Vietnam’s two ‘rice bowls’ and Hue’s historic Fragrance River


The heartland of Vietnam


The Crimson River (‘Track Hong’) stretches about 1,200km from its source in China’s Yunnan Province. Its two predominant tributaries, the Song Lo (additionally referred to as the ‘Lo’, or ‘Clear’ River) and the Tune Da (the Black River), swelling its quantity to an average 5,000 cubic metres per second, rising to nearly 40,000 cubic metres per second in the summertime wet season.


The Purple River Delta, a flat, triangular area of 3,000 square kilometres, is smaller however more intensely developed and densely populated than the Mekong Delta. Once an inlet of the Gulf of Tonkin, it has been constructed up by an unlimited quantity of alluvium deposited over millennia. Currently, the delta advances an additional hundred metres into the gulf each year. The ancestral house of the ethnic Vietnamese, the delta accounted for nearly 70% of the agriculture and 80% of the trade of North Vietnam before 1975.


Your entire delta area from the coast as much as the steep incline of the forested highlands is no more than three metres above sea stage and far of it’s a metre or less. Consequently, it floods often: at some places, the excessive-water mark is 14m above ground level. An in depth system of dikes and canals was built to comprise the Red River and to irrigate its wealthy paddy fields. Modeled on that of China, this historical system has sustained an extremely concentrated population and made double-cropping wet-rice cultivation potential throughout about half the region.


The Imperial River


The Perfume River was the chosen location for Vietnam’s imperial capital. The town of Hue straddles the river, and its great Citadel, now a World Heritage Area, overlooks it from the alternative bank. Rising in close by steep mountains, the river is simply 80km lengthy however feeds the biggest lagoon in Vietnam. Sadly, deforestation and eco-system degradation has restricted the retention of water on hill slopes, growing flooding and thus damaging the buildings and heritage artifacts of Hue. A plan to regulate the state of affairs is underneath development.


The mighty Mekong


At 4,220km, the Mekong is without doubt one of the world’s longest rivers. Rising in Tibet, it flows by way of Xizang and Yunnan in China, and constitutes the boundary between Laos and Myanmar (Burma), and that between Laos and Thailand. Below Phnom Penh, it divides into two, flowing by way of Cambodia and the Mekong basin to drain into the Vietnam East Sea by way of ‘cuu long’ (nine mouths).


Heavy sedimentation implies that the river is navigable by shallow-draft seagoing craft only as far as Kompong Cham in Cambodia. A tributary getting into the river at Phnom Penh drains the Tonle Sap, a shallow freshwater lake that acts as a pure reservoir to stabilize the movement of water by means of the Mekong delta. When the delta outlets are unable to hold off the excessive volume of floodwater, they back up into Tonle Sap, inundating as much as 10,000 sq. kilometres. When the flood subsides, the movement reverses and excess water drains to the ocean, thus alleviating the devastating floods that reach a height of 1 to 2 metres.


Nevertheless, climatic change and deforestation in Cambodia has increased the movement and overwhelmed the capacity of the Tonle Sap. In recent years, the floods from August to October have been noticeably larger and lasted longer, generally resulting in appreciable lack of life amongst the Mekong’s residents.


The Mekong Delta is a very massive pancake-flat flood plain, not more than three metres above sea level at any point and crises-crossed by a maze of canals and rivers. A couple of billion cubic metres of silt is deposited yearly, almost 13 instances that laid down by the Purple River, and advances the delta some sixty to eighty metres further into the sea every year. The extent of the water is, therefore, a serious concern for guests to the area. About 10,000 sq. kilometres of the delta are underneath rice cultivation, making the area one of many largest rice-growing regions in the world. The southern tip, referred to as the Ca Mau Peninsula (Mui Bai Bung), is roofed by dense jungle and mangrove swamps.


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