THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM

Area: 331 000 km2

Population: 96.017 million (in 2017)

Capital: Ha Noi

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

The country’s total length from north to south is 1,650km. Its width, stretching from east to west, is 600km at the widest point in the north, 400km in the south, 50km at the narrowest part, in the centre, in Quang Binh Province and 600km at the widest part in the northern area. The coastline is 3,260km long, the inland border is 4,510km, and the total area of ocean is nearly 1,000,000 km2.

Latitude: 102º 08' - 109º 28' east

Longitude:  8º 02' - 23º 23' north

Viet Nam is also a transport junction from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Climate: Viet Nam is located in both a tropical and a temperate zone. It is characterized by strong monsoon influences, but has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity. Regions located near the tropics and in the mountainous regions are endowed with a temperate climate.

Cat Cat Village (Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province)

The monsoon climate also exerts influences on the changes of the tropical humidity. In general, in Viet Nam there are two seasons: the cold season occurs from November to April and the hot season from May to October. The difference in temperature between the two seasons in southern is almost unnoticeable, averaging 3ºC. The most noticeable variations are found in the northern where differences of 12ºC have been observed. There are essentially four distinct seasons, which are most evident in the northern provinces (from Hai Van Pass toward to the north): Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
Every year there are 100 rainy days and the average rainfall is 1,500 to 2,000mm. The humidity ranges around 80%. The sunny hours are 1,500 to 2,000 and the average solar radiation of 100kcal/cm2 in a year.
Because Viet Nam is affected by the monsoon, the average temperature is lower than the other countries which are located in the same longitude in Asia. The annual average temperatures range from 22oC to 27oC. In comparing with these countries, the temperature in winter is colder and in summer is less hot in Viet Nam.

Sa Pa Ancient Rock Field (Lao Cai Province)

Under the influence of  monsoon, and further because of the complicated topography, the climate in Viet Nam always changes in one year, between the years, or between the  areas (from North to South and from low to high). The climate in Viet Nam is sometimes unfavourable with many extreme weather events, such as typhoons (on average, there are 6-10 storms and tropical cyclones in a year, floods and droughts are threaten the life and the agriculture of Viet Nam).

Ha Noi – The city for peace

Hoan Kiem Lake (Ha Noi)

In Ha Noi there are four distinct seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. But it is able to be divided into two main seasons: the rainy season from May to September (it’s hot, heavy rain), and the dry season from October to April (it’s cold, little rainfall). The annual average temperature is 23.2oC, but in winter the average temperature is 17.2oC. The lowest temperature ever recorded was 2.7oC in 1955. The average summer temperature is 29.2oC, with the highest ever recorded being 42.8oC in 1926. On average, there are 114 rainy days a year with around 1,800mm of rainfall.

The capital of Vietnam was honored by UNESCO as "City for Peace" on July 16, 1999. Hanoi is the only city in the Asia-Pacific region to receive this noble award. This is the title honored by international community, recognizing Hanoi's contributions to the struggle for peace, as well as to the development and construction of the city in accordance with the criteria set by UNESCO, including community equality, living environment protection, cultural and educational promotion, civic education and care for young generations.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Building

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) today consists of 19 districts and 5 districts with a total area of 2,095.06 km2. The population is estimated to be 14 million in 2017. Ho Chi Minh City is famous as a dynamic young city with many landscapes such as the Independence Palace which witnessed the liberation of the South, Notre Dame Cathedral - the most beautiful and important church of Saigon diocese. There are also a number of shopping centers and entertainment venues such as Ben Thanh Market, Cho Lon Market, Suoi Tien Cultural Park.

The climate is divided into two seasons, with the rainy season lasting from May to November. The average annual temperature is 27.5oC without winter, and yearly rainfall totals 1,979mm. Tourism is convenient for all 12 months of the year.


Topography: Three quarters of Viet Nam's territory consist of mountains and hills, two large deltas, numerous rivers, and long coastlines.

Mainland

Viet Nam is divided into four distinct mountainous zones. 

The Northeastern Zone (Viet Bac)

This zone stretches from the Red River Valley to the Gulf of Tonkin. The mountainous area of Viet Bac is scattered with famous sights: Dong Nhat Grotto, Dong Nhi Grotto, and Tam Thanh Grotto in Lang Son Province; Pac Bo Grotto and Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang; Ba Be Lake in Bac Kan; Yen Tu Mountain and Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh; and Tay Con Linh in Ha Giang, the highest mountain peak in the region reaching 2,341 meters above sea level. 

Ba Be Lake (Bac Kan Province)

The Northwestern Zone

This zone is comprised of mountains that run from the north of the Sino-Vietnamese border to the west of Thanh Hoa Province. This magnificent mountain range is nationally known for its resort town of Sapa in Lao Cai Province, which is perched 1500 meters above sea level. Several ethnic groups, such as the H'mong, Dao, Kinh, Tay, Giay, Hoa, and Xa Pho, still reside in this region.

The northwestern zone is also famous for the historical site of Dien Bien Phu and Fansipan Mountain, which measures 3,143 meters above sea level at the peak. 

Fansipan Peak (Lao Cai Province)

The North Truong Son Zone

This zone runs from the western part of Thanh Hoa Province to the Quang Nam-Da Nang Mountains. This region is known locally for its picturesque Phong Nha Cave and its two breathtaking passes, the Ngang Pass and the Hai Van Pass. It is also known worldwide for being the location of the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail constructed during the second great resistance war.

Phong Nha Cave (Quang Binh Province)

The South Truong Son Zone

This zone is located to the west of the south central coast provinces. Behind these huge mountains is a vast area of red soil known locally as "Tay Nguyen" (the Central Highlands). There are numerous legendary accounts of the flora and fauna and of the lives of several different ethnic minorities living in the Central Highlands. Dalat, established during the 19th century, is a popular resort town in this part of Viet Nam.

Major deltas:

Viet Nam has two major deltas, including the Red River Delta in the north and the Mekong River Delta in the south.

The Red River Delta, or Northern Delta

This region stretches for 15,000 km2. Over time, deposits of alluvium carried from the Red River and Thai Binh River have accumulated to form the delta. The ancient Viet people settled at the junction of the two rivers. At that time, the wet rice civilization was established.

Red River

The Mekong River Delta, or Southern Delta

This region is approximately 40,000 km2. The land is very fertile and has favorable climate conditions for agriculture. As a result, it is the largest rice growing region in Viet Nam.

Rivers:
Viet Nam is crisscrossed by thousands of streams and rivers. There is a river discharging every 20 kilometers along Viet Nam's coastline. The waterways are a very convenient means of transport with major rivers like the Red River in the north and the Mekong River in the south.

 Sea:

Viet Nam's coastline is 3,260km long. If you have a chance to travel along the coast of Viet Nam, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Tra Co, Sam Son, Lang Co, Non Nuoc, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, and Ha Tien. In some places, you will see mountains jutting out to the sea. One such magnificent site is Halong Bay, which has recently been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Viet Nam's coast has been awarded a series of large seaports, such as the ones at Hai Phong, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, Cam Ranh, Vung Tau, and Saigon. There are thousands of islands and islets scattered offshore from north to south. Among the most popular tourist destinations are the archipelagos of Truong Sa (Paracel) and Hoang Sa (Spratly).



Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh Province)

Forest

The forests of Viet Nam account for most of the total land area. National parks are preserved by the state and follow a steady development plan. Some of the more famous national parks located throughout the country include Ba Vi in Ha Noi, Cat Ba in Hai Phong, Cuc Phuong in Ninh Binh, Bach Ma in Hue, and Cat Tien in Dong Nai.

Resources: Viet Nam has a variety of resources including forest resources, aquatic resources, water resources, mineral resources and tourism resources.

Pu Mat National Park (Nghe An)

Vietnam's forest resources are abundant. There are many types of timber and rare and valuable forest products as well as animals listed in the Red Book for conservation. However, Vietnam's forests are shrinking due to deforestation to exploit forest products, and strong measures need to be taken to protect them. Thanks to the large river system with huge sea area (about 1,000,000 km2), Vietnam also has a great source of aquatic products as well as abundant water resources. In terms of minerals, Vietnam has diversified mineral resources, creating a large source of revenue for the country such as coal (estimated reserves of over 6 billion tons); oil and gas (about 3-4 billion barrels of oil and 50-70 billion cubic meters of gas); Uranium (estimated volume about 200-300 thousand tons, average content of U3O8 is 0.1%); ferrous metals (iron, manganese, titanium); Non-ferrous metals (aluminum, copper, gold, tin, lead ...); Non-metal minerals (apatite, pyrite ...)


Administrative Units: Viet Nam is divided into 63 provinces and cities.

(Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism - http://www.vietnamtourism.com/en)

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