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Vietnam: rice, oriental art and nature

Vietnam (Viêt Nam Công Hòa Xa Hôi Chu ‘Nghiã, Socialist Republic of Vietnam) is a socialist republic of Southeast Asia, located on the Indochinese peninsula. The country, washed in the east by the South China Sea and in the south-west by the Gulf of Siam, borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. The capital is Hanoi, among other important cities we find Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Haiphong, Da Nang, Hué.

This narrow and elongated country has a coast that stretches for over 3,000 km. The Vietnamese territory includes the regions of Tonkin, Annam and Cocincina. Vietnam also controls some islands in the Spratly archipelago.

Tonkin is located in the northern part of the country. Here near the border with China are the Yunnan mountain ranges that rise over 3,000 meters, culminating in Mount Fan Si Pan (Phan Xi Păng, 3,143 meters), the highest peak in Vietnam. Further south is the vast and fertile basin of the Red River (Sông Hong) in whose valley the capital Hanoi stands.

Annam, located in the central section of the country, is made up of a narrow coastal strip close to the Annamite chain. To the south are the Tây Nguyên highlands, located at heights varying between 500 and 1,500 meters.

Cochinchina or Quinam is the southern flat area occupied by the Mekong delta, the largest river in Indochina. In this area there is also Ho Chí Minh (Saigon), the largest city in Vietnam.

AN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY

Agriculture is the main sector of the Vietnamese economy, it produces rice (among the main world producers), corn, sweet potatoes, cassava, vegetables, fruit, sugar cane, tobacco, coffee, cotton, citrus fruits, tea, soybeans and rubber.

Fishing (crustaceans, shrimps, molluscs and freshwater fish), forestry (bamboo, ebony), livestock (pigs, cattle, buffalo) and silkworm farming (silk) are also important sectors.

As for subsoil resources, the country produces coal, oil, copper, tin, zinc, iron, natural gas and chromium. The steel, paper, textile, food and chemical sectors are active among the industries. Tourism is increasingly important. Among the most visited destinations in the country is Ha Long Bay.

The climate of Vietnam.

  • Area: 331,109 sqkm. (Arable 21%, Pastures 1%, Foresta and Woodlands 29%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 49%)
  • Population: 87,375,000 (2007 data) (Vietnamese (Kinh) 87%, Tay 2%, Thay 2%, Khmer 1,3%, Muong 1,3%, Hoa 1%)
  • State Capital: Hanoi.
  • Languages: The official language is Vietnamese. French is also spoken.
  • Religion: Buddhist 85%, Christian 8% (Catholic 7%, Protestant 1%), Cao Đài 3%, Tribal Animism 2,5%.
  • Currency: đong (VND)
  • Time: UTC +7 hours.

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