Vietnam Travel Guide

Geography and topography

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 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, and 50km at the narrowest part, in the centre, in Quang Binh Province. The coastline is 3,260km long and the inland border is 4,510km.

Latitude: 102º 08′ – 109º 28′  east

Longitude:  8º 02′ – 23º 23′  north

Vietnam is also a transport junction from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.More than three quarters of Viet Nam’s territory comprises mountains and hills. Four distinct mountainous zones may be identified – the Tay Bac (north west), the Dong Bac or Viet Bac (north east), the northern Truong Son zone in north-central Viet Nam and the southern Truong Son zone in the south-central region. The country has two major river deltas – the Red River Delta (Dong bang Chau tho Song Hong) in the north and the Mekong Delta (Dong bang Chau tho Song Cuu Long) in the south.

Climate

Vietnam 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.

In general, in Vietnam 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.