Thua Thien Hue province, Central Vietnam
Region: North Central Coast
Area: 5,062.6 km² (1,954.7 sq mi)
Population: About 1.1 million
Density: 215/km² (560/sq mi)
Demographics: Thanh Hóa ancestry and Champa ancestry
Calling code: 54
Thua Thiên-Hue is a province in the North Central Coast region of Vietnam, approximately in the centre of the country. Thua Thien Hue province borders Quang Tri province to the north and Đà Nang to the south, Laos to the west and the East Sea to the east. The province has 128 km of coastline, 22,000 ha of lagoons and over 200,000 ha of forest. There is an extensive complex of imperial tombs and temples in Hue.
The region’s history dates back some 2,800 years according to archaeological findings from the Sa Huynh Culture as well as from relics in the region. Đai Viet became an independent nation around 938 BC of which territorial conflict lasts for about four centuries between the Đai Viet and the Champa. The two provinces then changed their names to Thanh and Hóa. In 1307, Đoàn Nhu Hài was appointed by the king, Tran Anh Tông, to administer the area. The people from the north (Thanh Hóa) migrated south and integrated with the people of the Kingdom of Champa. During this time, had the settlement of Hoa Chau Province began, which included the area of present day Thua Thiên.
Between the settlement of Thuan Hóa (1306) to the founding of Phú Xuân (1687), there were conflicts and uncertainties for the local people, which including the fall of the Tran Dynasty to the renaissance of the Ho Dynasty. Thuan Hóa and Phú Xuân became the location of the Đai Viet kingdom once Nguyen Hoàng was appointed the head of Thuan Hóa (1511-1558). Lord Nguyen Hoàng (1558-1613) established bases at Ai Tu, Tra Bat and Dinh Cat, while his lords moved palaces to Kim Long (1636), where they would eventually base their operations in Phú Xuân (1687).
The Nguyen lords ruled the area until it taken over the Trinh clan in 1775.
Capital of Vietnam
The farmers’ movement led by the Tây Son brothers gained momentum in 1771. The Tây Son insurgent army won the battle in Phú Xuân to take over the Nguyen capital in 1786, where they continued north and overthrew the Trinh Dynasty. In Phú Xuân, Nguyen Hue appointed himself king, and with internal differences with the Tây Son Movement and the death of Nguyen Hue (1792), Nguyen Ánh took advantage of the situation and took over Gia Đinh with the support of foreign forces. Nguyen Hue attached to the Tây Son movement and took over Phú Xuân and the throne, thereby choosing the dynasty title of Gia Long (1802). Phú Xuân was again chosen as the capital of Vietnam until 1945’s August Revolution. Prior to 1975, the province was known simply as Thua Thiên.
Thua Thien Hue province is known as an area of heavy fighting during the Vietnam War, as it was the second-most northerly province of the Republic of Vietnam, close to the North Vietnamese border (DMZ) at the 17th parallel. More U.S. soldiers died in this province than in any other province in Vietnam (2,893). Thua Thien Hue province saw a large influx of North Vietnamese settlers soon after the Vietnam War ended, as with the rest of the former South. This province and neighbouring Quang Nam Province suffered greatly from flooding in November 1999.
The Perfume River (called Sông Huong or Huong Giang in Vietnamese) passes through the province. Thua Thien Hue province also accommodates the Tam Giang-Cau Hai Lagoon, the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia, which has 68 km in length with 22,000ha of water surface.
Thua Thien Hue province comprises four different zones: a mountainous area, hills, plains and lagoons separated from the sea by sandbanks. It has 128 km of beaches. The mountains, covering more than half the total surface of the province, are along the west and southwest border of the province, their height varying from 500 to 1480 metres. The hills are lower, between 20 to 200 metres, with some points at 400 metres, and occupy about a third of the province’s area, between the mountains and the plains. The plains account for about a tenth of the surface area, with a height of only up to 20 metres above sea level. Between the hills are the lagoons which occupy the remaining 5% of the province’s surface area.
Bach Ma park
Bach Ma National Park is a protected area in central Vietnam, near the city of Hué. It covers 220 km² and comprises three zones: a strictly protected core area, an administrative area and a buffer zone. The climate is similar to central Vietnam in general: a tropical monsoon climate. In the plains and in the hills, the average annual temperature is 25°C, but in the mountains only 21°C (statistical yearbook 2004).
The cool season is from November to March with cold northeasterly winds. The lowest average monthly temperature is in January: 20°C. In the cool season, temperatures can fall to 12°C in the plains and the relative humidity is high, between 85 and 95%. Then follows a warmer period from April to September with average monthly temperatures up to 29°C in July, reaching up to 41°C at times. It is very humid in July but relative humidity is lower, sometimes down to 50%.
The annual precipitation in the province is 3200 mm but there are important variations. Depending on the year the annual average may be 2500 to 3500 mm in the plains and 3000 to 4500 mm in the mountains. In some years the rainfall may be much higher and reach more than 5000 mm in the mountains. The rainy season is from September to December – about 70% of the precipitation occurring in those months. Rainfall often occurs in short heavy bursts which can cause flooding and erosion, with serious social, economic and environmental consequences. The floods of November 1999 led to 600 deaths and affected 600,000 homes. (Comité des inondations, 1999).
The retail sales of goods and services (trade, hotel, restaurant, tourism) in the province is 10960.6 billion dong or 0.9% of the country. This is compared with 12.7% for Hanoi and 23.5% for Ho Chí Minh City (2009). The province has more than 120 km of coastline, which provides a for a seafood industry that produces over 40,000 tonnes/year consisting of over 500 species of fish.
There are more than 100 mines for minerals and non-mineral resources with the majority consisting of limestone, granite and kaolin. Arts (e.g. wood works, fabrics, furniture, paper arts, pottery), literature (text books), and spicy cuisines (included dry goods, vegetarian food) are the main exports of this region. Exquisite custom-made áo dài (Vietnamese long dress), and nón lá (conical hat) are souvenir items for foreign visitors and overseas Vietnamese. The ability to make toys, design lanterns, form special papers, and figurine-making are native skills. Such fruits as rambutan, jackfruit, lychee, durian, dao, dragon fruit, star fruit, mangosteen, coconut, and kumquat are available in this area due to sufficient amount of rain received each year.
Many historical buildings are in Hue, largely a legacy from its time as a capital of the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), including the Royal Citadel, the Flag Tower, the Royal Palace, and the Royal Tombs. Hue’s Forbidden Purple City was once only for the royal family but was severely damaged during the Vietnam War. Outside the city is the religious site known as Nam Giao Hill (“Heaven’s Altar”). Hue Brewery Ltd is in Hue with a recognizable brand in central Vietnam. The Brewery is a joint venture and started in 1990 with an initial investment of 2.4 million USD. Its capacity is 3 million litres/year, which has grown to a capacity of 100 million litres/year in 2007.
Thua Thiên-Hue has seven districts and one town:
– A Luoi District
– Huong Thuy Town
– Huong Trà District
– Nam Đông District
– Phong Đien
– Phú Loc District
– Phú Vang District
– Quang Đien District
The capital city of Hue is its own municipality.
The average population of the province is 1,088,700, which consists of approximately 538,100 males and 550,600 females. The rural population is approximately 393,000 while the urban population is 695,700 (2009).
Vietnam’s National Road 1A, which runs the entire length of the nation from north to south, passes through Hue. Hue and Đà Nang are the main intermediate stops on the railway line from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. This province is served by two sea ports: Thuan An Port and Chan May Port. Phu Bai Airport, the largest domestic airport in terms of passengers per year is situated 15 km south of Hue. This airport ranks fourth among Vietnam’s airports. The government has approved the upgrade of this airport to an international airport with some air links inside Asia.
The province’s name derives from Sino-Vietnamese as most of the provinces in Vietnam.
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