Not many would probably have this little country on their ‘to visit’ places. But, be prepared to get surprised with the amount of offerings this country has. Vietnam, a small country boasts of a treasure trove emblazoned with heroes contributing greatly to the victories against various powers at all times. Mythology states the first ruler to be Hung Vuong, the founder of the nation in 2879 BCE, whilst recent archaeological evidence suggests human habitation of northern Vietnam to have been around 500,000 years ago. The Bronze Age, famous for its drums, is said to have emerged around 3rd century BCE. China has been the longest ruling nation until a period of nationalistic expansion, a time when the Cambodians were pushed out of the southern area. The country has been battling the Chinese, Khmers and Champs. The French brought with them colonialism that made it difficult for the country to emerge until 20th century CE.
A Chronological peek into the history of Vietnam
Always an advantage to know the history of the place prior to making a visit, we have compiled for you in brief the scenario of the country at various times. Let us take a walk through the history of Vietnam to get as closer to understanding the country as it stands today.
The southern Vietnam was a part of Funan- Cambodian kingdom that was well known for its highly advanced art and architecture. An elaborate system of canals was built for irrigation and transportation of rice and the principal port was Oc-Eo in the Mekong Delta. Archaeological finds suggest of contact between Funan and China, Persia, Indonesia and Mediterranean. The late 2nd century CE saw the emergence of the Hindu kingdom, Champa that expanded southward. In a quest for expansion, they often found themselves at war with Vietnam in the north and Khmers in the south.
During the Chinese rule of the country, Vietnam was an important port between China and India. While the Chinese brought with them Confucianism, Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism, the Indians introduced Theravada Buddhism. Vietnam was exposed to new learning which greatly helped in the development of the country. The country gradually started expanding southwards. With a collapse of the Tang dynasty in China, the Vietnamese seized the opportunity and revolted against the Chinese rule in the country- the battle on the Bach Dang River ended the 1000 years of Chinese rule.
A century later, Vietnam saw the arrival of Portuguese who in the subsequent period, set up a commercial colony along with Japanese and Chinese. The French entered the picture in the early 19th century and within a span of 80 years, divided the country into three regions- China in the south, Annam in central region and Tonkin in the north. The French are credited with having unified Vietnam in 1887 and established a transport system of rail and road between north and south. Internal differences within the three regions were mounting, even during the beginning of World War II. The ousting of French out of power by Japan in 1946, exploited the weakened French influence which provoked an independence movement by Ho Chi Minh. The war ended with Ho Chi Minh’s followers seizing Hanoi, thus declaring a republic that ceased to exist with the arrival of French forces in 1946.
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was announced on September 2 1945, following Japan’s surrender, however, the arrival of Allied forced threw the country back to the French. Negotiations between the Democratic Vietnam and French turned out to be futile after which Viet Minh attacked French in Hanoi which led to an eight year war. The result was the historic defeat of the French in 1954.
The tumultuous period did not end here but went on to inviting a war that brought forth greater that lasted until 1975. Vietnam came to be split in two- Communist north and anti communist south that had US as an ally. Political struggle led to a prolonged war which at its peak in 1969 had around half million US troops stationed at South Vietnam. With Paris peace talks, US agreed to withdraw troops, however continued air and sea support until 27 January 1973 when a peace agreement was signed. As a swelling number of troops entered the south, it began a major offensive that led to the fall of Saigon on April 30th 1975. In the following year, on 25th April, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was renamed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Devastating natural disasters, war with Cambodia, trade embargoes etc. added to the struggles faced by Vietnam in years to come, however, the country managed to come out successfully and become one of the tourist attractions. Replete with nature, history and culture, Vietnam is becoming one of the most visited destinations in the world. Buffyfish arranges a trip to this wonderful place, providing you a closer glimpse of the country’s charm. We hope we have succeeded in enticing you into making a trip to Vietnam. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip with us for a slice of Vietnamese culture and a delightful experience.