Vietnam 2002

Vietnam in 2002 was a sovereign state with Tran Duc Luong as its President. It was located in the Southeast Asia and the population of Vietnam at that time was approximately 79 million people and its official language was Vietnamese. The country had a communist system of government with an elected president as its head since 1976. The economy of Vietnam relied mostly on agrarian exports, but it also had a large industrial sector. Education was free for all citizens up to secondary school level and the literacy rate was estimated to be around 90%. Healthcare services were provided by the government at no cost for all citizens but many suffered from diseases such as malaria due to poor sanitation practices and lack of access to clean water sources. In 2002, Vietnam had made some progress in terms of economic development but still had high levels of poverty compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. According to computerannals, the country also had a very open foreign policy, which saw it joining many international organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and United Nations, while maintaining strong relations with both Western and non-Western countries.

Yearbook 2002

Vietnam. According to Countryaah website, national day of Vietnam is every September 2. The Communist Party continued to hold a firm grip on Vietnamese politics, which became clear when new members of the country’s highest political body, Parliament Quôc hôi, were elected on May 19. No opposition parties were allowed to stand in the elections, and the Communists won all of the 498 seats except 51 who went to independent candidates approved by the party.

Two months later, incumbent President Trân Đu迂c Lu迂o迂ng was re-elected by Parliament for another five-year term. Prime Minister Phan Văn Kai also had to keep his post. When the government was later presented, the most attention was paid to the resignation of Security Minister Le Minh Hu迂o迂ng as a result of a corruption scandal surrounding a mafia boss.

The country’s economy was affected by the general economic downturn in the world and growth slowed slightly during the year. However, since the beginning of the 1990s, Vietnam’s economic growth has been around 7-8% per year with the exception of 1997 and 1998, when the Asian financial crisis hit the entire region.

An agreement was concluded during the year between the parties to the conflict over the oil-rich Spratly Islands. The agreement meant that the parties would not perform any action that could aggravate the situation. In May, Russia formally returned its fleet base in the Gulf of Cam Rhan to Vietnam. The base was used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was the largest military base outside the Warsaw Pact.

During the year, Vietnam received criticism from human rights groups for dealing with a group of members of a Christian minority people in the mountains along the border with Cambodia. The group had moved to Cambodia from Vietnam, where they considered themselves persecuted and discriminated against for ethnic and religious reasons. Since the UN agency UNHCR gave up its attempts to return the refugees to Vietnam, the dispute was resolved by giving the refugees asylum in the US.

Vietnam Border Countries Map


The economy is showing positive signs

1 October

After a downturn during the corona pandemic, economic growth will increase again in the third quarter of 2020. It is a growing export that is leading the rise. The Vietnamese economy is considered to have coped with the crisis during the pandemic relatively well compared to many other countries. One reason is that the country gained control of the spread of infection quite early. Vietnam has had 1,077 confirmed corona cases and 35 covid-19 deaths. The societal spread of the coronavirus has not been noted for almost a month.


Long prison sentences for explosives

September 22

Twenty people, including a father and his son, were sentenced to prison for a bombing of a police station in Ho Chi Minh City in June 2018. The attack, in which two policemen and a chef were injured, was, according to authorities, organized by “terrorists” with links to the anti-regime Canadian-based Vietnamese group Trieu Dai Viet. The man described as the mastermind behind the attack is sentenced to 24 years in prison and his son to three years in prison. Another 18 accomplices will serve between two and 18 years in prison. The bombing was carried out in connection with extensive demonstrations around Vietnam against a bill on special economic zones that investors could lease for 99 years. The protesters feared that Chinese investors would take over the zones.

Foreign flights back in the air

September 15

Vietnam resumes flights to four destinations in Asia: Guangzhou in southern China, Tokyo in Japan, Seoul in South Korea and Taipei in Taiwan. On September 22, flights to and from Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Vientiane in Laos will resume. It has now been two weeks without new confirmed corona falls in Vietnam after the local eruption in Danang (see July 2020), which prompted the authorities to resume certain restrictions. Everyone who flies to Vietnam must be tested for the coronavirus, both on departure to another country and on arrival. Vietnam has attracted international attention for its successful fight against the corona pandemic. The country has had 1,063 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 35 covid-19 deaths. The success is attributed to effective infection tracking.

Land conflict leads to death sentences

September 14

Two brothers are sentenced to death for “murder of three police officers” in connection with a protracted land conflict that degenerates into violence. An elderly civilian man is also killed in the violence. The land conflict has been going on for years in a community outside Hanoi, where residents have accused the military of seizing land to build an airport. When authorities in January tried to erect a fence around the disputed site, residents used violence with “grenades, petrol bombs and knives”, according to the Ministry of Public Security. According to the residents, the killed man was the leader of the opposition to the construction and is said to have been killed in his sleep by the authorities. It is the dead man’s two sons who have now been sentenced to death for the murder of three policemen. Another 27 people are sentenced to various sentences, from 15 months probation to life for involvement in the violence.Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticizes the judges for being too harsh and the trial for “speeding up”.

Vietnamese convicted of human trafficking tragedy

September 14

Four people have been sentenced to prison in Vietnam for their roles in the tragedy when 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated truck outside London in the UK in 2019, Vietnamese state media report (see October 2019). The convicts are between 26 and 36 years old and have received prison sentences of between 2.5 and 7.5 years. The convicts have been found guilty of having organized illegal emigration. Three other Vietnamese are reported to have been sentenced to probation for involvement in human trafficking. The migrants died trapped in the vehicle due to heat and lack of oxygen. A number of people in the UK, France and Belgium have been charged with involvement in human trafficking, including the truck driver who pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Vietnam Country Overview

According to information received on March 9, 2020, due to the coronavirus epidemic, Finnish citizens can no longer stay in Vietnam without a visa for 15 days. For the time being, Finnish citizens must apply for a visa in advance. More information from the Embassy of Finland in Vietnam The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry.

Visa fees and policies are subject to change without notice depending on local authorities.

Everyone participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well. In many locations, the insurance must also be valid when moving at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, in which case it also covers mountain sickness.

Many hiking or diving trips require more extensive insurance, which covers, for example, diving or moving on a glacier. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Mandatory vaccinations are not required for admission. Please check that the basic vaccinations according to the national vaccination program are valid. In addition, at least hepatitis A vaccination is recommended. Always check vaccination requirements at your health center or tourist clinic vaccination advice or Tourist Health Guide .

The Vietnamese currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), which can be exchanged in Finland before the trip. The travel currency to be included is also the euro and the American dollar, which serves as a payment currency in several places. Euros are also accepted at exchange offices and banks. Money can be withdrawn with Visa and Mastercard. ATMs are well available, especially in larger cities.

Currency can be obtained from Finland by booking in advance. Check availability and course at

Time zone
Vietnam GMT +7, time difference between Finnish winter time +5 hours and summer time +4 hours.

Electric current
The electric current is 220V, but 110V electric current may also occur.

Power outages are relatively common.

Mobile phones
Check coverage with your operator. Vietnam Area Code +84.

The area has a subtropical climate with hot and dry seasons (March-May), rainy season (June-October) and cool season (November-February). In the southern parts the temperature stays between 25-35 degrees all year round, in the northern part it is again much cooler, the average temperature is between 20-30 degrees during the day and 10 degrees at night.

Seasons Monsoon rains run from September to October, when it’s not the best time to travel. In November the air is pleasant and the beach sands at their best. It rains somewhat from May to August, but usually the deaf are short.

fee No exit fees are charged in Vietnam.

culture The sole of the shoe must not point to another person or in any case, for example, to a religious statue. The finger should never point at anything, not even direction. Stay calm and talk calmly even when things are not going well. Losing a malt is a loss of face and means a decline in value. Touching the head of a small child is not desirable. The statues of the gods are sacred, they should be treated accordingly. Also, the praying person should be respected and not the noise of filming around. Respect local customs and culture.

Food and drink

The most important ingredients in Vietnamese cuisine are herbs, fruits and vegetables. The food is often very fresh and mildly seasoned. Typical ingredients are e.g. rice, fish sauce, soy sauce, shrimp paste, various salads and green leaves. A variety of seafood is eaten in abundance, especially in beach resorts. Food is also usually low in fat. The country’s most famous dishes include pho noodle soup and spring rolls wrapped in rice paper, which are usually eaten fresh instead of deep-frying. Vietnamese coffee culture and delicious, stuffed baguettes also show the influence of the French colonial era. Popular drinks include jasmine tea, dark iced coffee, sugar cane juice and various ice creams.

Tap water is not drinkable even in large cities. Take special care with water and drink only bottled water. Unwashed fruits and unheated vegetables should be avoided.

We stay in safe areas during our trip. However, general caution within common sense is desirable throughout the journey.

Prepare carefully and pack lightly
Each pound of less luggage reduces the fuel consumption of the vehicle. For more passengers, this can have a significant impact. For personal hygiene, you should pack travel sizes or sample packs that not only save space but also weight. For these, however, it is a good idea to consider the potential amount of waste generated. Depending on the destination, it is also important to take into account the local water situation – if necessary, it is advisable to favor, for example, hair products that do not require rinsing.

Travel documents and electronic reading save space and weight. For charging electronic devices, backup power sources based on a solar cell, for example, are available. For example, footwear often takes up a lot of space in a suitcase and easily accumulates the weight of the bag. Think about what equipment you really need for the trip and leave the extra items at home.