Hoa Binh province, Northern Vietnam
Capital: Hòa Bình
Area: 4,662.5 km² (1,800.2 sq mi)
Population: About 850,000
Density: 170/km² (450/sq mi)
Demographics: Vietnamese, Muong, Thai, Tày, Dao
Calling code: 18
Hòa Bình is a mountainous province of Vietnam, in the nation’s Northwest region. It borders Phú Tho Province and Son La Province to the northwest, Hanoi to the north and northeast, Hà Nam Province to the southeast, Ninh Bình Province to the south and Thanh Hóa Province to the south. In 2004, the GDP per capita of the province was estimated to be $228 (equivalent to 3.6 million Vietnamese dongs).
The province has one city, Hòa Bình, and ten districts:
– Cao Phong
– Đà Bac
– Kim Bôi
– Kỳ Son
– Lac Son
– Lac Thuy
– Luong Son
– Mai Châu
– Tân Lac
– Yên Thuy
The People’s Council of Hòa Bình Province decided in February 2006 making Hoa Binh the capital of the province.
Hoa Binh Province was created on June 22, 1886, following the decree of Tonkin with the name Muờng Province, splitting Muong majority areas from Hung Hoa Province, Son Tay Province, Hanoi and Ninh Bình Province. Its name derives from the Sino-Vietnamese meaning “peace.”
The province was administered from Cho Bo (in Đà Bac) hence it was also known as Cho Bo Province, until it November of the same year, it was relocated to Phuong Lâm district (today in Bat Bat district, Hà Tây Province). In April 1888 it was renamed to “Phuong Lam province”, by the French colonial authorities.
On March 18, 1891, the Governor-General of French Indochina decreed that the name of the province would change to Hòa Bình Province with six districts: Luong Son, Ky Son, Lac Son, Lac Thuy, Mai Chau and Da Bac.
Hoa Binh is a mountainous province in the North. It borders Phu Tho and Ha Tay in the north, Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa in the south, Ha Nam in the east, and Son La in the west.
The topography has both mountains and narrow valleys. The annual average temperature varies between 23 and 25oC.
The culture of Hoa Binh combines several ethnic groups with their own languages, traditional literature, and festivals.
Tourists especially enjoy the ethnic speciality dishes including rice cooked in bamboo and grilled meat. At night, visitors can stay in stilt houses at Lac Village in Mai Chau Valley, enjoy watching traditional dancing, music performances (bronze drums, gongs), and Thai minority singing and dancing. The remote Muong, Dao, Tay minority villages draw visitors who like study the life of ethnic groups. Beautiful brocade and forest products are interesting souvenirs.
Mountainous terrain with Thac Bo, Hoa Tien grottoes, Ret Cave, Pu Nooc Primitive forest and many clean springs are suitable for swimming, climbing, walking, and hunting. Visitors are also fascinated by the superb beauty of Hoa Binh Hydroelectric Power Plant, the second largest one in Vietnam. Boating on Da River is an enjoyable feeling.
Apart of these, scientific tests have shown that the mineral water at Kim Boi Hot Spring is good for drinking, bathing and treatment.
Road and water transportation are convenient. There is National Highway No. 6 from Hanoi via Ha Tay to Hoa Binh, Son La, National Highway No. 15 from Mai Chau to Thanh Hoa, National Highway No. 12B from Hoa Binh to Nho Quan (Ninh Binh).
Hoa Binh Town is 82km from Hanoi. Da River is 5km from Hoa Binh City.
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