The Famous Rivers in Vietnam

It’s no more a surprise that Vietnam happens to be one of the gorgeous countries in the world. What makes this fact even more special is that this Southeast Asian country is quintessentially close to nature. From lush greenery to deep valleys and mountains to incredible beaches, Vietnam is a scenic country altogether. To add up to the natural appeal of Vietnam are the many rivers that have formed and flowed over the ages in this country. With more than 2000 rivers in Vietnam, a total length of 41,900km contributes to the overall water network of the country.

Following are few of the famous rivers that were in the past and still remain today as part of Vietnam’s panorama.

1. Mekong River

Mekong River, Rivers in Vietnam

With a length of 2703 miles, Mekong River is the largest one in Southeast Asia running through Tibetan plateau in China, going to Myanmar and then Laos to furthermore in Thailand and later Vietnam, finally into the South China Sea. Due to its association with many places Mekong River Commission was formed in 1995 to administer the resources of the river. Mekong River was mainly used as a navigation route for trade transport between China and Southeast Asian countries. In Vietnam, it is named as Nine Dragons River or Cuu Long for its nine meeting points at the land. This has further provided favourable conditions to grow rice in the areas nearby to the meeting points of Mekong.

2. Red River

Red River, Rivers in Vietnam

Also called as Song Hong, the Red River commences from Yunnan province stretching up to 1200 km long. It is named Red River due to the reddish-brown silt present in the water and has resulted in a favourable delta region. The Red River delta contributes to 3000 square kilometres and though smaller than Mekong Delta it is actually densely populated and developed in comparison.  Song Lo or Clear River and Song Da or the Black River both are its two main tributaries.  The River was once a trade route to China especially to the French explorers, but the frequency lessened after the construction of Kunming Haiphong Railway in 1910. Farming, fishing and aquaculture are the major activities carried out here.

3. Dong Nai River 

Dong Nai River, Rivers in Vietnam

Originating in the Central Highlands of Vietnam which falls in the southern portion of the country, Dong Nai has a length of nearly 586 km. Formerly known as Phuoc Long, the river has many waterfalls on its course like Lien Khang, Gua Ga and Pong Gua. Giving its name to the Dong Nai Province, the river flows through 11 different provinces of Vietnam, making it appealing for the tourists. Dong Nai flows southwest for about 480 km to join Saigon River in the Bien Hoa region.

4. Saigon River

Saigon River, Rivers in Vietnam

One of the popular tourist attractions of Vietnam tourism, Saigon has skyscrapers, villages, underground pass ways and ancient houses on its riverbanks.  This river starts from Phum Daung in southern Cambodia flowing southeast of Vietnam to embrace Ho Chi Minh City. At 29 kilometres northeast of Ho Chi Minh City,  Saigon River joins the Dong Nai and further north to Ben Cat River.

To experience various sites like tunnels, canals, ancient villages on the riverbanks tourists should take a boat ride on Saigon River. Thu Thiem Tunnel  and Binh Quoi Tourist Village are few of the attractions in the Ho Chi Minh city worth a visit.

5. Perfume River 

Perfume River, Rivers in Vietnam

Mostly belonging to the Hue City and the Citadel, Perfume River is also known as Imperial River. The Imperial city is enclosed in the Citadel; a World Heritage Site now, was also once the capital of Vietnam. Though only 80 km long, the Perfume River is the reason for the largest lagoon in Vietnam. Named 100 years ago due to the scent of flowers that dropped and carried away through the river, thereby making it a Perfume River. Though it does not smell floral like the earlier times with many changes like modernization of areas around the river, it is still the mostly visited landmark in Hue.

Also, due to deforestation nearby areas flood sometimes damaging the heritage buildings as well.  Measures have already been planned and implemented over the years and still ongoing to control the damage by flooding.

6. Black River

Black River, Rivers in Vietnam

Being the main territory of Red River, Black river has its origin in China and is called Lixian River there. In Vietnam the Black river passes through deep canyons surrounded by taller peaks in the Northern area of the country. The Hoa Binh Dam situated on the Black River is the largest hydroelectric dam in the country. The power of 1920 megawatt generated by this dam largely contributes to Vietnam’s electricity requirement. At the later stage it gets united with the Red river at around 55 km northwest of Hanoi. Hoa Binh City is also located on one of the banks of the Black River.

7. Hoai River

Hoai River, Rivers in Vietnam

Popular for offering scenic landscapes and pleasant water streams, the Hoai River of Remembrance as it is called is a complete beauty by itself. Running its course through the old town of Hoi An, it’s at night where you can witness both serenity and lively atmosphere here. A tributary of the Thu Bon River and a representation of an old village, it also is the livelihoods of the locals living next to the river.

The lights on the streets of the coloured lanterns hung up on the streets adjacent to the river creates a pleasant environment altogether. Along with the calmness of the river water, simply sitting on the river boat is a unique feeling experienced by the tourists. There are many attractive sites from the Hoai river to Cua Dai beach which can be witnessed by cruise or boat rides. Many tourists prefer talking a bicycle to ride through the whole area so as to get a glimpse of everything beautiful on the way to the Cua  Dai beach. The ancient town of Hoi An with colourful paints on them certainly add more charm to the Hoai river. Be it the early morning or sun setting, the river never fails to surprise you by its exceptional beauty.

8. Han River 

Han River, Rivers in Vietnam

Majorly contributed to the tourism sector, Han River flows through Da Nang area, a beautiful place that turns into city of light at night. With skyscrapers, restaurants, bars and bridges radiating on and along the Han river to bring a city vibe altogether. Four major highlights are the bridges and the recent addition of large Sun Wheel gives the tourists breathtaking views of both the city and the Han River.

9. Son River

Son River, Rivers in Vietnam

A pristine river that leads the entrance to Phong Nha caves is actually a branch of Gianh River. With serene landscapes, the river flows underground in the limestone mountain range of Quang Binh region. Son’s course embraces beautiful landscapes, corn fields and banana gardens on its way.

10. Srepok River 

Srepok River, Rivers in VIetnam

It is a major tributary of Mekong River originating from Central Highlands of Vietnam and moving into northeastern Cambodia. Fishing,  Rice cultivation and collection of non-timber forest products are the occupations of 11000 people living along Srepok River. Few of the scenic waterfalls at its course are Dray Nu waterfall, Gia Long waterfall, Virgin waterfall etc.

This post was published by Snehal Jadhav

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