Vietnam has a population of more than 80 million people, comprised of 54 different ethnic groups that possess historically rich cultural backgrounds and interesting folk arts. The country has more than 1,000 historical, cultural, and architectural sites which have been officially classified as “Heritage Sites”. Five of these sites have been recognized as world cultural heritage sites by UNESCO (United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organization), including Halong Bay, Phong Nha – Ke Bang National park , the ancient capital of Hue, the ancient town Hoi An, and My Son Holy Land. It will become clear from excursions to these sites that Vietnam is a country with a long-established history.
The Culture of Vietnam, an agricultural civilization based on the cultivation of wet rice, is one of the oldest in East Asia; the ancient Bronze age Dong Son culture is considered to be one of its most important progenitors. Due to the long-term Chinese influence on its civilization, in terms of politics, government and Confucian social and moral ethics, Vietnam is considered to be part of the East Asian Cultural Sphere.
Some elements generally considered to be characteristic of Vietnamese culture include ancestor veneration, respect for community and family values, handicrafts and manual labour, and devotion to study. Important symbols present in Vietnamese cultureinclude dragons, turtles, lotuses andbamboo.