sapa's terraced rice fields
  • Hoi An's Ancient Town
  • The Perfume Pagoda

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese Lunar New Year; varies between January and February)
  • Reunification Day (April 30)
  • International Labor Day (May 1)
  • National Day (September 2)
  • Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival; August/September)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Buddha's Birthday (April 15)
  • Liberation Day (April 30)
  • Memorial Day (May 19)
  • Confucius' Birthday (September 28)

Political Stability

Vietnam is a one-party socialist state with a National Assembly that is elected every five years. Its political system is stable, due partially to a pervasive propaganda system that emphasizes patriotism and traditional values. However, there are still concerns regarding government transparency, freedom of speech, and civil liberties.

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