Vietnam geography

Sapa, a famous tourist site in the northern province of Lao Cai.

Geographical location: (main land)

Longitude: from 102o09’ to 109o30’ East

Latitude: from 8o10’ to 23o24’ North

Mainland area: 331,690 km2

Distance (air way) between the Northernmost point and the Southernmost point: 1,650 km

Distance East-West at max: 600 km (Northern), 400 km (Southern); at min: 50 km (Quang Binh, Central Part)

Population: more than 80 millions (2002) in which Age structure is female 51%, male 49%.

Administrative divisions: 63 provinces and municipalities (Hanoi, HCM City, Hải Hai Phong, Da Nang).

Terrain:

+ Mountains, hills: Mountains and highland hold 3/4 of the total area. Mountain system extends from the Northwest border to the eastern side of the South, 1,400 km in total length.

    The highest point: Fansipan 3,143 m.

+ Deltas:

    Red River Delta: 15,000 km2.

    Mekong River Delta: 40,000 km2.

+ Main rivers: total length of all rivers in Vietnam is 41,000 km with total flow is nearly 300 billions m3 of water, and 3,100 km of canals.

Red River’s length is 1,149 km in which 510 km is on Vietnam territory.

Mekong River’s length is 4,220 km in which 220 km is on Vietnam territory.

Climate: Vietnam is located in the tropical and temperate zone characterized by high temperature and humidity all year round, especially in rainy season.

+ The average rainfall each year:

    Hanoi: 1,763 mm.

    Hue: 2,867 mm.

    HCM City: 1,910 mm.

+ The average air humidity is over 80%, even 90% in rainy season and in drizzly weather.

Transportation:

+ Roadways: 86,327 km (1995); main distance (overland):

        * Hanoi-HCM City: 1,738 km

        * Hanoi-Dien Bien Phu: 474 km

        * Hanoi-Hai Phong: 102 km

       * Hanoi-Hue: 654 km

+ Railways: 3,219 km (1995), includes 5 lines.

+ Air way: Large airports include: Noi Bai (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat (HCM City) , Da Nang, Phu Bai (Hue), Cat Bi (Hai Phong), Dien Bien (Lai Chau), Vinh (Nghe An), Nha Trang, Can Tho.

+ Main ports: Hon Gai, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, Cam Ranh, Vung Tau, Saigon.

Lying on the eastern part of the Indochinese peninsula, Vietnam is a strip of land shaped like the letter “S”. China borders it to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, the Eastern Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the east and south.

Mountains and hills cover two thirds of the mainland. Areas above 500m in altitude account for 70 percent of the mainland. The most grandiose and highest mountain ranges lie in the west and northwest of the country.

Vietnam’s territorial waters make around 1,000,000 km2, with over 3,000 km long coastline lines. Vietnam lies along the Indochinese Peninsula and circles the old southeastern part of the Asian continent with its back turned to the Eastern Sea (Pacific Ocean). These mountain and sea areas boast a diversity and richness in natural resources as well as minerals.

In the South West area of Central Vietnam, there is a huge “mountain-highland” at over 1,000m high, covered by basalt soil ideal for growing tropical and temperate industrial crops (rubber, tea, coffee and cacao).

Along the coastline, from the North to the South, Vietnam has lots of beautiful beaches, especially Ha Long Bay with more than 3,000 islands, is listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site.

Jungles along the country are home to rare, precious animals and plants. In addition, there are some sub-climate regions in Vietnam including regions with temperate climate and unique sight-seeing, such as Sa Pa (Lao Cai Province), Da Lat (Lam Dong province) and plenty of lakes, streams, falls and extraordinary caves.

The mineral coal such as mines, bauxite and precious metal are mainly in the North and the Central; on the offshore and coastline we have lots of oil field and natural gas. In the rivers, lakes and territorial waters we have variety of fishes, shrimps and aqua products.

 
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