Name: Vietnam; (long form) Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Capital City: Hanoi (1.7 million)
Currency: Dong (VND)
Languages: Vietnamese (official), English, French, Chinese, Khmer, others
Religions: none (80%), Buddhist (9.3%), others
Land Areas: 127,243 sq miles (329,560 sq km)
Land Divisions: 59 provinces and 5 municipalities; provinces include: An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dac Lak, Dac Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Hai Duong, Ha Nam, Ha Tay, Ha Tinh, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc and Yen Bai; municipalities include: Can Tho, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh
Vietnam is in both the eastern and northern hemispheres. It's positioned in Southeast Asia, a recognized geographical region of the Asian continent. The country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Tonkin, Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea, and the countries of China, Laos and Cambodia.
At the end of World War II Vietnam declared its independence, however, France continued its control until soundly defeated by Ho Chi Minh's Communist forces in 1954.
Shortly thereafter, based on the Geneva Accord, Vietnam was divided into two parts; the Communist North and the anti-Communist South.
In March, 1965, the first American troops landed in South Vietnam, and the bloody conflict called the Vietnam War began.
After tens of thousands died on both sides, and billions in military expenditures, this sad, tragic war finally ended on April 30, 1975.
Two years later the remains of the South's army fell, and Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City, and North and South joined together as one.