Social and natural conditions
Hai Phong has a long coastline of 125 km including the islands off the coast. It shapes a curve of Tonkin Bay, low and quite flat, muddy. In the center, Do Son sticks out like a peninsula, a key note of hills running from the mainland that are of sandstone of Devonian age. The highest peak reaches 125 m, protruding 5 km into the sea from Northwest to Southeast. The natural advantage gives Do Son a strategic marine position as well as a famous landmark with poetic beaches and valuable nursing resorts at the foot of the sandstone hills. Offshore, Hai Phong has many islands scattering across the sea, the biggest is Cat Ba Island, and the most remote island is Bach Long Vy.
Haiphong has a typical weather of North Vietnam: hot, humid, and rainy and four different seasons of spring, summer, fall, winter. In particular, the winter is cold and dry from November to April, 20.3°C; the summer is cool, humid and rainy from May to October, the average temperature is around 32.5°C.
Hai Phong has a strategic position as the gateway to the sea connecting the Northern Vietnam to the world. Therefore, the local port system was paid much attention to build very early. In the late 19th century, early 20th century, Hai Phong was built by the French as a Pacific center of commerce, finance and most especially a notable sea port. Early 20th century, the port of Hai Phong had close relationships with a number of major ports in South East Asia, Asia, Oceania, North America, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and North European Sea etc.
Hai Phong has only one civil airport which is Cat Bi International Airport, the first northern airport built by French colonial government to serve military purposes originally. The airport is located 5 km from the city center. The airport was officially opened for civil operations in 1985 and has been regularly upgrading since the liberation of the North in 1955.
The arterial routes linking Hai Phong to other provinces include Highway 5, Highway 10, Highway 37, and others as Hanoi - Hai Phong highway, Quang Ninh - Hai Phong - Ninh Binh coastal highway.
total land area of Haiphong is 1,519 km2, including 02 islands (Cat
Hai and Bach Long Vi). Of that, hills account for 15%, mainly located in
the north, forming a midland geological structure of plains along with
hills alternately; southern terrain is low and flat, a typical delta
sloping to the sea, with the elevations from 0.7 to 1.7 m above the sea
level. The sea is bestowed with Cat Ba Island known as the pearl of Hai
Phong, comprising of over 360 small and large islands adjacent to Ha
Long Bay. Cat Ba Island is at an altitude of 200 m above sea level,
covering an area of about 100 km2, 30 nautical miles from the city
centre. Bach Long Vi Island is quite flat and sandy, 90 km away from Cat
Ba to the southeast.
Hai Phong is a
coastal city in a distance of 102 kilometers to the Northeast of Hanoi
capital, borders with Quang Ninh province to the North, Hai Duong
province to the West, Thai Binh province to the South, and Bac Bo Bay in
the East Sea and Hainan Island to the East. The city is located in the
“two corridors and one belt” of economic cooperation between Vietnam and
China, and has a significant position in the socio-economic
development, national defense and security of the North and the whole
architecture is mixed harmoniously between Asian and European cultures.
This mixture has made Hai Phong a unique feature, elegant but strong. Up
to 2011, Hai Phong still maintained many quarters with fairly intact
architecture of French domination period. In Hong Bang district, for
instance, many streets with French-built villas have been preserved with
their overall architecture; currently located headquarters of public
administration agencies. Also in Hong Bang district, there remains a
Chinese quarter near Sat Market
Hai Phong has a dense network of rivers with an average density of 0.6 - 0.8 km of river per 1 km2. All rivers in Hai Phong are tributaries of Thai Binh River, which flows into the Gulf of Tonkin. Going upstream we can see the followings: Cau river rises from Van On mountainous area of Bac Can at the height of 1,179m, then runs down to Pha Lai to flow together with rivers of Thuong and Luc Nam to create Thai Binh river which flows down into plains for 97 km before flowing into the sea, where it changes its stream to direction of North West - South East.
The topography of Hai Phong is very diversified reflecting the long and complicated historical geological process. The northern part of Hai Phong has an appearance of plains alternated with hills, while the southern part of the city is a low and quite flat terrain of a typical delta inclining to the sea.