Chinese Language Blog

North Vietnam Posted by on Jan 17, 2010 in Vocabulary

The other day I was with my friend in a town called Lao Cai in the northern part of Vietnam. It was there that I saw something that I would never have imagined- a Vietnamese casino which counts its bets in 人民币 (RMB, Chinese currency). Situated on the border with China, the casino primarily attracted Chinese tourists who came to play 百家乐 (Baccarat). One unsettling reminder of the dark side of border crossings surfaced when we saw a sign warning of prosecution for 拐卖人口 (human trafficking). As Lao Cai is next to 云南 (Yunnan province), there are many 傣族 (Dai people) from Yunnan who cross the border to work in Vietnam. While in Lao Cai, we saw the 日食 (solar eclipse) which occurred that day.  Near Lao Cai is a 山区 (mountainous region) called Sapa, where many of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities reside.  From Lao Cai we made our way to 河内 (Hanoi) where we learned about 胡志明 (Ho Chi Minh) and tried to avoid spending our 越南元 (Vietnamese dong) as much as was possible.

人民币 ren2min2bi4 – Renminbi, the official name of the Chinese currency
百家乐 bai3jia1le4 – Baccarat, a card game found in casinos (and many James Bond films)
拐卖人口 guai3mai4ren2kou3 – human trafficking/smuggling
云南 yun2nan2 – Yunnan province
傣族 dai3zu2 – the Dai people, one of China’s ethnic minority groups
日食 ri4shi2 – solar eclipse
山区 shan1qu1 – mountain regions/mountainous region
河内 he2nei4 – Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam
胡志明 hu2zhi4ming2 – Ho Chi Minh
越南元 yue4nan2yuan2 – Vietnamese Dong

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