Vietnam

Vietnam is a country of tropical lowlands, rolling green hills, and densely forested mountains. The country is divided into the highlands and the Red River Delta in the north; and the Giai Truong Son (Central Mountains, or the Chaîne Annamitique, sometimes referred to simply as the Chaine), the coastal lowlands, and the Mekong River Delta in the south.
Vietnam’s mountainous terrain, forests, wetlands, and long coastline contain many different habitats that support a great variety of wildlife. Some 270 types of mammals, 180 reptiles, 80 amphibians, and 800 bird species reside in Vietnam.
Many rare and unusual animals live in Vietnam, including giant catfish, Indochinese tigers, Saola antelopes, and Sumatran rhinos. The government has set up 30 parks and reserves to protect its animals, but their survival is in doubt because much of their habitat has been cleared for lumber or to grow crops.
The origins of the Vietnamese people are a combination of the Mongol races of north and east Asia, with Chinese and Indian influences. The population is surpassed only by Indonesia as Southeast Asia’s most heavily populated country. However, Vietnam is the region’s most ethnically homogenous country with the Vietnamese making up about 90% of the population. 85% of Vietnam’s ethnic-minority population belongs to indigenous groups – the largest of which are Thai and Hmong – who have been settled in the mountainous regions of the country for many centuries. About 3% of the population is ethnic Chinese living in the urban centres of the South.