Calculated up to 2017, over sixty percent of Vietnam’s total population is living in rural areas. With a background is an agriculture-producing country, the countryside plays an important role during Vietnam’s progression to many aspects. Here is the place preserving and maintaining characteristic values throughout generations, which attract foreigners to visit and explore the authentic local life with a charming slow-paced and idyllic vibe.
Vietnam Life in The Countryside
1. Locals in Vietnamese Countrysides
People in Vietnam’s countryside come from many different ethnic groups. They mainly live in rural areas in the lowlands, remote areas in mountainous regions, and coastline areas. Depending on native natural condition in each region, each group has own language, culture, and lifestyle. With the larger land area than urban regions, people in the countryside live in a quieter and more peaceful daily life.
Nowadays, locals in the countryside are mainly elder and children. Young people and adults mainly study, live, and work in big cities. The majority of them decided to settle down in urban areas instead of coming back to their hometown. National holidays are the time for them to visiting their families in the countryside, hence you can see big cities in Vietnam with a much more tranquil atmosphere than usual at these times.
2. Special Traditional Customs in Vietnamese Countrysides
High Sense of Neighborhood
Living together in small communities in villages with a slow-paced but open daily life, people in the countryside could interact with each other every day and everywhere. They meet and talk about everything they know, they care and they wonder how the other's life’s happening too. Therefore, they could help each other easily in case of difficulties or trouble. Rural citizens are simple, amiable, and always willing to give a hand towards others. Daily communication has contributed to a very close-knit neighborhood among people in rural areas.
The close relationship among members in big families
Different from families in urban areas, which are generally individual families with parents and kids, families in Vietnam’s countryside are big communities with a close relationship among members connected by blood or marriage. Relative’s interconnection is maintained throughout generations, which is more characterized on many special occasions such as weddings, ceremonies, death memorial, traditional festivals, or national holidays. They notice those events are very meaningful times for family reunions, after a long time studying, living, and working far away from home.
Belief in ancestors, religion, and supernatural factors
As Vietnamese, people in Vietnam’s countryside also have a strong belief in ancestors and religion. To ethnic minorities in remote areas, they also do believe in nature or supernatural factors like heaven, fire, lightning, waters, mountains, etc. Ancestors worship is well-maintained on specific dates in the lunar calendar, especially in Lunar New Year Eve. People often go to pagodas and temples, particularly in festivals or Tet Holiday for wishing health, luck, and success for their families. In the main traditional festivals of many ethnic groups in Vietnam, they often do thank God for the previous crop and wish for well-off following ones.
3. How Locals in Vietnamese Countrysides Making Their Living
As not industrialized and developed as urban areas, people in most rural areas in Vietnam are farmers or fishermen whose life mainly depends on agriculture, livestock, and handicrafts, which are closely associated with natural conditions in places they’re living. There is a sentence in Vietnamese describing how much their life relies on nature: “sell the face for land, sell the back for the sky”.
To hill tribe villages in mountainous areas, locals do the cultivation on terraced fields and raise their cattle for working or purchasing. In the central highlands or desert areas in the South, people mainly make their living in volcanic soiled farms or feed big cattle like cows, sheep, goats, etc for industrial production. Besides, they also make handicrafts such as textiles or brocade in their leisure time for supporting their lives.
To the residence in lowlands with fertile deltas, they also do for a living by plantation on paddy fields, growing other agricultural products, do the livestock or make handicrafts. In the Red River Delta and villages in Central Coast, popular traditional handicrafts are making conical hats, incense, folk painting or regional specialties.
In Mekong Delta where is famous for floating lives, besides planting and growing wet rice and grow fruit orchards, locals earn their living by fishing or raising cattle. Mekong Delta residence also knows the way making use of their homeland’s advantages to create additional handicraft work such as pottery, bricks and coconut candy making.
To the coastline areas, their local life mainly depends on catching seafood and growing aquaculture. In Vietnamese, people call their lives as “cling to the ocean”. Most adults, especially men in families will go far offshore on wooden boats or modern steel ships, during weeks or even months, to catch the fish and other kinds of seafood. Others live on land, grow aquaculture in their farms or make sea salt on their salt flats.
Nowadays, with a developing flow of industrialization, people in the countryside have applied more and more modern appliances or technologies in their works to improve productivity. In some aspects, it could help their life become better. However, they still cherish the tradition, keep working hard and preserving their own distinct identity.
4. Main Transportation in Vietnamese Countrysides
The main transportation in Vietnam's Countryside is individual transports such as motorbike, bicycle, or electric-bike. People go to work either by several means of transport above or on foot. The transportation system in the countryside could not be as advanced as urban’s, which are mainly medium two-lane roads. Inner roads in villages are commonly made from concrete which meets basic transfer in daily life. In many remote areas, there are even muddy roads or wild trails which are very hard to use any kind of transport. In Melong Delta, waterways are their base of lives, hence they use boats as their main means of transports.
One more typical type of transport in Vietnam's countryside is cart pulled by domesticated animals like cows, horses or buffalo, etc. These carts could help people in the countryside ride heavy-loaded stuff. You can also catch another type of cart in Vietnam’s rural areas, it is still a cart, but with an upgraded version with more modern mechanics and diesel engines, people call it a local farm truck in Vietnam (“cong nong” in Vietnamese).
Last but not least, there is a very easy and simple transport mainly used by rural kids when they go to the fields to help their parents, the domesticated animals themselves. It may become a kind of unique picture of Vietnam's countryside with childlike smiles from the kids riding their big pets. They could not have a well-equipped life as the kids in the cities, however, they always find happiness in their daily life from the most simple things.
5. Unique experiences you can have when visiting Vietnamese Countrysides
Unlike hustle and bustle life in cities, Vietnam’s countryside possesses its own slow-paced daily life with simple authenticity. With distinct local experiences, spending a short trip to the rural destinations will help you have a glimpse of Vietnam in the past, quiet, peaceful, simple and idyllic, which is restored through centuries until now.
Experience authentic vibe in serene villages (Northern and Central Coast)
You can easily set up a short trip to Vietnam’s countryside to explore local life in villages here. In the North, from Hanoi, you can visit Ancient Duong Lam Village (where is famous for ancient houses and laterite structures), craft villages like Dong Ho Painting Village, Bat Trang Ceramic Village, etc with ease. In the Central, you can easily pick yourself an excursion exploring peaceful villages along Perfume River like Thanh Tien – traditional paper village, Thuy Bieu Ancient Village, etc. From Hoi An Ancient Town, you can definitely visit Tra Que Vegetables Village or Thanh Ha Pottery Village. Just stroll along the quiet small lanes, feel the slow-paced life, and witness how locals do their daily work, you can feel an absolutely different sense of tranquility in Vietnam’s countryside.
Explore indigenous culture in hill tribe villages (Mountainous region in the North)
If you’re seeking indigenous culture explorings, remote hill tribe villages in mountainous areas such as Sapa, Pu Luong, Mai Chau, Ha Giang, etc are your destinations. With a distinctive living condition and unique lifestyle which are closely associated with indigenous nature, ethnic minorities here have set up their own characteristic identity. To have a closer touch with local life on highlands, you can join trekking with knowledgeable local guides, wandering around the villages, visit local markets, have a stay in local houses, take part in traditional dances or festivals, and taste specialties with warm-hearted locals.
Visit orchards and see how locals making specialties (Mekong River Delta)
Renowned for “Orchards Culture”, Mekong River Delta in the South attracts visitors by its charms of the bountiful orchards, of lush green paddy fields, and the local floating lives here. Seasonal fruits grow all year round in Mekong River Delta, hence you will be treated by the latest fresh juicy fruits whenever you visit this fertile land. Besides, you can also have a chance to experience the daily life of Southerners with fascinating local activities like catching fish with bamboo traps, learning how to make coconut candy, and witnessing how locals harvest their crops or create pottery, etc.
With various authenticities spreading throughout the country, Vietnam’s countryside has its own idyllic charm for those finding themselves the real local experiences in Vietnam Holiday Tours. Make sure to check out our list for the most highlights exploring Vietnam Villages or contact our INSIDE TRAVEL Expert Team to have the most appropriate Vietnam Tours for you.