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Geography of Vietnam

For historical geography of Vietnam, see History of Vietnam.

Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia

Geographic coordinates: 16 00 N, 106 00 E


total: 329,560 sq km
land: 325,360 sq km
water: 4,200 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than the state of New Mexico in the United States.

Land boundaries:

total: 4,639 km
border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km

Coastline: 3,444 km (excludes islands)

Maritime claims:

contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (mid-May to mid-September) and warm, dry season (mid-October to mid-March)

Terrain: low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Ngoc Linh[?] 3,143 m

Natural resources: phosphates[?], coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate[?], offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 17%
permanent crops: 4%
permanent pastures: 1%
forests and woodland: 30%
other: 48% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 18,600 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding[?]

Environment - current issues:

Logging and slash-and-burn agricultural[?] practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution[?] and overfishing[?] threaten marine life[?] populations; groundwater contamination[?] limits potable water[?] supply; growing urban industrialization[?] and population migration[?] are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution[?], Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban

See also : Vietnam, Halong Bay

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