The origins of the Vietnamese people are a combination of the Mongol races of north and east Asia, with Chinese and Indian influences. The population is surpassed only by Indonesia as Southeast Asia’s most heavily populated country. However, Vietnam is the region’s most ethnically homogenous country with the Vietnamese making up about 90% of the population. 85% of Vietnam’s ethnic-minority population belongs to indigenous groups – the largest of which are Thai and Hmong – who have been settled in the mountainous regions of the country for many centuries. About 3% of the population is ethnic Chinese living in the urban centres of the South.
Area: 329,560 square km
Bordering Countries: China, Laos, Cambodia, South China Sea
Highest Point: Fan Si Pan at 10,315 ft. (3,144 m)
Lowest Point: South China Sea at 0m
General Terrain: low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest.
Climate: tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
Currency: dong (VND)