1Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
The first Catholic Church Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica in Vietnam was built on a Vietnamese pagoda, which was abandoned during the French conquest of Cochinchina and Saigon.
2. The largest cave in the world is Hang Sơn Đoòng in Vietnam and it's so big that it has its own river, jungle, and climate.
3. In 2016, the iconic Vietnamese "Napalm Girl" named Phan Thị Kim Phúc received over 50 laser treatments on her "4th degree" burns that greatly reduced her pain and softened her skin after 45 years of suffering. The treatment was provided free-of-charge.
4. Former Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Cao Ty moved to Orange County, California after the war, where he opened and ran a liquor store.
5. Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, the executioner from the famous Vietnam War photo, opened a pizza joint in Virginia after the war.
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6Ngo Dinh Diem
Vietnamese politician Ngo Dinh Diem won South Vietnam election in 1955. In the capital Saigon, he got 130% of the votes.
7. An ancient Vietnamese prince named Lang Liêu won his country's throne because he made fantastic rice cakes.
8. In Vietnam, marriage applicants must acquire a Certificate of Good Mental Health from a doctor, proving that they are "mentally sound for marriage", before being allowed to marry.
9. Between 1,000,000 and 2,500,000 South Vietnamese were sent to re-education camps after the fall of Saigon.
10. As many as 1 million Vietnamese people are disabled or have health problems as a result of U.S. use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Nearly 20 million gallons of various herbicides and defoliants were sprayed over Vietnam between 1962 and 1971 by the U.S. military.
Vietnam has a female abduction problem. Chinese one-child policy led to an imbalance as parents preferred boys over girls. There are no girls for the boys to marry and this has caused a kidnapping industry where girls are abducted from neighboring Vietnam for Chinese boys to marry or for prostitution.
12. The Vietnamese once repelled a Mongol naval invasion of approximately 400 ships by filling a river with iron-tipped spikes and then luring the ships in at high tide. The fleet was trapped at low tide and overwhelmed by a Vietnamese ambush.
13. The famous Vietnam execution photograph taken by Eddie Adams (a soldier pointing a pistol at what appears to be a civilian victim) is actually the execution of a murderer by a police/security officer.
14. During the My Lai Massacre, a company of American soldiers killed over 500 civilians of My Lai on March 16, 1968. The incident was covered up for over a year and only one man was convicted.
15. There is a Vietnamese religion named Caodism that worships Joan of Arc, Shakespeare, and Muhammad. At least 4 million followers exist in Vietnam alone.
16Cobra blood wine
In Vietnam, it is possible to order a cobra blood wine from restaurant menus. The waiter will take a live cobra, kill it on the spot, drain the blood into a shot glass of rice wine, and top it off with the cobra's still beating heart for you to gulp down.
17. The Vietnam War lasted for 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day resulting in the deaths of 847,000–2,500,000 civilians, and 1,484,000–3,886,026 soldiers.
18. A 'liquid landmine' was invented during the Vietnam War which was poured on the ground to form a mine, and best of all, it self-deactivated in 4 days, keeping kids safe from unfound mines.
19. During the Vietnam War, Quang Tri natives moved their village into underground tunnels (Vịnh Mốc tunnels) 30 meters deep to escape US air strikes. The tunnels included 3 levels and were used for 6 years.
20. Vietnam is building its first 2 metro systems: one in Hanoi (capital) with Chinese funding/money and the other in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) with Japanese expertise. Hanoi's is progressing more quickly but has had multiple accidents, one deadly. HCM City's has had more delays but no accidents.
A Vietnamese ex-pat named Toan Trinh escaped before the fall of Saigon. He went on to have over 125 patents which included a variety of fabric and home-care products, which now include Bounce, Febreze and Downey Premium Care.
22. In Vietnam, phở is primarily a breakfast dish.