Vietnam is a country in south-east Asia. It is a long, narrow country along the shore of the South China Sea, which borders China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. Its capital city is Hanoi. Prior to gaining its independence in the twentieth century, it was part of French Indochina.
In the second half of the twentieth century, Vietnam was torn by a civil war which became the Vietnam War when the United States invaded in opposition to the communist faction. This war still has a significant place in American culture, as opposition to it was a significant factor in the emerging counter-cultural movement during the 1960s, not to mention the effect that the experience of the war had on those who fought in it.