THIS SOUTHEAST ASIAN country, with a long coastline on the South China Sea, has a land area of 128,065 sq. mi. (331,689 sq. km.), with a population of 87,375,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 655 people per sq. mi. (253 people per sq. km.). The largest city and the former capital of South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has a population of 3,525,300, making it the 49th largest in the world. Some 17 percent of the land in Vietnam is arable, with 4 percent being under permanent cultivation and 1 percent used as meadow or pasture. In addition, 30 percent of the country is forested, with an increasing logging industry operating in the country.

As there are three major rivers in Vietnam—the ...

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