In Vietnam’s rich history and culture, some really important Vietnamese people stand out as they have made a big impact on the country and even beyond. These famous Vietnamese people include figures in all professions, from leaders who brought change to artists who shaped ideas.
1. The 6 famous Vietnamese people honored by UNESCO
1.1. Who is the most famous person in Vietnam? – Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) is a widely recognized figure who devoted his life to securing Vietnam’s independence. He is also celebrated for his efforts in enhancing education and culture within the nation. His unwavering belief that “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom” guided his philosophy and actions. This message still remains relevant today.
If you have a chance to come to Hanoi, you should spend time visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex. This landmark stands as a solemn reflection of the rich history of Vietnam, honoring the indelible contributions and ideals of Ho Chi Minh.
1.2. Scholar, politician, and strategist Nguyen Trai
Nguyen Trai (1380-1442) was a patriot and cultural figure in Vietnam. Through his insightful military and political views, he committed his life to demonstrating his genuine reverence and concern for the nation. Renowned works like “Quan Trung Tu Menh Tap” and “Binh Ngo Dai Cao” stand as testaments to his significant contributions. He also wrote other important works like “Uc Trai Thi Tap” in Chinese and “Quoc Am Thi Tap” in Vietnamese. These writings remain revered treasures cherished by Vietnamese people until today.
1.3. Poet Nguyen Du
Nguyen Du (1765-1820) is known as one of Vietnam’s top poets. His most famous creation, “The Tale of Kieu”, is a story that Vietnamese people everywhere will recognize and remember. This special piece has been translated into more than 20 languages, from Arabic to Russian. Nguyen Du showed the way for the coming generations, and his important writings continue to honor the spirit and culture of Vietnamese people all over the globe.
1.4. Educator Chu Van An
Chu Van An (1292-1370) was a well-known educator in Vietnam. He believed that everyone in Vietnam should keep learning throughout their life, no matter where they came from. His forward-thinking values have influenced many generations. He also made many impressive contributions for the country, like leading the Imperial Academy. To honor him, Vietnamese people have built sites like Thanh Liet Temple, Huynh Cung Temple, and Phuong Son Temple.
1.5. Poet Ho Xuan Huong
Ho Xuan Huong (1772-1822) was a female poet who was considered the “Queen of Sino-Vietnamese Poetry” by the famous poet Xuan Dieu. Regarded as one of the finest poets in Vietnamese history, she lived in a time when women’s rights were often overlooked. Thus, she used her poetry to express profound ideas about gender equality. Despite the constraints, her poetic creations carried powerful messages that resonated beyond their time. In tribute to her legacy, the enchanting lake in the center of Da Lat is named Xuan Huong Lake.
1.6. Poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu
Nguyen Dinh Chieu (1822-1888) was famous for his poems, which talked about being kind and helping others. His most famous work was the Sino-Vietnamese poetry collection of Luc Van Tien, which is filled with good lessons and things Vietnamese people value. His works have had great significance in Vietnamese history, just like Nguyen Du’s Truyen Kieu. If you plan to visit Hue, don’t miss the chance to stroll along the picturesque Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street, a charming tribute to the revered poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu.
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2. Other famous Vietnamese people to know
2.1. Tran Hung Dao
Tran Hung Dao (1229-1300) was a Vietnamese military expert who defeated two Mongol invasions. He used smart tactics to beat a much stronger enemy. As one of the most famous Vietnamese historical figures, he also got everyone in Vietnam to work together against foreign invaders, inspiring his descendants in the 20th century to fight for independence once again. His words about unity and a book he wrote about war are still well-loved in Vietnam to this day.
2.2. Quang Trung Nguyen Hue
Quang Trung Nguyen Hue, a remarkable hero from the 18th century, stands as the pride of the nation. He united the country and began a new dynasty. Using his brilliant military skills, he led the Tay Son Uprising to overcome two rival noble families, the Trinh and Nguyen, as well as the Siamese and Qing invasions. Even though the Tay Son Dynasty did not last long, it left behind significant social and cultural impacts that endure to this day. In modern times, his legacy lives on with Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City.
2.3. Trung Sisters
Trung Sisters were two women famous Vietnamese people in 43 AD. Their rebellion against the Chinese nearly 2,000 years ago continues to echo through Vietnam’s history. These sisters are a big symbol of Vietnamese people, showing their determination to fight for freedom. Their bravery and leadership have earned them the esteemed title of national heroines.
2.4. General Vo Nguyen Giap
Vo Nguyen Giap (1911-2013) was a Vietnamese general, a leader in the communist movement, and a politician. It is believed that he was one of the best military planners of the 1900s. General Vo Nguyen Giap led the Vietnamese communist party in different wars. He also wrote a lot about military ideas. Some of his famous books were Big Victory – Great Task, People’s Army – People’s War, Dien Bien Phu, and We Will Win.
2.5. Vo Thi Sau
Vo Thi Sau (1933-1952) was a young student who fought against the French as a guerilla fighter. She also served in communication missions. When she was only 14 years old, she bravely attacked some French soldiers by throwing a grenade at them. In 1949, she tried another attack but the French caught her afterward. She was put in prison and executed when she was just 19 years old.
2.6. Emperor Bao Dai
Bao Dai (1913-1997) was the last emperor of Vietnam’s Nguyen Dynasty. When he was still young, he went to study in France in 1922. When his father passed away in 1925, he returned to Vietnam and became the new emperor, taking the name Bao Dai. He went back to France in 1926 to continue studying and let his officials handle things in Vietnam. After ten years of education in France, Bao Dai returned to Vietnam in 1932 and ruled in Hue until 1945. In October 1956, Bao Dai left Vietnam and went to live in France in exile.
2.7. Pham Tuan – a famous Vietnamese person to first fly into space
Among famous Vietnamese people, Pham Tuan (1947) is a well-known Vietnamese astronaut recognized for being the first person from Vietnam to venture into space. In 1965, he joined the Vietnamese Air Force after being enlisted by the army. Two years later in 1967, he completed his military pilot training in the Soviet Union and became an official combat pilot, earning the esteemed Red Star distinction. His outstanding accomplishments led to him being awarded the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces of Vietnam” in 1973.
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For a more profound insight into the richness of Vietnamese culture and history, you should plan a Vietnam travel journey. There are numerous charming destinations awaiting your exploration, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long.
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In conclusion, these are some of the most famous Vietnamese people whose influences on Vietnam and even the world cannot be overstated. Their stories beautifully illustrate the impact that individual actions can have in shaping the course of history. They have ignited the flames of inspiration for generations to come.