Vietnam is the easternmost nation on the Indochina Peninsula. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, and Cambodia to the southwest. On the country's east coast lies the East Sea.
Longitude: 102°09'- 109° 30' east
Latitude: 8°10' - 23° 24' north.
Area: 331,688 km²
International boundaries: 4,639 km
Topography: Hills, densely forested mountains, and lowland. Mountains account for 40% of the area, with smaller hills accounting for 40% and tropical forests 42%. The highest mountain in Vietnam is Phan Xi Păng (located in Lào Cai province), at 3,143 m (10,312 ft).
Northern Vietnam has large plains lying in the river basins of the Red, Lo, and Chay, which flow in a northeast-to-southwest direction into Gulf of Tonkin. North and northwest of these plains are large hilly and mountainous areas. The delta of the Red River (also known as the Sông Hồng), a flat, triangular region of 3,000 square kilometers of the North, is smaller but more intensely developed and more densely populated than the Mekong River Delta of the South. Once an inlet of the Gulf of Tonkin, it has been filled in by the enormous alluvial deposits of the rivers over a period of millennia, and it advances one hundred meters into the Gulf annually. There is a system of dike along the rivers in the North, which is thousands of kilometers length.
The Mekong delta, covering about 40,000 square kilometers, is a low-level plain not more than three meters above sea level at any point and criss-crossed by a maze of canals and rivers. The Mekong River splits into nine tributaries before flowing into the East Sea, so Vietnamese people call it the Cuu Long (Nine Dragons) River. So much sediment is carried by the Mekong's various branches and tributaries that the delta advances sixty to eighty meters into the sea every year. The rich and fertile Mekong Delta region is the leading rice producer of the country.
Between these large delta regions in the north and south is the long and narrow Central Vietnam. In the west is the Truong Son mountain range. Short rivers run straight to the East Sea cross the region, creating small narrow plains along the coast. Lying in the southwestern part of Central Vietnam is the high plateau at 1,000 meters above sea level, with fertile basalt layers, appropriate for the cultivation of tropical and temperate cash crops, such as rubber, tea, coffee, and cocoa.
Climate: Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with humidity averaging 84% throughout the year. However, because of differences in latitude and the marked variety of topographical relief, the climate tends to vary considerably from place to place. The North has four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Winter in the North is from November to April and is characterised by cool damp weather. Summers run from May to October and are hot with periods of heavy rain. The South of Vietnam has a more tropical climate with a dry hot season from December to April and a wet season from May to November. From March through to May humidity it at its highest. Central areas can experience heavy rain from December to February especially in costal areas.