Annamite Range

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Annamite Range
Dãy Trường Sơn
Annamite range pu mat 2007 05.jpg
Annamite Range in Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam
Highest point
Peak Phou Bia
Elevation 2,598 m (8,524 ft)
Coordinates 18°35′30″N 103°48′0″E / 18.59167°N 103.80000°E / 18.59167; 103.80000Coordinates: 18°35′30″N 103°48′0″E / 18.59167°N 103.80000°E / 18.59167; 103.80000
Length 1,100 km (680 mi) NW/SE
Width 130 km (81 mi) NE/SW
Countries Laos and Vietnam
Age of rock Triassic
Annamite Range in Hương Sơn District, Hà Tĩnh Province, Việt Nam
Landscape south of the Annamite Mountain Range near Hoi Yen, Quảng Nam Province, Việt Nam

The Annamite Range or the Annamese Mountains is a mountain range of eastern Indochina, which extends approximately 1,100 km (680 mi) through Laos, Vietnam, and a small area in northeast Cambodia. It is known in Vietnamese as Dãy Trường Sơn, in Lao as Xai Phou Luang (ພູ ຫລວງ), and in French as the Chaîne Annamitique. The mountain range is also referred to variously as Annamese Range, Annamese Mountains, Annamese Cordillera, Annamite Mountains and Annamite Cordillera.

The highest points of the range are 2,819 m high Phou Bia, 2,720 m high Phu Xai Lai Leng and Ngọc Linh (Ngoc Pan), 2,598 m (8,524 ft). The latter is located at the northwestern edge of the Triassic Kontum Massif, in central Vietnam.[1]

The Annamite Range runs parallel to the Vietnamese coast, in a gentle curve which divides the basin of the Mekong River from Vietnam's narrow coastal plain along the South China Sea. Most of the crests are on the Laotian side. The eastern slope of the range rises steeply from the plain, drained by numerous short rivers. The western slope is more gentle, forming significant plateaus before descending to the banks of the Mekong. The range itself has three main plateaus, from north to south: Phouane Plateau, Nakai Plateau and Bolaven Plateau.

Laos lies mostly within the Mekong basin, west of the divide, although most of Houaphan Province and a portion of Xiangkhoang Province (where the famous Plain of Jars is located) lie east of the divide. Most of Vietnam lies east of the divide, although Vietnam's Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) region lies west of the divide, in the Mekong basin.

"An-nam" means in Chinese "to pacify the south", referring to the region's location relative to China.


The Annamite mountains now form an important tropical moist broadleaf forest global ecoregion, the Annamite Range Moist Forests Ecoregion, which consists of two terrestrial ecoregions, the Southern Annamites montane rain forests and the Northern Annamites rain forests ecoregion.[2]

The range is home to rare creatures such as the recently discovered Annamite rabbit and the antelope-like saola, the Douc langur, the large gaur, the Chinese pangolin and the Indochinese tiger.


Most of the highlands like the Annamite Range and the Central Highlands were populated by ethnic minorities who were not Vietnamese during the 20th century's start. The demographics were drastically transformed with the mass colonization of 6 million settlers from 1976 to the 1990s, which led to ethnic Vietnamese Kinh outnumbering the native ethnic groups in the highlands. The Vietnamese Kinh-dominated government media propagated negative stereotypes of the highlander ethnic minorities, labeling them as "ignorant", "illiterate", "backward", and claim that they are impoverished and underdeveloped because of their lack of economic and agricultural skills.[3]

Ethnic Vietnamese Kinh settlers have negative stereotypes and views of the native ethnic minorities with barely any intermarriage and little interaction. They choose to live in different villages — a stark difference from the government's portrayal of harmonic relations between minorities and Vietnamese. The government claims that "backward areas" are experiencing "development" from the Vietnamese Kinh settlers they are encouraging. These places are not underdeveloped and no advantages have come about the minorities from the Vietnamese Kinh settlers.

Instead, only negative consequences of the Vietnamese colonization have been brought upon the minorities like the wiping out of their culture and replacement by Vietnamese Kinh culture and exacerbated poverty due to control of the economy by the Vietnamese Kinh.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Southern Annamites montane rain forests
  2. ^ WWF - Annamite Range Moist Forests
  3. ^ McElwee, Pamela (2008). ""Blood Relatives" or Uneasy Neighbors? Kinh Migrant and Ethnic Minority Interactions in the Trường Sơn Mountains". Journal of Vietnamese Studies (Regents of the University of California) 3 (3): 81–116. doi:10.1525/vs.2008.3.3.81. ISSN 1559-372X. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  4. ^ McElwee, Pamela (2008). ""Blood Relatives" or Uneasy Neighbors? Kinh Migrant and Ethnic Minority Interactions in the Trường Sơn Mountains". Journal of Vietnamese Studies (Regents of the University of California) 3 (3): 83–84. doi:10.1525/vs.2008.3.3.81. ISSN 1559-372X. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 

External links[edit]