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October 16, 2019  
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Vietnam: Geography

Geography 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
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
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 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: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m
Natural resources:
phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 17.41%
permanent crops: 4.71%
other: 77.88% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
30,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta
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
Geography - note:
extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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