Đồng Hới

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Dong Hoi
Đồng Hới
Quảng Bình's Old Citadel Gate in Đồng Hới
Quảng Bình's Old Citadel Gate in Đồng Hới
Nickname(s): City of roses
Dong Hoi is located in Vietnam
Dong Hoi
Dong Hoi
Location in Vietnam
Coordinates: 17°28′59″N 106°35′59″E / 17.48306°N 106.59972°E / 17.48306; 106.59972Coordinates: 17°28′59″N 106°35′59″E / 17.48306°N 106.59972°E / 17.48306; 106.59972
Country  Vietnam
Province Quảng Bình
Government
 • Type City municipality
Area
 • Total 155.71 km2 (60.12 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 160.000
  Registered residents only
Time zone Vietnam (UTC+7)
Airport Đồng Hới Airport (domestic)
Website [3]
Fishing boats in Đồng Hới.

Đồng Hới (About this sound listen) is the capital city of Quảng Bình Province in the north central coast of Vietnam. The city's area is 155.71 km2 (60.12 sq mi), population as per the 2013 census: 160,000.[1] The city is served by National Highway 1A and the local railway station and airport. By road, Đồng Hới is 486 kilometres (302 mi) south of Hanoi, 195 kilometres (121 mi) south of Vinh, 160 kilometres (99 mi) north of Huế and 1,204 kilometres (748 mi) north of Hồ Chí Minh City.[2] It borders Quảng Ninh District on the west and south, the South China Sea on the east, Bố Trạch District on the north.[3][4]

Đồng Hới has a 12-km-long coastline with white sand beaches.[5] Đồng Hới is the closest city to Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, UNESCO's World Natural Heritage Site located 50 km north of the city.

History[edit]

Archaeological excavation in this area proved that human living in what is now Quảng Bình province in the Stone Age period. Many artifacts, such as ceramic vases, stone tools, and china, have been unearthed in Quảng Bình.[4][6]

In 1926, French archaeologist Madeleine Colani discovered and excavated many artifacts in caves and grottoes in west mountainous areas of Quảng Bình. She concluded that there existed the Hòa Bình culture in this region. Through C14 dating test, the artifacts here dated back to 10,509 (plus or minus 950) ago. From Quy Đạt township (Tuyên Hóa District) to southwest about 150 m, the Hum grotto contains many stone tools and animal stones from an ancient human community. Inside Khai grotto near the Quy Đạt township, similar artifacts were found, including ceramics from Đông Sơn culture. Additionally, artifacts of the Stone Age period were unearthed in some grottoes in the Quảng Bình region. Owners of these artifacts lived in the caves and grottoes and hunted for their food.[4]

Human settlement in Đồng Hới can be traced 5,000 years back. Many relics and remnants have been found in Bau Tro, a lake in the city, most of which belong to the Stone Age period. Around 2880 BC, the site of modern Đồng Hới was a territory of Viet Thuong tribe of Văn Lang (Vietnam) during the reign of king Hùng Vương. The site was long a disputed territory between the Champa kingdom and Đại Việt. It officially became Đại Việt territory in 1069 after Lý Thường Kiệt took victory over Champa in this area as a result of the Đại Việt-Champa War (1069). The area ceased to be the southernmost of Đại Việt following the political marriage of the Trần Dynasty princess, Huyền Trân, to Champa king, Jaya Sinhavarman III (Vietnamese: Chế Mân). Princess Huyền Trân was king Trần Nhân Tông's daughter and king Trần Anh Tông's younger sister. Political matches made to acquire land was a traditional practice by Champa kings. Thanks to this marriage, Đại Việt acquired lands (as dowry) of what is now Quảng Trị Province, and Thừa Thiên–Huế Province (provinces which were then known respectively as Chau O and Chau Ri or Chau Ly).[7][8]

During the time of the Trịnh–Nguyễn War (1558–1775), Vietnam was divided into two countries: Dang Trong (South) and Dang Ngoai (North) with the Gianh River as frontier line. Đồng Hới was an important fortress of the southern Nguyễn lords. The Đồng Hới Wall (Vietnamese: Thành Đồng Hới) was considered the barrier which protected the Nguyễn Lords from the attack by northern Trịnh family. During the First Indochina War (between the French and the Viet Minh in 1950s), the Đồng Hới airbase was used by the French to attack both the Viet Minh in north-central Vietnam and the Laotian Pathet Lao army in central and southern Laos. During the Vietnam War, Đồng Hới was heavily devastated by bombardments from the United States B-52 due to its location near seventeenth parallel and the DMZ between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.[9][10]

On February 11, 1965 bombing destroyed much of the city. The Tam Tòa Church, a Catholic cathedral, was severely damaged. Today the bell tower remains near the town center as a monument.

Ruins of Tam Tòa Church.

On 19 April 1972, during a major North Vietnam offensive, a task force of four US ships sailing off the coast of Vietnam. They were the USS Oklahoma City, USS Sterett, the USS Lloyd Thomas and the USS Higbee. They were attacked by three North Vietnamese MiGs in an attack known as battle of Đồng Hới. In an attempt to surprise the task force, the MiGs came in low, described as getting their feet wet. Despite the official stories, they did not surprise the task force, which had spotted them long before engagement range and were ready to shoot. Two ships, the Oklahoma City, and the Sterett, had anti-aircraft missiles, while the Higbee and the Lloyd Thomas were armed with dual purpose 5" guns. All ships were at battle stations. This city is also the narrowest land of Vietnam (around 40 km from the east to the west) After the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, Quảng Bình province was merged into Bình Trị Thiên province (Bình Trị Thiên is the abbreviation of Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, and Thừa Thiên provinces). In 1990, Bình Trị Thiên was once again separated into three provinces as it had been before. Đồng Hới then became the capital of Quảng Bình province.

Geography[edit]

Location[edit]

Đồng Hới seen from the air

Đồng Hới is located on the National Route 1A, North–South Railway and Ho Chi Minh Highway, at the coordinates 17 21' N and 106 10’ E. This city is situated in the heart of Quảng Bình Province. It borders Bố Trạch on the north, Quảng Ninh on the south, the South China Sea on the east and Quảng Ninh on the west. It is 50 km south of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, 50 km north of Bang Spa, 180 km southeast of Cha Lo border gate with Laos. It has a coastline of 12 km. Nhật Lệ River is the only river that runs through the city. Tro Lake is the source of fresh water for the city-dwellers. The Nhật Lệ Beach is endowed with fine and white sand.[3]

Climate[edit]

Like all provinces in north and north central of Vietnam, there are four distinct seasons in Đồng Hới. In the spring, it is cool, humid and foggy. The average annual temperature is 24.40C, average rainfall varies from 1,300 – 4,000 mm, total sunshine hours per year is 1,786 hours, average annual moisture is around 84%. The city has moonson climate with three types of wind: southeast wind (gió nồm), southwest wind (gió nam), and northeast wind.

Although the city is located by the sea, its climate is subject to drought in the summer, this is largely due to the dry southwest wind from Gulf of Thailand (this flow of wind is wet but when it passes to Vietnam, Annamite Range mountain range keeps its humidity to cause rains in Laos but drought in central Vietnam). It is rainy in the fall but the weather is comfortable with the temperature around 26 to 31 degrees Celsius. In the winter, due to the northeast wind blowing from the Chinese mainland, the temperature may go down below 18 degrees Celsius, and there may be slight rain. The highest precipitation gets highest level in August (118.4 mm), compared to just 38.9 mm in January.[11]

Climate data for Đồng Hới
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34.4
(93.9)
37.2
(99)
39.4
(102.9)
41.1
(106)
42.2
(108)
41.7
(107.1)
41.1
(106)
41.7
(107.1)
41.1
(106)
37.2
(99)
35.0
(95)
29.4
(84.9)
42.2
(108)
Average high °C (°F) 22.2
(72)
22.8
(73)
25.0
(77)
28.9
(84)
32.8
(91)
34.4
(93.9)
34.4
(93.9)
33.9
(93)
31.1
(88)
28.3
(82.9)
25.6
(78.1)
22.8
(73)
28.5
(83.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.7
(67.5)
20.3
(68.5)
22.2
(72)
25.6
(78.1)
28.9
(84)
30.6
(87.1)
30.6
(87.1)
30.0
(86)
27.8
(82)
25.3
(77.5)
22.8
(73)
20.3
(68.5)
25.3
(77.5)
Average low °C (°F) 17.2
(63)
17.8
(64)
19.4
(66.9)
22.2
(72)
25.0
(77)
26.7
(80.1)
26.7
(80.1)
26.1
(79)
24.4
(75.9)
22.2
(72)
20.0
(68)
17.8
(64)
22.1
(71.8)
Record low °C (°F) 7.8
(46)
7.8
(46)
10.6
(51.1)
11.7
(53.1)
15.0
(59)
20.6
(69.1)
20.6
(69.1)
22.2
(72)
18.3
(64.9)
16.1
(61)
12.2
(54)
10.0
(50)
7.8
(46)
Precipitation mm (inches) 66.0
(2.598)
43.2
(1.701)
45.7
(1.799)
53.3
(2.098)
109.2
(4.299)
81.3
(3.201)
91.4
(3.598)
139.7
(5.5)
421.7
(16.602)
543.6
(21.402)
360.7
(14.201)
134.6
(5.299)
2,090.4
(82.299)
Source: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial [12]

Topography and geology[edit]

The city has diverse topographical and geological features, including hill, mountainous, half mountainous, coastal plains and coastal sand dunes.

Hilly region is located in the west part of the city, stretching from north to south (in parts of communes: Dong Son, Thuan Duc) with an average elevation of 12–15 m, with total area of 64.93 km², 41.7% of the city total area. Residents here live on agriculture, forestry, farming. The soil in this are is poor in nutrition, infertile and subject to continuous erosions due to its slope of 7-10%.

Half hilly region surrounds a plain with an average elevation of 10 m from northeast - north to northwest – southwest and south – southeast. This region covers commues and wards of Bắc Lý, Nam Lý, Nghĩa Ninh, Bắc Nghĩa, Đức Ninh, Đức Ninh Đông, Lộc Ninh and Phú Hải with total area of 62.87 km², or accounts for 40.2% of the city total area. Residents here lives on industrial, handcraft, trading and a small percentage lives on farming. This region is not very fertile, subject to alum. However, thanks to the heavy distribution of rivers and lakes, ponds and pools, it's better for agriculture than those in hilly region. The plain with the average of 2.1 m, with little slope, accounting for 0.2% of the city total area (5.76 km²). Most of the city's commercial, administrative and main streets concentrate in this narrow regions. Coastal sand dune area is located on the east of the city, with an area of 21.98 km², making up 14,3% of the total area.[citation needed]

Administration[edit]

Đồng Hới is subdivided into 16 subdivisions: 10 urban wards (phường) and 6 rural communes ().[1]

No. Name Population 2009 Area (km²)
Inner wards (phường):
1. Bắc Lý 14,158 10.19
2. Bắc Nghĩa 6,981 7.76
3. Đồng Mỹ 2,757 0.58
4. Đồng Phú 8,646 3.81
5. Đồng Sơn 9,127 19.65
6. Đức Ninh Đông 5,031 3.13
7. Hải Đình 3,878 8.822
8. Hải Thành 4,774 2.45
9. Nam Lý 11,912 3.9
10. Phú Hải 3,581 3.06
Total inner wards 10 phường 71,620 55.47
Suburban communes (xã):
11. Bảo Ninh 8,906 16.3
12. Đức Ninh 7,526 5.21
13. Lộc Ninh 8,647 13.4
14. Nghĩa Ninh 4,642 16.22
15. Quang Phú 3,178 3.23
16. Thuận Đức 3,788 45.28
Total suburban communes 6 xã 36,906 100.24
10 phường, 6 xã 108,526 155.71

Tourism[edit]

Bảo Ninh Beach
Bảo Ninh Beach

Đồng Hới is endowed with beautiful beaches with fine sand and clean water of Nhật Lệ. The Da Nhay and Ly Hoa beaches (60 km north of the city) are popular tourist destinations. The Bang Spa (hot mineral spring) is ideal for those who enjoy spa baths. The city is situated 50 km south of the World Heritage Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park which is ideal for cave and grotto exploration and biological research activities (mainly Phong Nha Cave and, from September 2010, Thiên Đường Cave and Sơn Đoòng Cave have been available for visitors.)

Đồng Hới is also included in former battlefield tours where travelers can visit several once dangerous fields along the Annamite Range and the Hồ Chí Minh trail.[13] Đồng Hới is accessible by road (National Highway 1A, Hồ Chí Minh Highway), by rail at Đồng Hới Railway Station on the Hà Nội–Hồ Chí Minh City Railway, or by air from Hà Nội or Hồ Chí Minh City at Đồng Hới Airport.

Đồng Hới Airport was put into use on 18 May 2008,[14] and the first commercial flight was from Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, followed by air link with Ho Chi Minh City's Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport from 1 July 2009.[15]

The city provides tourists with 98 hotels and guest-houses from 1 to 3-star hotels like Cosevco Hotel, Saigon-Quảng Bình Hotel and especially the 4-star resort of Sun Spa Resort. The available cuisine includes seafood, the traditional "hot pot", Vietnamese and European-style meals. In 2005, the city welcomed nearly 300,000 visitors.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

The Hòn La bay is a 4-square-km bay, with the depth up to 15 m, suitable to develop into a deep-water sea port, a port is currently (as of 2006) under construction north of Đồng Hới, the port when finished will be able to accommodate ships up to 50,000 metric tons, located on a 32ha of land, has a loading capacity of 10-12 million tonnes per year and is expected to facilitate business for Quảng Bình's industrial and economic zones once operational.[16][17] Two industrial parks (Northwest Đồng Hới Industrial Park and Hòn La Industrial Park) are also under construction and partially available now to investors. The city achieved an average economic growth rate of 12.32% during 2010–2013 period. The economic contributors for 2013 were as follows: industry and construction accounting for 35.5%, services 50.9%, agriculture-forestry-fishery 13.6%. GDP per capita in 2013 was $2871,3.[18]

Education[edit]

Đồng Hới is home to Quảng Bình University, a multidisciplinary university. There are several schools here, notably Quảng Bình High School for the Gifted, and Đào Duy Từ High School.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]