Photographer's Note

Flowing from China through Vietnam to the South China Sea, the Red River (Vietnamese Sông Hồng or Hồng Hà; Chinese Hónghé (红河); Hani language: Lalsa) is also known as the Yuan Jiang (元江, pinyin yuan2jiang1), which means "Primary River."

The river begins in China's Yunnan province. It flows generally southeast, passing through Dai minority areas before leaving China through Yunnan's Honghe Autonomous Prefecture. It enters Vietnam through Lào Cai Province, and eventually passes by the eastern edge of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. Tonkin is located on the river delta. In colonial days, the French and other powers attempted to establish the Red River as a trading artery with China, with some success. The Black River is the Red River's chief tributary.

Red River Delta
The delta of the Red River (also known as the Sông Hồng), is a flat, triangular region of 3,000 square kilometers, is smaller but more intensely developed and more densely populated than the Mekong River Delta. Once an inlet of the Gulf of Tonkin, it has been filled in by the enormous alluvial deposits of the rivers over a period of millennia, and it advances one hundred meters into the Gulf annually. The ancestral home of the ethnic Vietnamese, the delta accounted for almost 70 % of the agriculture and 80 % of the industry of North Vietnam before 1975.

The Red River, rising in China's Yunnan province, is about 1,200 kilometers long. Its two main tributaries, the Sông Lo (also called the Lo River, the Riviere Claire, or the Clear River) and the Sông Da (also called the Black River or Riviere Noire), contribute to its high water volume, which averages 500 million cubic meters per second, but may increase by more than 60 times at the peak of the rainy season. The entire delta region, backed by the steep rises of the forested highlands, is no more than three meters above sea level, and much of it is one meter or less. The area is subject to frequent flooding; at some places the high-water mark of floods is fourteen meters above the surrounding countryside. For centuries flood control has been an integral part of the delta's culture and economy. An extensive system of dikes and canals has been built to contain the Red River and to irrigate the rich rice-growing delta. Modeled on that of China's, this ancient system has sustained a highly concentrated population and has made double-cropping wet-rice cultivation possible throughout about half the region.

From Wikipedia


Aerial view during the flight between Danang and Hanoi. We flought inside a terrifiant storm for long, long minutes. When it was ended there was a giant hole in the clouds and we saw the Red River Delta.

*Scanned image*

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3739 W: 144 N: 8840] (41258)
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