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Offroad Vietnam Motorbike Adventures – Quang Nam Province, Central Vietnam

QUANG NAM PROVINCE, CENTRAL VIETNAM

General Information

Quang Nam Province, South Central Coast
Region: South Central Coast
Capital: Tam Ky
Area: 10,408 km² (4,019 sq mi)
Population: About 1.6 million
Density: 140/km² (360/sq mi)
Demographics: Kinh, Hoa, Co-tu, Xo-đăng, Gie-triêng, Co
Calling code: 510
Website: quangnam.gov.vn

Quang Nam is a province in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. It borders Thua Thiên-Hue province to the north, the nation of Laos to the west, Kon Tum province to the southwest, Quang Ngai province to the southeast, the East Sea to the east, and the city of Da Nang to the northeast.

Geography

Quang Nam province is rather a flat land along the coast and increases high elevations towards the west, with the highest elevations along the border to Laos and Kon Tum province. The highest peak is Ngoc Linh mountain at 2598m. In contrast to the other provinces of the South Central Coast, there are no hills or mountains near the coast (with the exception of the Chàm Islands with a peak at 517m).

More than half of Quang Nam’s area is covered by forests, making it one of the more forested provinces in Vietnam. Forests dominate in the west of the province and along the border to Quang Ngai Province. 111,900 ha of land are used for agriculture, mostly in the east of the province.

The Thu Bon River system covers most of the province (except for the south-east), making it one of the largest river systems in central Vietnam. It led to the rise of an ancient Cham city state that was once Champa’s most influential city and also included one of its most important commercial ports at Hoi An.

History

Quang Nam was once the political and near the geographic centre of Champa. For some time both the most powerful city-state and the busiest Cham port (at Hoi An) were located in what is now Quang Nam. Trade with luxury goods from the Central Highlands was the basis of this wealth and power. As a result of warfare with Vietnam, the centre of political power of the Cham shifted south to Vijaya. The trade in luxuries continued for some time under the Nguyen Lords but declined gradually, especially under the Nguyen Dynasty and further in colonial Vietnam, when the economic focus shifted to the agriculture of the large river deltas.

The province broke into two in 1962, with the southern half of Quang Tin Province. The two provinces were merged again after unification in 1976.

Quang Nam province was the site of heavy fighting during the Vietnam War. Notable battles and operations include Operation Chinook 1966-67, Battle of Hill 488, Operation Swift, Operation Wheeler/Wallowa, Operation Union I & II, Hue-Đà Nang Campaign, Ha My massacre and Phong Nhi and Phong Nhat massacre.

Economy

Quang Nam has two famous traditional products: the world’s highest essential oil content Trà My cinnamon (aka Saigon cinnamon) and Ngoc Linh ginseng. Quang Nam province is famous for its production of Saigon cinnamon.

The economy of Quang Nam province has been growing rapidly in recent years. GDP growth in 2010 was 12.7% and the goal for 2011 is 13.5%. Growth has been between 12 and 15% in the years from 2005 to 2007, mostly driven by a booming industrial sector (growing more than 20% per year) and to a lesser extent the service sector. GDP per capita in 2007 was 8.76 million Vietnamese dong, 65.2% of the national average.

Agriculture

Quang Nam’s economy has been diversified significantly during the first decade of the 21st century. Agriculture, forestry, and fishery made up 41.5% of the province’s GDP in 2000 but only 21.4% in 2010. This is only a relative decline. The growth of the first sector has been positive but overshadowed by industrial and service growth. It was between 2 and 4% between 2000 and 2007 and 4.5% in 2010. The vast majority of the work force is still employed in this sector: 524,700 out of 778,300 as of 2007 (down from 548,700 in 2000). Harvests of rice, which takes up 75% of the agricultural area, has increased from 329,900 tons in 2000 to 395,100 tons in 2007 (1.1% of the national rice output).

The cultivation of industrial crops has experienced a significant transformation. The production of some crops has declined significantly: sugar cane from 170,400t in 2000 to 46,500t in 2007, tobacco from 2200t to 900t, tea from 1935t to 821t, and coconut from 8741t to 3675t, while the output of other crops has been increased: peanuts from 10,700t to 16,900t, rubber from 0t to 186t, pepper from 22t to 205t, and cashew nuts from 362t to 2345t. Given the recent significant expansion of rubber plantations, this crop is likely to grow further. So far, only peanut cultivation is significant in a national context, making up 3.35% of national output, while the other non-cereal crops contribute less than 1%.

Industry

Industrial GDP has been the main driving force of Quang Nam’s economy in the first decade of the century. In 2010 it contributed 40.1% to the provincial GDP, up from just 25.3% in 2000 and employed 99,600 workers in 2007, compared to 51,600 in 2000. Industrial GDP has increased 2.48 times between 2000 and 2007 and continues to grow at around 20%. Chu Lai Economic Zone is located in the south of the province along National Road 1 and is the site of many of the province’s factories.

A smaller industrial zone is located in Tam Ky with factories producing electrical equipment, garments, and processed wood. Major industrial export products include leather shoes (US$51.26 million in 2007), garments (US$31.33 million), wooden products (US$8.587 million), and paper materials (US$2.136 million). Industrial products more oriented towards the domestic market include fish sauce (3.69 million litres), bricks (253 million pieces), fabric (52.5 million meters), and hand farming tools (2 million pieces).

Quang Nam province has the biggest gas warehouse in the central area: Total Gas & Power Co. Ltd’s Ky Ha gas warehouse.

Transportation

National Road 1A runs through the east of the province. Both Tam Ky and Chu Lai Economic Zone are along this road, while Hoi An is around 10 km east of it. National Road 14 runs from Thua Thiên-Hue province through the west of Quang Nam to Đăk Glei District in Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands. It connects to National Road 1A by 14B in north and 14E in central Quang Nam and the border to Laos through 14D. 57.7% of the roads in (national, provincial, or district) are asphalt. In facts, this is somewhat above the median value of provinces in Vietnam.

The value is much higher and significantly better than the median for provincially managed roads: 87.68%. Only 29% of respondents to a survey of businesses in 2009 stated that road quality is good or very good (slightly above the median).

Vietnam’s North-South Railway runs through the provinces. Some, but not all, trains stop at Tam Ky Railway Station serving the provincial capital Tam Ky.

Da Nang International Airport is just north of Quang Nam. Another airport, Chu Lai Airport is in Núi Thành District in the south of the province near Quang Ngai province, serving Chu Lai Economic Zone.

Places Of Interest

The province has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the ancient town of Hoi An and the Mỹ Son temple complex. It also lies on the World Heritage Road which connects different World Heritage Sites in Central Vietnam.

Administration

Quang Nam has 15 districts:
– Bac Trà My
– Duy Xuyên
– Đai Loc
– Đien Bàn
– Đông Giang
– Hiep Đuc
– Nam Giang
– Nam Trà My
– Núi Thành
– Phú Ninh
– Phuoc Son
– Que Son
– Tây Giang
– Thăng Bình
– Tiên Phuoc
– Nông Son
The capital city of Tam Ky and the town of Hoi An (a UNESCO world heritage site) are separate municipalities.

For more details about other provinces and cities of Vietnam, please follow this link.

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