Peaceful view taken from the car ferry crossing one of the many strands
of Red River around 120km south of Hanoi, Capital of Vietnam. The
unusual limestone hills are karst style of limestone hills. A large
cement industry is near here using local raw materials.
The Red River, also known as the Hong - Red, Song Cai, Song Ca - Mother
River (Vietnamese), or Yuan River (Chinese), is a river that flows from
southwestern China through northern Vietnam to the Gulf of Tonkin.
The Red River begins in China's Yunnan province in the mountains south
of Dali. It flows generally southeastwardly, passing through Dai ethnic
minority areas before leaving China through Yunnan's Honghe Autonomous
Prefecture. It enters Vietnam at Lào Cai Province. Once reaching the
lowlands near Viet Tri, the river and its distributaries spread out to
form the Red River Delta. The Red River flows past the Vietnamese
capital Hanoi before emptying into the Gulf of Tonkin. Tonkin is the
former name of the northern provinces of Vietnam and thus the eponymous
body of water receiving the main river of "Tonkin".
The reddish-brown heavily silt-laden water gives the river its name.
The Red River is notorious for its violent floods with its seasonally
wide volume fluctuations. The delta is a major agricultural area of
Vietnam with vast area devoted to rice. The land is protected by an
elaborate network of dykes and levees.
In the 19th century, the river was thought to be a lucrative trade route to China.