History & Culture of Southern Vietnam

History & Culture

Southern has relatively flat terrain, the west is bounded by the Gulf of Thailand, the east and southeast are bounded by South China Sea, the north and northwest are bounded by Cambodia and a part of north-western is bounded by South Central Coast.

Southern’s history probably had begun since 1623 when the king of the Chan Lap permitted Nguyen’s citizens to immigrate and settle in Prey Kor (Ho Chi Minh City today). Southern was only a wild area with swampy valleys and interlacing canal system. The two largest river systems are the Dong Nai River and Mekong River.

After undergoing interactions with the natural environment and society, it gradually creates Southern’s culture.

Besides, Southern has 17 provinces from Binh Phuoc southward consisted of Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City. It is famous with rice fields and various tropical fruits.

Including 2 subregions:

  • Southeast, including: Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Southwest, including: Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, An Giang, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Can Tho City.

Southern’s climate is belongs to tropical and subequatorial monsoon with abundant sunshine, the average annual humidity from 80 to 82 percent. Hence, climate is formed on the two main seasons – the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season from May to November, the dry season from December to April.


Importantly, in Vietnamese culture, music plays an important role and is generally regarded as one of our cultural treasures. Especially, “cải lương”, a Vietnamese folk opera, is the most popular form of traditional music in South Vietnam

Last but not least, in the south of Vietnam, Saigon is considered the new region as well as a young city with about 300 years old. Currently, Saigon can be seen as representing for the Southern lifestyle (personality, language, cuisine, etc.). It is located at the center and played an important role in the development of economics.

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