Geography and Climate

Vietnam is the largest and most populous of the 3 Indochinese countries and is located along the East Coast of Indochina and borders on Cambodia and Laos in the west and the People’s Republic of China in the north. It stretches over 1,600 km along the eastern cost of the Indochinese Peninsula.

Vietnam is the 2nd largest country in South East Asia after Indonesia. It is divided into 3 regions :-

  • northern Vietnam consisting of provinces bording China and those that lie in the Red River Delta;
  • central Vietnam with provinces lying between the central coast and the 1,600 km-long Truong Son mountain range; and
  • southern Vietnam which includes Ho Chi Minh City, the few provinces east of the city, and the rice-rich provinces of the Mekong River Delta.
The south of Vietnam mainly consists of plains. 2 major rivers, the Mekong River in the south and the Red River (Hong) in the north each form deltas of considerable size before entering the South China Sea. The Red River also runs through Hanoi, the capital city.

Although the country is located in the tropics, the climate is tropical only in central and southern Vietnam, with warm and humid weather all year round (22-35oC). In the north, there is a distinct winter season due to cold inland winds. Usually, the winter is also the dry season for the entire country, but the rains are highly unpredictable owing to the influence of several monsoons.

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