Vietnam 2003

Vietnam Border Map

In 2003, Vietnam was a Southeast Asian nation located on the eastern coast of the continent. It had a population of around 80 million people and its citizens enjoyed a high degree of freedom with many rights such as freedom of speech, expression, movement, assembly and association protected by law. According to computergees, Vietnam was a socialist republic with an elected president at its head. Its economy was based on manufacturing and agricultural activities as well as tourism. In terms of culture, Vietnamese were proud to uphold their traditional values while embracing modernity in many aspects of life. Music festivals featuring both traditional Vietnamese music styles like dan bau and cheo as well as contemporary international artists took place throughout the year. Vietnamese cuisine featured dishes like Pho and Banh Mi that were popular amongst locals and visitors alike. Sports such as badminton and volleyball were also popular in 2003 with fans regularly attending matches throughout the year to cheer on their favorite teams.

Yearbook 2003

Vietnam. According to, Vietnam Independence Day is September 2. A mass trial was held during the year in Hô Chi Minh City against 155 people, especially from the lower world of Vietnam. Among the defendants were the infamous Mafia leader Truong Văn Cam, aka Nam Cam, but also previously high ranking media, police, judiciary and the ruling Communist Party.

The trial began in February, and a month later the first judges fell. Nine former police officers were found guilty of bribery. They had received bribes to protect Nam Cam’s illegal gambling business. In June, Nam Cam and five other people were sentenced to death. for murder, bribery and illegal gambling. One of the convicted was later converted to life imprisonment. In December, two party officials were sentenced to prison for gross misconduct.

The regime received continued criticism for its way of dealing with dissimilar thinking. In January, the Communist Party decided to tighten control over the country’s religious groups. In April, Prime Minister Phan Văn Khai met the leader of the banned Buddhist community of Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), Thich Huyen Quang, who had been under house arrest for two decades. The meeting was seen by judges as an attempt to appease world opinion criticism of the regime’s way of treating religious dissidents. Several of UBCV’s monks are in prison for membership in the organization.

Vietnam is a relatively new oil producer, but in 2004 it was in 3rd place in Southeast Asia with an extraction of 400,000 barrels a day. The country is the world’s second largest rice exporter (after Thailand) and third largest exporter of cashew nuts and pepper respectively.

In Ho Chi Minh City, thousands in April 2005 participated in the official celebration of the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Prime Minister Phan Van Khai declared that the victory on April 30, 1975 “was forever written into the nation’s history”. At the same time, he acknowledged that the country faced many challenges, that it had to drop complacency over the past and instead look to the future. As part of the celebration, over 7,500 prisoners were released – including some political prisoners.

Phan Van Khai’s official visit to the United States in June – the first since the end of the war – was viewed in Vietnam as a very positive event, giving the country’s social and economic status a huge push forward.

In June 2006, Parliament launched an in-depth investigation into the corruption in several ministries – including bribery, nepotism and illegal gambling. The charges were particularly directed at Transport Minister Dao Dinh Binh. He had resigned from the ministerial post in April and had admitted corruption. Also in June, a number of aging leaders resigned from their posts. That included 72-year-old Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, 69-year-old President and Head of State Tran Duc Luong, and 68-year-old President of the National Assembly Nguyen Van An.

The country was admitted to the WTO in 2007 after eight years of negotiations.

New Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung transformed his government in August 2007, promising economic reforms that, in his words, would “end the bureaucracy and corruption”.

Economic growth fell to 3% in 2009. A dramatic drop from the year before when it was 26%. A sign that the global economic crisis also hit Vietnam. In 2010, growth reached 6.5%, but in return inflation exceeded 10% and the country’s currency alone was devalued three times that year.

In the elections to the National Assembly in May 2011, the Communist Party won 458 of Parliament’s 500 seats. Independent candidates got the remaining 42.

In July 2011, the National Assembly elected Truong Tan Sang as new president. He had been a member of the Communist Party’s executive committee since 1996. In July 2013, he met with President Obama for, among other things. to discuss bilateral trade between the two countries.

2012 was marked by tensions in the Communist Party between the president’s and the prime minister’s wing. The prime minister had to apologize publicly for poor management of the economy, which had led to high inflation and debt. In parallel, a critique and self-criticism campaign were carried out.

Despite restrictions on freedom of expression and a larger number of political prisoners, the country declared that it would seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in 2014-16.

The immensely popular General Vo Nguyen Giap died in the fall of 2013. After his victory over the French in 1953, the general had taken a special position in both the army and the Communist Party and at the same time gave him immunity when he occasionally criticized his party.

Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal visited Vietnam in March 2013.

Vietnam Border Map

Vietnam Brief Guide

According to AbbreviationFinder, Vietnam is one of the oldest countries in the world and the fastest growing economy in Asia. With a population of almost one hundred million, the state offers its visitors varied landscapes from the mountains of the north to the tropical beaches of the south, history and culture, the pulse of big cities, and a warm climate and long sandy beaches, not forgetting the unique and delicious food culture.

Starlight Tours offers complete Destination Services throughout Vietnam for those looking for a beach holiday as well as a cultural-historical trip. All our services and trips are individually tailored.

The biggest attractions

Saigon Vietnam’s largest city – a modern metropolis, colonial history and good shopping, as well as a diverse range of restaurants.
Hanoi The old French-style blocks of the Vietnamese capital exude history.
Hue The Imperial Capital is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hoi An Hoi An Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Halong Bay The rock formations in the area rise above the sea, creating stunning scenery that best opens up on a cruise.
Dalat A mountain town known as an upper class summer resort. The stunning scenery with its pine forests is worth seeing.
My Son Ancient Hindu temple complex near Danang.
Mekong River Delta Beautiful nature, floating markets and traditional way of life cruising on a slow flowing river.
Sapa A mountain town on the Chinese border amidst rugged landscapes and rice-growing terraces, it is one of Vietnam’s most culturally diverse areas with many minority nationalities.


Vietnam’s best beach resorts are located on the islands of Con Dao and Phu Quoc, as well as around Da Nang, Quy Nhon and Hoin An on the central coast of the country. The beaches of Nha Trang and Phan Tiet / Mui Ne, also known as mass tourist destinations, are also magnificent in places, albeit quite full in high season.

The best time to travel

From February to April and August to October, the central parts of the country are dry and sunny even during the summer months, when there is a rainy season in the north and south. During Christmas and New Year, the southernmost part of the country – especially the islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao – enjoy the sun as the rest of Vietnam is covered in monsoon clouds.

Combinations with other items

The tour of Vietnam can be conveniently connected to the temple area of ​​neighboring Cambodia, especially the city of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, with good and fast air connections from major cities in Vietnam. A trip to Vietnam can also be combined with a visit to Taiwan, Laos, or even the Philippines. Both outbound and return flights can also be added to a stop at a major Asian city, such as Hong Kong. We always tailor the itinerary with flights to each customer.

Recommended hotels

Our selection covers hundreds of hotels in Vietnam. We especially recommend high-quality and individual boutique hotels, top-class luxury hotels and resorts, as well as historic hotels, and we strive to avoid resorts used by package travel agencies and large groups. Below are our favorites by destination:

Saigon The Rex Hotel
Hanoi Sofitel Metropole
Hue La Recidence
Hoi An Ta Nam Hai
Halong Bay Paradise Cruises
Do Nang Intercontinental Sun Peninsula
Con Dao Six Senses Con Dao
Phu Quoc Salinda Resort
Nha Trang Six Senses Ning Van Bay
Mui Ne Anantara Mui Ne Resort
Ho Tram The Sanctuary
Quy Nhon Avani Resort