7 Nicknames for Vietnam You Should Know

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Waterfalls on lush mountains flowing into a large pool under a hazy sky
Vietnam's unique culture and traditions have led to the creation of many monikers

Situated in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a vibrant country with a fascinating landscape and culture. Vietnam is notably famed for things like its rich and delicious coffee, rice production, and beautiful landscapes. Thanks to these characteristics, there are plenty of nicknames for Vietnam.

From Annam to the Land of Blue Dragons, this article will cover an array of monikers referencing the country's history, geography, and profoundly traditional culture. Read on to discover the alternate names for Vietnam you need to know.

7 Vietnam Nicknames

An aerial shot of boats on turquoise water by a beach shore on an island
Due to its azure waters, one of the nicknames for Vietnam is Land of the Blue Dragons

Land of the Blue Dragons

Vietnam has a couple of popular monikers relating to dragons, and the Land of the Blue Dragons is one of the most famous. Vietnam is nicknamed this for a couple of reasons.

The first is related to the shape of the country, which looks like an ascending dragon. The second reason refers to Vietnam's coastal location and stunning azure waters, hence why the nickname calls it a "blue" dragon.

In Vietnamese culture, dragons are incredibly important creatures. An ancient myth states that Vietnamese people are even descended from a dragon king and a magical fairy. Plus, the dragon is a positive symbol of rain and agriculture, something that Vietnamese people believe strongly, giving even more cultural meaning to this name.

The S-shaped Country

A very common Vietnam nickname is the S-shaped Country. This is simply used because it is shaped like the letter S. The country swoops all the way from the Gulf of Tonkin toward the Gulf of Thailand. The s-shaped land of Vietnam is located on the eastern side of the Indochina Peninsula and is surrounded by China, Laos, and Cambodia.

The Rising Star of Southeast Asia is one of the nicknames for Vietnam's urban success
One of the newer nicknames for Vietnam is the Rising Star of Southeast Asia

The Rising Star of Southeast Asia

A recent nickname is the Rising Star of Southeast Asia. This is thanks to the country's rapidly growing economy and investments in emerging industries like Fintech.

In fact, banking company HSBC reported in 2021 that Vietnam's economy has been growing around 6% every year for the past decade. This is largely a result of the country's increase in exports to places like the USA. As a result of these successes, Vietnam has become a rising star in Southeast Asia's economy.


The country of Vietnam has been known by an abundance of names throughout its long and complex history. Annam is one of these names. It was used interchangeably with Annan during the Tang Dynasty until AD 866.

The Annam name was given to the country by the Chinese government when they conquered and ruled the region. It means "pacified south," and while the name was used frequently throughout Vietnam's history, it is not very common to hear this used in reference to modern Vietnam.

Though Vietnam has been given plenty of other names throughout history, the name of Vietnam was first used in the 19th century. It is believed that this name was most likely a combination of the terms "Dai Viet" and "Annam." Modern-day Vietnam finally got its official name in 1945 when the country gained independence.

A bridge designed with a long golden-yellow dragon with water below
The name, the Land of the Ascending Dragon, is important as dragons signify good luck

The Land of the Ascending Dragon

Another dragon-related nickname for Vietnam is the Land of the Ascending Dragon. Vietnam has been given this slogan thanks to its dramatic and rugged coastline, which resembles a dragon. In Vietnamese culture, the dragon is a very important figure representing strength and good luck.

According to a famous legend, Lạc Long Quân was a dragon king who emerged from the sea and married Âu Cơ. Together, they created the very first people of Vietnam before Lạc Long Quân was sent back to the water. Keep your eyes peeled as you travel around Vietnam, as you will spot these mystical creatures on shopfronts, in restaurants, and on signs.


VN is a contracted version of Vietnam that you'll most likely see written down as opposed to spoken out loud. This is an abbreviation of the country's official name, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, or Việt Nam in Vietnamese.

VN is the country's Alpha 2 code, as well as being the country code top-level domain (or ccTLD for short). This means that all email addresses and websites in Vietnam end .vn.

Rice field terraces near a river under a cloudy sky
Vietnam is popularly known as the Rice Bowl of the World

Rice Bowl of the World

Another Vietnam name is the Rice Bowl of the World because it is a significant producer of the crop. In fact, Vietnam is the third largest exporter of rice in the world, after Thailand and India.

There are a few reasons as to why Vietnam is able to produce so much rice. First of all, the country has a rice-growing history spanning thousands of years. This production has been pretty consistent, except between the 1950s and 1970s, when the Vietnam War took place and production almost completely halted.

Another major factor is the marshy land near the Red River Delta and the Mekong River Delta. It's some of the most fertile land in the country and is where the vast majority of rice is produced. So, next time you tuck into a bowl of rice, you might have Vietnam to thank!

In Summary

Vietnam is a beautiful country that has been given many nicknames throughout history. Annam is a reminder of Vietnam's rich and complex past, while the Rice Bowl of the World is a nod to Vietnam's modern contribution to rice production. Plus, the many dragons of Vietnam tell a story about the country's wonderful myths and legends.

Now that you have read this article, you should be ready to plan a trip to the Land of the Blue Dragons. From the practical VN to the S-shaped country, these are the nicknames you need to remember.

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Written by Lauren Kendrick

lozkend WRITER Lauren is a travel-obsessed writer from the UK. She is usually dreaming about all the different cuisines she has yet to try…

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