Vietnam stretches in a S-shape-from the sub-tropical North more than 1600 km to the tropical South. The area around Fansipan Mountain, reaching 3143 m in altitude, is the highest elevation of Vietnam. Three quarters of Vietnam's territory is made up of hilly and mountainous regions. Yet Vietnamese people feel themselves best placed in the lowlands, for good reasons: Two major deltas, the Red River delta in the north with its water feeding the surrounding fields, and mighty Mekong delta in the south, the biggest rice growing area. The country's food supply lies here!

Vietnam's coastline stretches for more than 3200 km along the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea, with its southern tip ending in the Gulf of Thailand.

The panhandle of Vietnam, the former border between North and South, lies in the middle with just about 50 km width whereas the northern part reaches 600 km and the southern part 400 km.

Vietnam's geography varies from enormous river plains over hills- and mountainous regions to endless coastlines and a large amount of offshore islands: Vietnam offers an amazing variety of landscape!

To decide for the most beautiful region is difficult. To take a decision, which time of the year to plan your visit for is almost impossible. You might have cool clear air in the North, whilst the South is hit by endless seeming monsoon rain; you may have persistently drizzling rain from February to March in the North and also occasionally devastating typhoons during summer months in the South.

So, when to go? If you are out to tour the whole country, October to December should be the best time for both areas, North and South.

Compromise! Avoid the summer months if possible and head out in winter!

Nepal | China | Tibet | Vietnam | Myanmar | Mongolia

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