There are 53 ethnic minorities in Vietnam according to the Vietnamese government (54 including the Vietnamese, which are known as the Kinh or Viet) . Other sources come up with different numbers depending on how groups and subgroups are distinguished and defined. Ethnic minorities make up between 10 to 15 percent of the population in Vietnam. Chinese (Hoa) comprise around two percent of Vietnam’s population (the percentage may have been higher before as many Chinese "boat people" fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1979. Among the ethnic groups found in Vietnam are the Hmong, Thai, Khmer, and Cham—which are all found elsewhere in Southeast Asia—and the Montagnards, a general term describing several indigenous groups that live in the Central Highlands. According to the 1999 census the Kinh (Viet, Vietnamese) made up 85.7 percent of the population followed by the Tay: 1.9 percent; Thai: 1.8 percent; Muong: 1.5 percent; Khmer: 1.5 percent; Mong 1.2 percent; Nung: 1.1 percent; others 5.3 percent (mostly Chinese).

Minority groupings in Vietnam include: 1) Tai-speaking groups; 2) the Hmong (Meo), Nung and Muong in the northern highlands; 3) Austronesian-speaking groups such as the Rhade and Jarai; and 4) Mon-Khmer (Austroasiatic)-speaking groups such as the Bahnar, Sedang, Stieng, Mning and Kattu in the southern highlands.

Most of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities live in remote, lightly populated mountain regions in northern, central and western Vietnam. Some are assimilated; others are not. The largest minorities in the north are the Tay (1.6 percent of the Vietnamese population), Muong (1.4 percent), Tai (1.2 percent), Nung (1 percent) and others (2.3) percent). The main minorities in the south are Chinese, Montagnard (1.5 percent), Khmer (1.2 percent) and Cham (0.1 percent).

The tribal people form about 10 percent of Vietnam’s population but live in more than 50 percent of the land area of Vietnam which is composed largely of the mountains. The 1979 census listed fifty-three minorities accounting for 12.7 percent (6.6 million persons) of the national population. This figure included the Hoa (Han Chinese), the single largest bloc— representing approximately 1.5 percent of the total population, or about 935,000 people— in the lowland urban centers of both the North and the South. Of the other minority groups, thirty, comprising 68 percent of the minority population (4.5 million persons), resided in the North, while the remaining twenty-two groups, comprising 32 percent of the minority population (2.1 million persons) lived in the South. The size of each community ranged from fewer than 1,000 to as many as 0.9 million persons, and 10 major groups comprised about 85 percent of the minority population. [Source: Library of Congress]

Hmong (Miao), Cham and Other Large Minorities: See Separate Articles Under the Hill Tribes and Famous Ethnic Groups Category Hill Tribes and Ethnic Groups

Main Sources: Encyclopedia of World Cultures, East and Southeast Asia edited by Paul Hockings (G.K. Hall & Company, 1993); Vietnamtourism. com,Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi; Exhibit "Vietnam: Journeys of Body, Mind and Spirit," American Museum of Natural History in March 2003; Laurel Kendall, a curator in the department of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History; Nguyen Van Huy, director of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology;

Characteristics of Minorities in Vietnam

The non-Chinese minority peoples of Vietnam are for the most part highlanders who live in relative independence and follow their own traditional customs and culture. They are classified as either sedentary or nomadic. The sedentary groups, the more numerous of the two kinds, are engaged mainly in the cultivation of wet rice and industrial crops; the nomadic groups, in slash- and-burn farming where forested land is cleared for a brief period of cultivation and then abandoned. Both groups inhabit the same four major areas: the northern Chinese border region and the uplands adjacent to the Red River Delta, the northwestern border region adjoining Laos and China, the Central Highlands and the area along the Giai Truong Son, and parts of the Mekong River Delta and the central coastal strip. These groups are notable for their diverse cultural characteristics. They are distinguished from one another not only by language but also by such other cultural features as architectural styles, colors and shapes of dress and personal ornaments, shapes of agricultural implements, religious practices, and systems of social organization. [Source: Library of Congress *]

The number and variety of languages used by Vietnam's minorities reflect the country's ethnic complexity. Minority groups are distinguished by more than a dozen distinct languages and numerous dialects; the origins and distribution of many of these languages have not yet been conclusively established. They can, however, be classified loosely into three major language families, which in turn can be divided into several subgroups. Eleven of the minority groups--Tay, Thai, Nung, Hmong, Muong, Cham, Khmer, Kohor, Ede, Bahnar, and Jarai--have their own writing systems. *

Religious practices among highland minorities tend to be rooted in animistic beliefs. Most worship a pantheon of spirits, but a large number are Catholics or Protestants. In contrast to the Mahayana Buddhist beliefs of the majority of Vietnamese, the Khmer practice Theravada (or Hinayana) Buddhism, and the Cham subscribe to both Islam and Hindu beliefs. *

Typical Northern Tribal Women and Their Life

Ta Thu Giang wrote in the Viet Nam News, Carrying a bamboo basket on her back braced by a wire tied round her forehead full of farming products, while hanging a three-month-old baby at the breast ,Hanhi ethnic minority woman LyXe Ho quickens her steps toward the local market, despite the path-way being nearly invisible due to dense fog in the highland commune of Y Ty in the northern mountain province of Lao Cai. After walking for about 3km, Ho reaches the fair at 5am. It may be early, but she is one of the latest traders to arrive. She quickly arranges her produce including beet, sweet tomato and vegetables on the ground and moves her newborn to her back before covering him with a piece of nylon. The baby still sleeps, he seems to be well acquainted with the cold weather and noise. The market opens every Saturday morning. It stretches across about 500 square meters, with only a fifth covered by roofing. It looks like a small street market in an urban area, with about 20 stalls displaying farming products and home essentials on the ground. Ho cannot speak Vietnamese, but it doesn’t matter to her as Kinh majority Vietnamese customers can barter and trade with her by sign language. [Source: Ta Thu Giang, Viet Nam News, March 12-25, 2010 +++]

"Speaking to the Viet Nam News through an interpreter, Ho says she works six days a week while waiting for the market."I can sell my products for money or exchange food for other goods. The market is the only place for me to meet and talk to people," says Ho. However, Ho says she is handicapped by not being able to speak Vietnamese. She has never travelled beyond her commune because she cannot understand what people are saying."That is why I try my best todo the domestic chores to en-sure my children can continue studying," says Ho. Ho, 29, married young and now has five children. The eldest is in 6th grade and the youngest is just three months old. Although she has given birth five times, she still looks young."Building a house is the most important thing in life. My husband and I have our own house. We have both girls and boys. That is enough," says Ho. +++

"Smiles seem to be the only way many Hanhi people can greet visitors, especially women, as most annot speak Vietnamese, but there are several people that can speak the majority Vietnamese language, including heads of the village or communal officials .Children are an exception. Ly Mo Xa, whose house is next to Ho’s, says he has two sisters. All are studying at local schools. "My parents said to me that I needed to learn words that would help me earn money more easily in the future. I don’t know how to earn money with such words but I obey my parents and believe what they say is right," says Xa."My teacher told me that we local children can study at a higher level until we cannot follow it. If we are talented, we would have the opportunity to go out of the commune to study in a big city."Through his teacher’s lesson, Xa says he can imagine cities full of light at night and cars and motor-bikes on the road, however, his parents believe that graduating from senior secondary school is enough for him."In my village, finishing high school study is a source of pride for a family," says Xa who is studying 8th grade at Y Ty Junior Secondary School. According to the head of the village, Sanbo Gio, all the children in the village go to school, and almost all of them have finished their grade. Xa wants to be a doctor in the future, treating local villagers. It is too soon to say if he can turn his dream into reality, but he has a dream that the older generation never would have considered. As for Ho, travelling beyond the commune is something incredible to imagine, but for Xa it will be a normal thing in the future, a future that promises brighter opportunities. +++

Typical Northern Tribal Village and House

Ta Thu Giang wrote in the Viet Nam News, "Seeing Ho’s home of Chon Then Village from a distance, it gives the impression that the houses are clustered together like colossal mushrooms. The village stands at more than 1,000m above the sea level and is home to 48 Hanhi households. They live on rice cultivation of burnt-over land or terraced fields. They are one of the few groups who have traditional experience in reclaiming land for terraced fields on mountain slopes, digging canals and building small dams. They use ploughs and harrows pulled by buffalo to work the fields. Their gardens are often close to their houses. Carrying a bamboo basket on her back braced by a wire tied round her forehead full of farming. [Source: Ta Thu Giang, Viet Nam News, March 12-25, 2010 +++]

"Like others in the village, Ho’s family lives in an earthen-walled house. It has no window, but the house is always cool in summer and warm in winter. The house’s wall is about 9 meters long and 8 meters wide, in between there are small stones. Each house measures some 65-80 square meters with a four-cornered roof covered with dry grass. There is a main door and one door inside, with the room housing a bed and an open kitchen. Deputy chairman of Y Ty Commune People’s Committee, Trang A Lu, says local residents always build houses on mountain sides near untouched forest. Rites for construction are simple but meaningful. After digging the foundation, the house owner throws three paddy grains into the foundation which represent the wish for a large family with many children and grandchildren, good animal husbandry and bumper crops. Animal husbandry and cloth-weaving are common. Most Hanhi can produce clothes for themselves. +++

"Lu says almost all Hanhi men know how to build earthen-walled houses and do carpentry. Walls are made of compacted soil so houses must be built in the dry season from September to January. Local residents always help each other build houses without charge. Lu recalls the day a year ago when he began building, many of the neighbours came to share the work. This traditional custom helps bring local villagers closer together."In the past, women always helped cut thatch to make roofing, while men cut trees to make the house frame. Nowadays, many local families use fibro-cement instead of thatch so the women help the owners by making a meal and cleaning the new house," says Lu. When the building is completed, the house owner usually invites neighbours to a party. If the houseowners are not in a position to invite the neighbours, they will only invite their relatives. +++

Origin of Vietnam’s Ethnic Minorities

Little is known about the history of ethnic minorities in Vietnam. It is widely believed that many of the groups—such as the Muong, Meo, Zao, Tay, Tho, Nung, Thai, Kmhu, Coong, Sila, La Hu and Bo Kho Pa—evolved from (more or less) a single cultural group and through cultural and geographic isolation they developed into distinct groups.

Scholars generally believe that some, like the Hmong (Meo), Zao, Nung, San Chay, Cao Lan, Giay, and Lolo, are descendants of the ancient migrants from southern China who settled in the northern border regions. Others, like the Tay, Muong, and Thai are believed to be related to the lowland natives of Malay stock who were forced into the highlands by successive invasions of Mongoloid peoples from China. Among these indigenous minorities are the Cham of central Vietnam, remnants of a kingdom that ruled the central coast of the country until overrun by the Vietnamese in the fifteenth century, and the Khmer, whose Cambodian forebears controlled the Mekong delta region until displaced in the late eighteenth century by the Vietnamese. The Khmer and the Cham are lowlanders of the south and are considered, along with the Tay, Muong, and Thai of the north, to be culturally more developed than other minority ethnic groups but less so than the Vietnamese. [Source: Library of Congress *]

According to the Encyclopedia of Sexuality: " Diverse cultural traditions, geographic variations, and historical events have created distinct traditional regions within the country. The general topographic dichotomy of highland and lowland regions also has ethnolinguistic significance: The lowlands generally have been occupied by ethnic Vietnamese, while the highlands have been home to numerous smaller ethnic groups that differ culturally and linguistically from the Vietnamese. The highland peoples can be divided into the northern ethnic groups, with affinities to peoples in southern China, and the southern highland populations, with ties to the Mon-Khmer and Austronesian peoples of Cambodia, Indonesia, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. [Source: Encyclopedia of Sexuality]

History of Minorities in Vietnam

Before the arrival of the French in the nineteenth century, the highland minorities lived in isolation from the lowland population. Upon the consolidation of French rule, however, contacts between the two groups increased. The French, interested in the uplands for plantation agriculture, permitted the highlanders their linguistic and cultural autonomy, and administered their areas separately from the rest of Vietnam. Conferring this special status gave the French a free hand in cultivating the largely unexploited highlands, where their administrators and Christian missionaries also set up schools, hospitals, and leprosariums. [Source: Library of Congress *]

Often, however, conflicts arose between the upland communities and the French, who were distrusted as exploitative, unwelcome interlopers. The French, however, eventually overcame the unrest and successfully developed some of the highland areas, especially those of the Ede and Jarai, where they established large rubber, coffee, and tea plantations. After the mid-1950s, North and South Vietnam dealt with the minorities differently. The Hanoi regime in the North, recognizing the traditional separatist attitudes of the tribal minorities, initiated a policy of accommodation by setting up two autonomous zones for the highlanders in return for their acceptance of Hanoi's political control. By offering limited self-government, Hanoi's leaders hoped that integration of the minorities into Vietnamese society could eventually be achieved. By contrast, the noncommunist Saigon administration in the South, under Ngo Dinh Diem, opted for direct, centralized control of the tribal minorities and incurred their enduring wrath by seizing ancestral tribal lands for the resettlement of displaced Catholic refugees from the North. *

After Diem's death in 1963, successive Saigon administrations granted a modicum of autonomy, but the strategic hamlet program, introduced in the South in the 1960s, caused further disruption by forcing highlanders to relocate to fortified enclaves. The program was proposed to improve the physical security of montagnards as well as to deny food and services to Viet Cong guerrillas, but it largely embittered its minority participants, who wanted to be left alone to continue living on their ancestral lands in the traditional manner. In an act of resistance, some tribal leaders gathered in 1964 to announce the formation of the Unified Front for the Struggle of Oppressed Races (Front Unifie pour la Lutte des Races Opprimees--FULRO), representing the Bahnar, Cham, Ede, Hre, Jarai, Mnong, Raglai, Sadang, Stieng, and other groups. *

Minorities During the Vietnam War

See Montagnards, Buon Enao Experiment, Hmong, Laos

Vietnamese Government Policy Towards Minorities

Theoretically the society is multiracial, but actually it is dominated by an ethnic Vietnamese elite. Vietnamese, who outnumber other ethnic groups, are overwhelmingly lowlanders; minority peoples, who are divided into nearly sixty groups of various sizes and backgrounds, are mostly highlanders. With the exception of the Chinese, or Hoa, who are mostly lowlanders, the minority peoples traditionally lived apart from one another and from the Vietnamese. In the 1980s, however, the distance between the highland and lowland communities gradually narrowed as a result of the government policy of population redistribution and political integration. [Source: Library of Congress]

Under this policy, lowlanders were sent to remote, uninhabited areas of the highlands both to relieve overcrowdingin the cities and in the congested Red River Delta-and to increase food production. Both aims were part of the government's effort to raise the standard of living, which in turn was linked to another urgent national priority--family planning. In 1987 the rate of population growth continued to outstrip food production. Given the people's traditional belief in large families, the government faced a major challenge in its attempt to reduce the annual rate of population growth to 1.7 percent or less by 1990. *

Under the Communists, tribunals were held for landowners and land was taken over by the state. Villages were organized into cooperatives that shared tools and used more advanced technologies than had been previously used. Groups were encouraged to breed animals and grow cash crops such as tea and coffee. Reforms introduced in the early 1980s gave local people more say in their own affairs and allowed them to sell surpluses once their quotas had been met. *

According to the U.S. Department of State: The government continued to address the causes of ethnic minority discontent through special programs to improve education and health facilities and expand road access and electrification of rural communities and villages. The government continued to allocate land to ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands through a special program, but there were valid complaints that implementation was uneven. [Source: 2011 Human Rights Reports: Vietnam, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor,U.S. Department of State; 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Report, May 24, 2012 ***]

The government maintained a program to conduct classes in some local ethnic minority languages in elementary and secondary schools. The government also worked with local officials to develop local language curricula, but it appeared to implement this program more comprehensively in the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta, and only in limited areas of the Northwest Highlands. The law provides for universal education for children regardless of religion or ethnicity, and ethnic minorities are not required to pay regular school fees. The government operated special schools for ethnic minority children, and there were 223 boarding schools for them in the Northwest and Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta, including at middle- and high-school levels plus special admission and preparatory programs as well as scholarships and preferential admissions at the university level. There were also a few government-subsidized technical and vocational schools for ethnic minorities. Nonetheless, there were some credible cases of discrimination against ethnic minorities. ***

The government broadcast radio and television programs in ethnic minority languages in some areas. The government also instructed ethnic-majority (Kinh) officials to learn the language of the locality in which they worked. Provincial governments continued initiatives designed to increase employment, reduce the income gap between ethnic minorities and ethnic Kinh, and make officials sensitive and receptive to ethnic minority culture and traditions. Nonetheless, local security officials detained Tang Thuy, an ethnic Khmer Krom minority group member from Soc Trang Province, for two days in March for questioning about his participation in a meeting that called for the government to respect the rights of all ethnic minorities. ***

The government granted preferential treatment to domestic and foreign companies that invested in highland areas populated predominantly by ethnic minorities. The government also maintained infrastructure development programs that targeted poor, largely ethnic-minority areas and established agricultural extension programs for remote rural areas. The National Assembly’s Ethnic Minority Council, along with provincial Ethnic Minority Steering Committees, supported infrastructure development and addressed some issues related to poverty reduction and an increase in literacy rates during the year. ***

Minorities After the Reunification of Vietnam in 1975

After 1975 a number of northern minority cadres were sent to the Central Highlands to lay the groundwork for socio-economic development. In 1977 a university was set up at Buon Me Thuot, capital of the Dac Lac Province, to train a corps of minority cadres. These tactics were designed to narrow the socioeconomic gap not only between the highlanders and the lowlanders but also among the minorities themselves. [Source: Library of Congress *]

In the mid-1980s, the party and media expressed satisfaction with the cadres' training and commended certain highland provinces for progress in agricultural cooperativization, noting that a growing number of slash-and-burn farmers had turned to sedentary farming and that further improvements in cultural and health facilities were planned. By 1986 about 43 percent of the estimated 2.2 million nomadic minority members were reported to have adopted a more sedentary life. There were also glowing claims that minorities were now full-fledged participants in national affairs, as was evidenced by their representation in the National Assembly and in other government and party organizations. *

A cursory examination reveals, however, that progress was spotty. The living conditions of highlanders continued to lag behind those of lowlanders. In remote areas, "backward customs and practices" remained unchanged, minority groups were insufficiently represented among cadres, and sorely needed resources for material improvements were lacking. Official claims that closer unity and greater harmony were being achieved in a multinational Vietnam were belied by the government's frequent admonishments against "narrow nationalism" (the parochialism of the minority groups) and against "big nationality prejudices" (the ingrained Vietnamese biases against minorities). To be sure, the number of minority cadres with either general or college- level education was growing, but in 1987 these cadres represented only a small portion of the functionaries serving in the highland provinces, districts, towns, and villages. In Dac Lac Province, 91 percent of the district-level cadres and 63 percent of the key village and lower level cadres had been transferred from other places, presumably from the North or the lowlands of the South. *

Under the government program of population redistribution, lowlanders continued to emigrate to the Central Highlands. In 1980 about 52 percent of the Central Highlands population consisted of ethnic Vietnamese. In 1985, as pressure mounted on the Vietnamese government to produce grain and industrial crops, a greater influx of ethnic Vietnamese was anticipated. By 1987 it seemed clear that minority groups were likely to remain unequal partners in the management of their local affairs, despite official protestations to the contrary, as increasing numbers of Vietnamese settled in the Central Highlands. *

The minority question remained an issue because of its implications not only for integration but also for internal security. In the mid-1980s, there were occasional official allusions to counterrevolutionary activities attributed to FULRO. Hanoi was quick to assert, however, that these rebel activities were blown out of proportion by the Western media. Nonetheless, the authorities were concerned about the northern border areas, where renegades of such groups as the Hmong, Zao, and Giay were said to have participated in China's anti-Vietnamese activities after 1979 as "special gangs of bandits." Official literature supported the construction of "a border cultural defense line to counter the multifaceted war of sabotage waged by the Chinese expansionists." *

Repression of Minorities in Vietnam

Ethnic minority activists also face arrest and imprisonment. In January the Lang Son provincial court sentenced blogger Vi Duc Hoi, an ethnic Tay, on charges of conducting propaganda against the state to eight years in prison, reduced to five years on appeal in April. In March land rights activist Chau Heng, a member of the Khmer Krom minority group, was sentenced to two years in prison in An Giang on charges of "destruction of property" and "causing public disorder." The People’s Court of Gia Lai imprisoned eight Montagnard Protestants in April to sentences between eight to twelve years for violating article 87 of the penal code, which outlaws "undermining unity policy." [Source: Human Rights Watch World Report 2012]

According to the U.S. Department of State: Although the government officially prohibits discrimination against ethnic minorities, longstanding societal discrimination against ethnic minorities persisted. Despite the country’s significant economic growth, some ethnic minority communities benefited little from improved economic conditions. In certain areas, including the Northwest and Central Highlands and portions of the Mekong Delta, ethnic minority groups made up the majority of the population. Some members of ethnic minority groups continued to leave for Cambodia and Thailand, reportedly to seek greater economic opportunity or shortcuts to migration to other countries. The government monitored certain highland minorities closely, particularly several ethnic groups in the Central and Northwest Highlands, where it continued to be concerned that the religion they practice encouraged ethnic minority separatism. [Source: 2011 Human Rights Reports: Vietnam, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor,U.S. Department of State; 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Report, May 24, 2012 ]

The government imposed increased security measures in the Central and Northwest Highlands in response to concerns over possible ethnic minority separatist activity. There were reports that ethnic minority individuals who telephoned ethnic minority community members abroad were a special target of police attention. Authorities arrested and convicted several individuals connected to overseas separatist organizations and sentenced them to lengthy prison terms in 2011. During the period around sensitive occasions and holidays, an increased security presence was reported throughout the region. There were a few reports that Vietnamese police operating on both sides of the border returned members of ethnic minorities seeking to enter Cambodia and sometimes beat and detained them. ***

In April 2004, 20,000 to 30,000 members of the Montagnard ethnic minority gathered to protest for the return of their ancestral lands in the Central Highlands and an end to religious repression. Human Rights Watch alleges that hundreds of demonstrators were wounded and at least 10 killed in a clash with Vietnamese officials and civilians. The Vietnamese government is concerned that the Montagnards are seeking an independent state. [Source: Library of Congress]

See Montagnards, Religious Repression

Minority Grouping in Vietnam

Minority groupings in Vietnam include: 1) Tai-speaking groups; 2) the Hmong (Meo), Nung and Muong in the northern highlands; 3) Austronesian-speaking groups such as the Rhade and Jarai; and 4) Mon-Khmer (Austroasiatic)-speaking groups such as the Bahnar, Sedang, Stieng, Mning and Kattu in the southern highlands.

54 different ethnic groups inhabiting Vietnam can divide eight different groups by the Vietnamese language: 1) The Viet - Muong Group includes 4 ethnic groups: Chut, Kinh, Muong, Tho. 2) The Tay - Thai Group includes 8 ethnic groups: Bo Y, Giay, Lao, Lu, Nung, San Chay, Tay, Thai. 3) The Mon - Khmer Group includes 21 ethnic groups: Ba Na, Brau, Bru-Van Kieu, Cho Ro, Co, Co Ho, Co Tu, Gie Trieng, Hre, Khang, Khmer, Kho Mu, Ma, Mang, M'nong, O Du, Ro Mam, Ta Oi, Xinh Mun, Xo Dang, Xtieng. 4) The Mong - Dao Group includes 3 groups: Dao, Mong, Pa Then. 5) The Kadai Group includes 4 ethnic groups: Co Lao, La Chi, La Ha, Pu Peo. 6) The Nam Dao Group includes 5 ethnic groups: Cham, Chu Ru, Ede, Gia Rai, Raglai. 8) The Han Group includes 3 ethnic groups: Hoa, Ngai, San Diu. 7) The Tang Group includes 6 ethnic groups: Cong, Ha Nhi, La Hu, Lo Lo, Phu La, Si La.

In the core of the history of national development, all these groups of people have been closely attached to one another in sharing the same tasks of fighting against foreign invaders, defending the country's territory, gaining the right to live and the right to national independence and self-determination. Each group of ethnic people have developed their own language and identity, thus making the Vietnamese culture, long known for its variety, a well blended combination of different cultures.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: Encyclopedia of World Cultures, East and Southeast Asia edited by Paul Hockings (G.K. Hall & Company, 1993); New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Vietnamtourism. com, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, CIA World Factbook, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, Fox News and various websites, books and other publications identified in the text.

Last updated May 2014

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