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People's perception of the environment are variable...

Human interaction with the landscape and people's perception of the environment are highly variable in Vietnam and may include spiritual, as well as economic elements. The cultural diversity of Vietnam, which includes 53 minority groups in addition to the majority Viet, or Kinh people, poses a particular challenge to us. Different groups view their environment in a manner consistent with their ways of life.

Most of these people were traditionally semi-nomadic horticulturists whose sense of the land, its products, and their own historical experience within the landscape contrasts with that of the rice-farming, lowland Kinh majority. However, even among the majority populations, socialist utilitarianism may be at odds with the older notions of a landscape dominated by cultural or spiritual forces. As extreme examples, these are towers near the coast in south-central Vietnam that were constructed at the end of the 13th century as Hindu temples.


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