Time Out Vietnam guide
Take a trip to the Asian country's capitals past and present 1 Comments
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Need to know
Fly to Hanoi via China with China Southern Airlines from Dhs2,296 return (www.flychinasouthern.com). For a faster option, try flying via Doha on Qatar Airways, from Dhs3,096 return (www.qatarairways.com).
Where to stay
Hanoi Backpackers Hostel
This new hostel on Ma May is squeaky-clean and brand new. It’s one of the most comfortable budget stays in the city and all rooms have air-con and hot water, unlike a lot of the other hostels in the city. For Dhs147 you can get a private double room; Dhs42 will get you a bed in a mixed dorm. www.hanoibackpackershostel.com
This great venue in Hue includes a buffet breakfast, DVD library, hairdryer, ironing board and all the facilities you’ll need, including a fresh white-sheeted king-sized bed, all for a very reasonable Dhs128
per room per night. www.orchidhotel.com.vn
The Nam Hai
This fantastically upmarket spot near Hoi An boasts spacious villas, several infinity pools and a golden stretch of beach. Expect to pay at least Dhs1,800 per room per night. www.thenamhai.com
History and geography
• Vietnam is home to 90.5 million people, making it the 13th most populated country in the world.
• Vietnamese people used to write in Chinese characters. It wasn’t until the 13th century that the country developed its own script, called chu nom.
• In 1859, Vietnam became part of French Indochina and was under their control until 1885.
• The country has historically been an agricultural hub that concentrates on cultivating wet rice.
• Politically, it is run by one party and calls itself a ‘unitary socialist republic’. The newest constitution was accepted in 1992.
• The nation has 58 provinces and five municipalities.
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