For a comparatively small country, in regards to the dimension of Italy, Vietnam’s geography is remarkably various and complex.
It has a sizeable mountain vary in the northwest (an offshoot of the Himalayas), closely forested uplands, intensive limestone scenery with a number of areas of mature ‘Karst’ landscape, an elevated central plateau, two massive river deltas and thousands of offshore islands.
Though all this makes life difficult for many of the 70% of the inhabitants that also work the land, it has nice advantages for visitors within the form of a wide variety of landscapes.
Lush inexperienced paddy patchworks, vertiginous mountain terracing, tea and occasional plantations, pepper and pineapple fields, salt pans, flood dykes and drainage canals: the ways through which the individuals have adapted the land to agriculture with the beauty of the natural landscapes for the photographers’ attention.
From a visitor’s point of view, such geographical range is a part of Vietnam’s attraction. Icy mountain streams and boiling sizzling mineral springs, sheer cliffs to problem even the perfect rock climber, deep caves and underground rivers, many unexplored, serene freshwater lakes, white sand beaches – Vietnam has all this, and much more.
Vietnam’s big selection of fauna, flora and marine species locations it within the high ten international locations for the number of its bio-diversity. Giant National Parks, forests and marine coastal zones are home to a few of the most endangered species on the earth, and are often distinctive to Vietnam. Elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, black bears, leopards, wild buffalo, primates, pythons and crocodiles are a number of the bigger species still dwelling in distant areas.
A number of Vietnam’s forests and wetlands are wealthy in birdlife, with many rare species.
Aquatic and semi-aquatic species include giant pelagic fish and mammals, reminiscent of dolphins, sharks, rays and the occasional whale. Turtles and dugongs go to a number of the extra remote islands within the south. Corals and marginal plant species comparable to mangroves and sea-grasses might be seen in lots of locations.
Vegetation varies from rhododendrons and deciduous bushes within the mountainous north, cactus crops and pines within the dry central areas, dripping vines, exotic orchids and historic bushes within the primitive forests, and plush palms and fruits within the tropical south.
Vietnam is gradually being ‘tamed’. Flooding is being introduced beneath control, distant areas are being opened up and its inhabitants provided with access to electricity and telephones. Virgin forests, mountain areas and caves are being surveyed and recorded. For the individuals who reside in such areas, this is all to the good.
Nevertheless, it’s a gradual process. It will be a very long time before Vietnam loses its unexplored, undeveloped and untamed qualities, and its appreciable energy to shock, allure, problem, and excite its many visitors!