Central Vietnam, also known as Middle Vietnam, is one of the three regions within Vietnam. The Central of Vietnam is connecting the North and the South, which stretch the coast from Thanh Hoa to Ninh Thuan and including Central highland with totally 19 provinces. The Central Vietnam borders with Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Son La of Northern Vietnam to the north, with Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai and Ba Ria–Vung Tau of Southern Vietnam to the south. To the east, it borders the South China Sea (Bien Dong), to the west it borders Cambodia and Laos.
The Central of Vietnam is divided into three main sub-regions: North Central or North Central Coast, South Central Coast and Central Highlands.
- North Central (Bac Trung Bo) contains six provinces: Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh ( the narrowest part in the region with 50 km only), Quang Tri, and Thua Thien Hue. All provinces in this region stretch from the coast in the east to Laos in the west. It owns a natural area of 51,524.6 km2 accounting for 15.5% of the country’s natural area and 35.5% of the region’s area. The North Central region takes a transitional role between economic regions in North and South. The west is the slope of Truong Son East, adjacent Laos with a 1,294 km long border. The east overlooking South China Sea with a coastal road of 700 km length and many deep-water ports conveniently forms the port.
- South Central (Nam Trung Bo) contains seven coastal provinces and Danang city (centrally-controlled municipality): Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan. It retains a natural area of 44,360.5 km2 accounting for 13.4% of the country’s natural area and 31.4% of the region’s natural area. South Central is adjacent North Central economic zone to the north, Central Highlands and Cambodia to the west and northwest, South East economic zone to the south, and South China Sea to the east. The South Central terrain consists of coastal plains and low mountains, with the east – west width (an average of 40 – 50 km) and is narrower than the North Central and Central Highlands. The region owns a short and steep system of rivers, deep shorelines, and a narrow continent. Deltas cover a small area due to western mountains stretching southwards and reaching toward the sea. Deltas are mainly accreted by the river and sea, and usually follow the foot of mountains.
- Central Highlands (Tay Nguyen) contains the five inland provinces of south-central Vietnam: Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kom Tum and Lam Dong. The natural acreage of Central Highlands is 54,474 km2, accounting for 16.8% of the whole national natural area .It is a large plateau region, which is adjacent Quang Nam to the north; with Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan to the east; with Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc to the south; with Laos and Cambodia to the west.Comprising 5 relatively flat plateaus of basalt soil spread over the provinces of Dak Lak and Gia Lai, Kom Tum, the highlands accounts for 16% of the country’s arable land and 22% of its total forested land. Before 1975 North Vietnam had maintained that the Central Highlands and the Giai Truong Son were strategic areas of paramount importance, essential to the domination not only of South Vietnam but also of the southern part of Indochina. Since 1975 the highlands have provided an area in which to relocate people from the densely populated lowlands.
Besides, Hoang Sa (island district belongs to Da Nang) and Truong Sa (island district belongs to Khanh Hoa) are two archipelagos rich in resources.
Topography of Central Vietnam varies dramatically with emerald-green mountains, fertile deltas, tropical rainforests inhabited by many rare and precious species of fauna and flora, sinuous rivers, mysterious caves, surreal-looking rock formations, heavenly waterfalls and pristine white-sandy beaches.
The Central Vietnam has a particularly complicated climate as it forms a transitional zone between the north and south of Vietnam.In this region, the Hai Van Pass separates two different weather patterns of the North starting in Lang Co (which is hotter in summer and cooler in winter) from the milder conditions South starting in Da Nang. North East Monsoon conditions September – February with often strong winds, large sea swells and rain make this a miserable and difficult time to travel through Central Vietnam. Normally summers are hot and dry.
The North Central receives dry and hot Southwest wind which makes it strenuous for any brisk walk during the day. Closer to the beach, the level of severity reduced and the dry wind is replaced by cool ocean breeze. Because of the limited land area, central Vietnam is also most susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricane or flooding. The paradox is, it is also where most beautiful beaches lie.
Temperatures are high all year round. The temperature tends to be warmer and more humid than the South in the middle of the year and cooler during the dry season from November to April. Flooding may occur from October to December.