Vietnam is a country in the eastern part of Indochina peninsula of Southeast Asia. Its capital has been Hanoi since 1976, and Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous city. Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with 188 countries and is a member of the United Nations, ASEAN and WTO.
The distance between the North and the South of Vietnam is 1650 km and the land border is 4,550 km long. The narrowest horizontal position in Quang Binh is less than 50 km. The area consists of approximately 327,480 km² of land, more than 4,500 km² of inland water bodies, along with more than 2,800 islands and reefs, including the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands that the state claims.
Vietnam’s topography includes 40% mountains, 40% hills, and 75% of the country’s land cover. There are mountain ranges and plateaus such as the Hoang Lien Son range, Son La plateau in the North, Bach Ma mountain range and plateaus along the Truong Son mountain range in the South.
The network of deltas and rivers account for about a quarter of the area, including deltas such as the Red River Delta, the Mekong River Delta and the central coastal plains, which are densely populated areas.
The coastal areas of the Red and Mekong River deltas are concentrated in acid sulfate soil. The forests in Vietnam are mainly tropical rainforest in the hilly areas, and the lowlands along the coast have mangroves.
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with frequent fluctuations in the weather.
Areas to the north of Bach Ma mountain range usually have 2 main seasons: Cold and dry in the winter while hot and wet in the summer. Meanwhile there is only northeast wind in the dry season and southwest wind in the rainy season in the South.
Due to its location along the coast, Vietnam’s climate is partially moderated by many marine climatic factors. The average relative humidity is 84% throughout the year. Every year, Vietnam experiences floods and storms, with rainfall from 1,200 – 3,000 mm, the number of sunny hours from 1,500 to 3,000 hours per year and the temperatures from 5 ° C – 37 ° C. The annual average temperature increased by about 0.5 degrees Celsius within 50 years (1964–2014).
According to the 2005 National Environmental Status Report, Vietnam is one of 25 countries considered to have the highest level of biodiversity. Vietnam is ranked 16th in the world for biodiversity, home to approximately 16% of the world’s species.
In the late 1980s, a small population of Javan Rhino was found in Cat Tien National Park. However, the last individual of this species in Vietnam died in 2010.
It’s stated that Vietnam National Gene Bank preserves 12,300 varieties of 115 species. The Government of Vietnam spent US $497 million to maintain biodiversity in 2004 and established 126 protected areas, including 28 national parks.
Vietnam has 2 world natural heritage sites including Halong Bay and Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park as well as 6 biosphere reserves which are Can Gio Mangrove Forest, Cat Tien, Cat Ba, Kien Giang, Delta Red River Delta and Western Nghe An.