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Vietnam Geography

    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

    Map references: Southeast Asia

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

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico

    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

    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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)