Full country name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Area: 329,566 sq km (128,527 sq mi)

Population: 85 million

Capital city:Ha Noi (pop approx. 4 million)

Currency: Viet Nam Dong (VND)

People:  84% ethnic Vietnamese, 2% ethnic Chinese. Also Khmers, Chams and members of over 50 ethno linguistic groups.

Language: Vietnamese, Russian, French, Chinese, English and a variety of Khmer and Laotian dialects

Religion: Buddhism is the principal religion but there are also sizeable Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Caodaists, Muslim and Christian minorities

Government: Communist People's Republic

President::  Nguyên Minh Triêt (from 2006)

Prime Minister:: Nguyên Tân Dzung (from 2006)

Average Temperatures

Saigon: January 26° C 79° F; July 27° C 81° F; Ha Noi: January 17° C 62° F; July 29° C 84° F

Time Zone: GMT/UTC +7

Geography: Viet Nam borders Cambodia, Laos and China and stretches over 1600km (1000mi) along the eastern coast of the Indochinese Peninsula. Three-quarters of the country is mountainous and hilly; the highest peak, at 3143m (10,310ft), is Mount Fansipan in the northwest