Ben Tre Province, Southern Vietnam
Capital: Ben Tre
Area: 2,321.6 km² (896.4 sq mi)
Population: About 1.5 million
Density: 580/km² (1,500/sq mi)
Demographics: Vietnamese, Khmer, Hòa, Tày
Calling code: 75
Ben Tre is a province of Vietnam. It is one of the country’s southern provinces, in the delta of the Mekong River.
Politically, Ben Tre Province has eight districts:
– Ba Tri
– Bình Đai
– Chau Thành
– Cho Lách
– Giong Trom
– Mo Cày Bac
– Mo Cày Nam
– Thanh Phú
The provincial capital, Ben Tre, is a separate municipality. The districts in turn are divided into communes.
Geographically, Ben Tre lies between the two main branches of the Tien Giang River, which is itself one of the two main branches of the Mekong. The province’s northern boundary is formed by the Tien Giang’s main course, while the province’s southern boundary is formed by the Tien Giang’s largest branch (which breaks away from the Tien Giang just upriver from Ben Tre province). Between the Tien Giang and its main branch are two smaller branches, passing through the middle of Ben Tre.
The entire province is criss-crossed with a network of smaller rivers and canals. The extensive irrigation that this provides makes Ben Tre a major producer of rice, but also means that the area is prone to flooding. The Climate Change Research Institute at Can Tho University, in studying the possible consequences of climate change, has predicted that 51% of Ben Tre province can be expected to be flooded if sea levels rise by 1 meter. Ben Tre Province is, on average, only 1.25 metres above sea level.
Start Of The Vietnam War
The first large-scale military action by Viet Cong forces occurred in Ben Tre on 26 September 1959. A force led by Nguyen Thi Đinh, a Ben Tre native who would become one of the most prominent female Vietnamese revolutionary leaders, ambushed the 23d Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, killing 12 and wounding 14. This battle is commonly considered the start of the Vietnam War.
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