Sunday, June 12, 2011

Binh Dinh Geography

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The majority of Binh Dinh province is covered by mountains or hills. Elevations range from 0 at the coast to around 1200 meters above sea level in An Lão District in the north-west of the province.[6] While most of the mountains as well as the highest peaks are in the west, there are mountains throughout the province, even near the coast. Most districts of Binh Dinh have a topography that is a mix of mountains or hills and lowlands. The districts of An Lão in the north-west, Vĩnh Thạnh in the west, and Vân Canh in the south-west are mostly mountainous. All other districts have some lowlands.
The largest lowland area is located in the south of the province along the lower Côn River. It encompasses much of Quy Nhon City, the districts of Tuy Phước, An Nhơn, the western part of Phù Cát, and the eastern part of Tây Sơn. Given its size, and the access to a major port as well as Binh Dinh's major river, it has long been the place where most of Binh Dinh's people and economic activities concentrate. It was the site of Vijaya, one of the major city-states of Champa. The majority Binh Dinh's population lives in the districts around this plain.
Other lowland areas are located in the coastal districts of Hoài Nhơn, Phù Mỹ, Phù Cát, as well as the inland district of Hoài Ân. There are some hills or mountains near the coast in all of the coastal provinces, with the highest peak in Phù Cát at 874m (Ba mountain, núi Bà) and in Phù Mỹ at 602m.[6]
Mountains form natural borders to the neighbouring provinces. Cu Mong pass (đèo Cù Mông) is the main border crossing to Phu Yen Province. National Road 1A passes through this pass, while there is another road (1D) along the coast. The border to Gia Lai Province is the most mountainous, with the only road connection at An Khe pass (đèo An Khê) between the towns of Phu Phong in Tây Sơn District and An Khe in Gia Lai. The border to Quang Ngai Province is also very mountainous, with the major road and railway passing through Binh De pass (đèo Bình Đê) near Tam Quan.[6]
Côn River is the largest and most important river in Binh Dinh. It forms a small delta north of Quy Nhon. Most of it can be used as an inland waterway for transportation. This is probably one of the reason why a major centre of power of Champa emerged along this river. Other rivers are Lai Giang River at the centre of the lowland areas of Hoai Nhon and Hoai An in northern Binh Dinh, My Cat River in central Binh Dinh, and Ha Thanh River along the valley in Van Canh District in southern Binh Dinh.[6]
The largest lake is Dinh Binh Lake, an artificial lake mainly used for irrigation in the highlands of western Binh Dinh. Also in western Binh Dinh is Vinh Son Lake (hồ Vĩnh Sơn) at Vinh Son Hydropower Station. Other major lakes include Nui Mot Lake (hồ Núi Một) in the south and Hoi Son Lake (hồ Hội Sơn) in the centre of the province.[6]
Mineral Resources
Ilmenite reserves in Phu Cat and graphite reserves in northern Binh Dinh are substantial and support significant local export industries. There is also some gold in western Binh Dinh.[7

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