Vietnam is one of the ten countries that compose Southeast Asia • It is bordered by China on the north, Cambodia and Laos on the west, the Gulf of Tonkin to the northeast, the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. • The country is divided into 3 regions: • North • Central • South
North Vietnam • With Hanoi as the urban center, northern Vietnam developed more rapidly than other sections of the country • Fertile soil of the Red River allowed for an agrarian-based society to develop and prosper
Central Vietnam • Central Vietnam is very narrow. In some sections, only 50 kilometers separates neighboring country, Laos, from the sea. • Due to the limited land area, most inhabitants are employed in sea-related activities
South Vietnam • Southern Vietnam corresponds to America’s “Wild West” • The frontier area is underdeveloped compared to the rest of the country, however, the rich land of the Mekong Delta today makes the area the world’s third leading exporter of rice
Rain Forests • ½ Vietnam covered by jungle-like rain forests • 4/5 covered by trees & tropical vegetation • Also sandy beaches & grassy prairies • Home to elephants, wild boar, tigers
“two baskets of rice slung on a pole.” The baskets are the deltas of the Red River in the north and the Mekong in the south, and the carrying pole is a series of mountain chains along the western border.
Population • VN is size of New Mexico • 12th most populous nation in world • 70 million residents (1/4 of U.S. pop.)
Climate • Warm and Humid • Monsoon season is from June to November • The monsoon brings intense heat and typhoons, along with heavy rain • Average yearly rainfall is 59 inches, though Hanoi receives 72 inches annually
Houses on the Red River and Mekong Delta are elevated on poles as an adaptation to thwart the powerful rivers that regularly overflow their banks.
Rice fields extend over more than 12 million acres The rice kernels provide food, while the rest of the plant is utilized for making flour, beer, wine, fuel, fertilizer, straw mats, and garments—nothing goes to waste Rice is Life
“A Farmer’s Calendar” The twelfth moon for potato growing, the first for beans, the second for eggplant. In the third, we break the land to plant rice in the fourth while the rains are strong. The man plows, the woman plants, and in the fifth: harvest, and the gods are good— an acre yields five full baskets this year. I grind and pound the paddy, strew husks to cover manure, and feed the hogs with bran. Next year, if the land is extravagant, I shall pay the taxes for you. In plenty or in want, there will still be you and me, always the two of us. Isn’t that better than always prospering, alone?