Chinese style temple in Hanoi that encompasses Chinese architectural style, writing (calligraphy) and figures.
When I have showed my photos to some Chinese living in mainland China they always comment, that ‘This is China, not Vietnam’.
1,000 years domination as part of the Middle Kingdom of China, then 800 years in a separate Kingdom, obviously has its effects and influences on people.
The Vietnamese still remained their distinct culture in many respects including holding their own language, myths, gods, music, dance, instruments and riding elephants to war, not horses.
The Vietnamese women also held more significant status in society, so that meant they were able to inherit and own their own land, hold official posts, become warriors and fight for their county; plus become writers and publish works.
To the untrained eye, the most evidence of Chinese being in Vietnam is the building styles of temples and the Chinese characters used on most on them.
Until the French came along, Chinese characters were the norm. A new language was introduced by the French, who used the the Quoc Nu alphabet marked the time when the Vietnamese shifted their educational sources from China.
Kim Lien Pagoda Gate at Nhi Tam, Hanoi. Situated near Intercontinental Hotel on Yen Phu Street, Ha Noi
What will always remain in the hearts of the Vietnamese is the religious influences which are very much part of daily life and principals to living. See Beliefs for more info.