As many of you may know, I'm currently taking a 3 week soujourn around Vietnam to visit some friends, follow the Vietnam war trail and well, generally drink cheap beer, eat amazing and exotic food, dive in some of the most spectacular waters on the planet, get a killer (lobster-like) tan and escape the grim realities of freezing and miserable Jan/Feb London life before heading back to the digital marketing/social media world of geekdom that I inhabit these days. What I've decided to do, rather that limit my experiences to the comfort of my own mind, is to document my travels on a (semi) regular basis through a new blogging platform called Posturous that I thought I'd try out... I'll try my best to upload photos and input general blog entries at http://tekkedup.posterous.com/ for you all to read if your interested. To start, I thought I'd provide you with a background on Vietnam:
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu was one of most elegant women of the 20th century.In the 1950s and 1960s,she was first lady of South Vietnam. She was born in 1924 in Hanoi,Vietnam.In fact, she was compared with ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (former first lady of the United States), Dewi Sukarno (ex-first lady of Indonesia), Grace Kelly ( former princess of Monaco) and Eva Duarte de Peron (former first lady of Argentina).In the 1960s, Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu popularized the traditional Vietnamese "ao dai" (long dress). She currently resides in France, where she is writing her autobiography.She speaks fluent English, Vietnamese and French.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam is the home to Historic City of Hue-one of the ancient wonders of the world. During the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), Hue was the capital of Vietnam. More than 10 palaces in Hue provide some of the best remaining examples of Vietnamese architecture in Asia. It is the monument that best symbolizes Vietnam. Hue has been recognised as a World Cultural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Hieu Ngan Tran is one of the Vietnam´s best known and well-loved athletes. She is a taekwondo athlete who competed in the women´s featherweight category at the 2000 Olympic Games and won the silver medal. The silver medal for Vietnam was the first ever won by that country in Olympic competition.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam is famous for its hospitality, and the average visitor will have no difficulty in adapting to local traditions.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The Vietnamese film industry has been honoured at film festival and award ceremonies around the world. The prizes attained include the Golden Lion for best film awarded by the Venice International Film to Anh Hung Tran´s Cyclo (1995) ; the Jury Prize awarded by the Sundance Film Festival to Tony Bui´s Three Seasons (1999); and the Grand Jury Prize awarded by the Pusan International Film Festival to Luu Hynh´s The White Silk Dress Press (1999).
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Madame Nguyen Thi Binh became the first female vice president of Vietnam in 1992. She became head of the Vietnamese women´s movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Like its Thai cousin, Vietnam is world-famous for its traditional cuisine. At Paris´s top restaurants, visitors can savor the true taste of Vietnamese cuisine.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam has long been famous for its magnificent temples and palaces.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Third World.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The development of traditional Vietnamese sports is vital to the preservation of Vietnamese culture. Takraw, or kick volleyball, is a traditional sport in Vietnam. In this sport, a ball is passed from player to player by hitting it with the head and feet. Takraw also is widely played in Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The bio-diversity of Vietnam is one of its greatest riches.The country has six world´s biosphere reserves: Can Gio Mangrove Forest, Cat Ba, Cat Tien, Kien Giang, Red River Delta, and Western Nghe An.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The United States of America recognizes Vietnam as an independent country since 1995. In 1996, president Bill Clinton appointed Douglas Peterson to serve as United States ambassador to Vietnam.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam is world-famous for its animal wildlife. This wildlife -which includes elephants, buffaloes, tigers, monkeys, rhinoceroses, snakes and turtles- attracts thousands of tourists to Vietnam each year.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam maintains diplomatic relations with 140 countries in the world, including France, China, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Canada, South Korea, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Russia and Malaysia.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Ha Long Bay is generally considered to be the most beautiful scenery in the whole of Vietnam. It consist of 1,969 islands and islets situated in the Gulf of Tonkin. This zone is known for its spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. It is one of the most popular spots in Asia. Ha Long Bay has been recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam joined the United Nations in 1977.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. It is the most important economic, industrial and cultural center in the country.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The best-known Vietnamese works of art the thousands of pagodas found throughout the country.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The education has received increased emphasis in Vietnam since the country became independent in 1976. Certainly, Vietnam has greatly increased the number of schools in response to demands for educational opportunities by the people.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...In 2000, Bill Clinton,who was president of the United States (1993-2001), was given a hero´s welcome in Vietnam as he became the first American president to visit the Asian country.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The "ao dai" is the most popular national costume in Vietnam.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam is one of the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Hanoi is well known for its famous restaurants. Some of the restaurants are built along the Red river to provide diners with a riverside view of Hanoi´s sunset.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam hosted delegates from 21 contries at the 2006 APEC Summit.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a World Heritage Site in Vietnam.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...AmeliaVega, Miss Universe 2003,went to Hanoi to attend the 2003 Miss Vietnam pageant.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam competed at the modern Olympic Games for the first time at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The 11th Taekwondo World Championship was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in June 2001.
DID YOU KNOW THAT....Like Carlos Noriega (Peru), Abdul Ahad Mohmad (Afghanistan), Jugdermedidiyn Gurragcha (Mongolia) and Salman al-Saud (Saudi Arabia), Pham Tuan was one of the best astronauts in the Third World. He was the first Vietnamese astronaut and the first Asian in space. Pham Tuan flew aboard the shuttle Soyuz-37 in July 1980. He was in space for more than 7 days. Pham Tuan was given a hero´s welcome when he returned to country after completing its historic orbital space flight.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam is one of the best-watered areas in Southeast Asia. Five main rivers flow eastward across the country. They are Mekong, Red Can, Srepok and Black.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Hanoi hosted the Fifth Asia-Europe Summit Meeting (ASEM) in 2004.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam has rich mineral deposits (oil, coal, gas, manganese, bauxite and phosphates), large forests, and good farm.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The Scent of Green Papaya was the first great Vietnamese movie of the 20th century. This film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Category at the 1993 Academy Awards. The movie enjoyed the highest-grossing opening in Vietnam film history.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam has eight idols:Anh Hung Tran (film director), Pham Tuan (astronaut), Thuy Tran (modeling agent), Nguyen Thi Phoung (ecologist), Hieu Ngan Tan (sportswoman), Madame Ngo Dinh Nho (former first lady of Vietnam), Tony Bui (film maker) and Nguyen Thi Binh (vice president of Vietnam).
DID YOU KNOW THAT...More than 20 million people in Vietnam ride a bicycle.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam has an area about 1 per cent as large as that of the United States.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Le Duc Tho was a diplomat who always worked for a unified Vietnam. He was born on October 14, 1911, in Phan Dinh Khai,Vietnam. Certainly, Le Duc Tho worked with Henry Kissinger (secretary of state of the United States) to end Vietnam war, and in 1973 the two men were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The award citation said, "On January 23 of this year a ceasefire agreement was concluded between the United States and the Vietnamese Democratic Republic.At its meeting on October 16 the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting decided to award the Peace Prize for the 1973 to Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the two chief negotiators who succeeded in arranging the ceasefire after negotiating for nearly four years..."
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam has been chosen to host the 2008 Miss Universe. Vietnam won the right to host the 2008 Miss Universe by one vote over Japan.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...President George W.Bush became the first U.S. president to visit Vietnam in the 21st century.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam is about 8 times the size of Switzerland.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam competed at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha,Qatar. It finished 19th in the medal count, with 23 (3 gold), trailing China, South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Iran, Uzbekistan, India, Qatar, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, Hong Kong, North Korea, Kuwait and Philippines.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...Vietnam is famous for its beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean: Bai Chay, Tran Phu, Nha Trang,China Beach,Mui Ne Beach,Hon Chong Beach and Bai Tam.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...The 7th Summit of the Francophonie was held in Hanoi,Vietnam