If the East and West can ever meet for a dialogue of cultures, they can hardly find a better place than Azerbaijan.

Located in the southeastern part of the Caucasus, stretches over 800 km from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, at the intersection of Europe and gateway to Asia, Azerbaijan has a unique geographical location, and retains its meaning for economic integration and world culture.

Current name of the country used to be known by the Arabians in the 7th century. Shortly before his death, the famous explorer named Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl visited Azerbaijan to seek evidence of the relationship between the cultures of the ancient Vikings and the ancestors of the people of Azerbaijan on the steles in the adjacent area of the Qobustan.

Today the Republic of Azerbaijan is a multi-confessional and multinational country, where different cultures intertwine.

Azerbaijan Government House (Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)
Azerbaijan Government House (Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)

98 years ago, with the adoption of historic “Declaration of Independence” the first parliamentary democratic republic – Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was created in the East and in the whole Muslim world.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic bringing together European democratic values and features of Eastern culture on one side, with secular and national values on the other, established a legal and secular state.

Visiting Azerbaijan, tourists can enjoy every scale of nature, since this is the land of diversity and variety – the land of both fire and ice.

(Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)

This is not surprising because the national climate zones range from the high snowy mountains of the Caucasus region to tropical moist lowland Lankaran and Talis. Azerbaijan contains 9 out of the 11 climatic zones. The landscape varies from dry, hot semi-deserts, to snow-capped highlands and glaciers.

The present-day panoramic view of Azerbaijan, with its high mountains, volcanic highlands, deep canyons, plains, valleys and coastlines has been forming over millions of years. In the north of Azerbaijan is the Caucasus, in the southwest is vast highland, and the east is the huge Kur-Araz lowland.

It is edged with sloping valleys and lowlands. Thus, the surface of Azerbaijan resembles a gigantic tray with sharp mountainous edges, sloping to the Caspian Sea.

Where is known as Little Venice in Azerbaijan (Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)
Where is known as Little Venice in Azerbaijan (Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)

Not far from the Caspian coastline, two archipelagoes of mud volcano isles emerge from the sea: the Apsheron archipelago, near the Apsheron Peninsula, and the Baky archipelago near the coasts of Gobustan and the Kur-Araz lowland.

Untouched nature, mineral springs, unique culture, cuisine, all helped Azerbaijan become a promising market on the world tourism map.

Coming to Azerbaijan, one can discover famous places with long-standing culture heritage such as Icheri Sheher ancient city in Baku, Shirvan Shahs palace and Maiden tower.

Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, is the center of politics, culture and economy of this country and of the Caucasus. Baku often referred to as Dubai of the Caucacus because of its luxury and full of famous brands.

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Travelers interested in exploring the history and can look into exciting places such as the renowned open-air museum Qobustan with paintings of the Neolithic area carved on rocks – which was included in the world heritage list by UNESCO. This unique place currently store 4000 pictures which were carved nearly 12000 years ago.

Or visitors can come to Ganja – the city with famous landmarks such as the mausoleum of Nizami, Central Museum, Javad Khan’s tomb, Shah Abbas mosque, medieval bath, medieval guest house “Karvansaray.”

Being a land of volcanoes, Azerbaijan is also famous for hot spring area.

Lankaran city located on the Caspien coast with golden sandy beaches, mineral springs and many garden park with lots of animals and plants settled there. Volcanic mud in the southwest of Baku is a huge reservoir “nurtured” underground.

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Azerbaijan’s cuisine is both Oriental and European recognition, are recorded in the ancient texts of famous historians and travelers. The history of recipe creation in Azerbaijan has for centuries, based on various experience of chefs and are inherited until now.

No wonder why Azerbaijan is well-known for hundred-year-old people. Scientists explain this phenomenon by favorable climate, lifestyle, organic foods and good nutrition. Most connoisseurs of food from around the world have come to this country to taste the delicate flavors of the Azerbaijani’s cuisine.

One of the possible reasons why Azerbajain tourism boost is also due to political stability and economic development, which help improve infrastructure.

Heydar Aliyev Square in the Baku capital (Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)
Heydar Aliyev Square in the Baku capital (Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)

Generally speaking, internal political situation in Azerbaijan in recent years is stable because of implementing step by step institution transformation policy. Azerbaijan has implemented administrative reforms, very strongly, increased accountability of public servants and entire law enforcement system in general, strengthened the fight against corruption and implemented development policies regarding culture, society, took care of lives and increased income for people.

In 10/2013, a President vote was conducted in Azerbaijan. Incumbent President Ilham Aliyev was 3rd times re-elected with the overwhelming votes (86%).

(Courtesy: Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam)

Azerbaijan’s economy is rated as the second fastest growing country out of 179 countries regarding GDP per capita in 2001-2010 by The Economist.

According to World Competitiveness Report WEF 2015-201, this is the 40th most competitive economy out of 148 countries and the 1st place in the Commonwealth Independence States.

In the past 10 years GDP has increased by 3 times, GDP excluding oil and gas increased 2.5 times, GDP per capita increased by 2.6 times, strategic foreign currency reserves increased by 29 times.

Huge energy, transport and infrastructure projects have been implemented, the new sea and air ports, and roads were and under the built, such as Alat sea port and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

Azerbaijan has become one of the active and dynamic developing countries of the world and is being integrated into the International Community which makes it recognisable and reliable partner in the international arena.

Azerbaijan Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Anar Imanov, in an interview by VietnamPlus

Traditionally warm and friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Vietnam have developed in the years prior to the restoration of independence of Azerbaijan.

President Ho Chi Minh visited Azerbaijan in 1959 and suggested the leaders of this country to help Vietnam develop the petroleum production industry.

Azerbaijani side has not ignored this offer and therefore, Azerbaijan has thousands of experts involved in the process of reconstruction and development after the Vietnam War and the Vietnamese students have attended graduate and post-graduate in Azerbaijan.

Currently, relation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is developing actively. Mutual benefit cooperation relations are extensively developed./.