Bookended by southern beaches and northern highlands, Vietnam has for centuries been lashed by cultural and economic crosscurrents from major powers. The French, Americans and Chinese each tried to impose their writ at different points in the 20th century, but couldn't. Today, Vietnam wears imprints of those myriad cultural influences, especially in its cuisine, but is increasingly a regional economic power in its own right.
Need to Know
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In this fastest-growing but complex market, hate speech and political manipulation are making it hard to remain neutral.
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When the city gets too hot to handle, hop on and head for the hills.
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