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Bac Kan province

                   
Bac Kan province
Tỉnh Bắc Kạn
—  Province  —
Ba Bể Lake
Location of Bắc Kạn within Vietnam
Coordinates: 22°10′N 105°50′E / 22.167°N 105.833°E / 22.167; 105.833Coordinates: 22°10′N 105°50′E / 22.167°N 105.833°E / 22.167; 105.833
Country  Vietnam
Region Northeast
Capital Bắc Kạn
Government
 • People's Council Chair Hà Sỹ Toàn
 • People's Committee Chair
Area
 • Total 4,859.4 km2 (1,876.2 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 308,900
 • Density 64/km2 (160/sq mi)
Demographics
 • Ethnicities Vietnamese, Tày, Nùng, Dao
Time zone ICT (UTC+7)
Calling code 281
ISO 3166 code VN-53
Website www.backan.gov.vn

Bắc Kạn, also spelt as Bắc Cạn, is a province of Vietnam. It is located in the northeastern part of the country, due north of the capital Hanoi. Bắc Kạn is the only town of the province which is the capital of the province and is a municipality. The province covers an area of 4859.4 square kilometres and as of 2008 it had a population of 308,900 people.[1] It is a mountainous terrain with rich natural resources of minerals and forests. It has numerous mountains, rivers and lakes which are very scenic. Ba Bể National Park and Lake lie within its borders.

Contents

  Etymology

The name Bắc Kạn is derived from the Sino-Vietnamese Bắc, meaning north, and the native Vietnamese Kạn; Bắc Kạn is rendered in Hán-Nôm as 北𣴓.

  Geography

  Ba Be Lake

The province is located in the northeast midland mountainous area of Vietnam. Its terrain has the highest altitude among the 11 provinces of the region. Forest area dominates more than 95% of the province. The remainder is available for agricultural and other uses. Due to this rugged and forested topography, development of water resources has been limited resulting in exploitation of its forest resources; this has caused degradation of the forests. The topography is highly variable, varying from 1,640 metres (5,380 ft) (highest point in the Khie Thiouing mountains in the province) to the lowest point of 40 metres (130 ft) in the Chợ Mới district. There are numerous rivers and streams flowing through the province, each with small catchment areas. However, most of them have steep slopes and short lengths. Out of the total population, 83% are dependent on agriculture.[2]

Climate

The climatic condition of the province is typically tropical monsoonal, which exhibits two distinct seasons namely, the rainy season from May to October accounting for about 88-90 % of the annual rainfall and dry climatic conditions between November and April. This results in water shortage conditions during the dry months.[2]

  Demographics

According to the General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam, the population of Bắc Kạn province, as on 2008, was 308900 with a density of 64 persons per km2 over a total land area of 4,859.4 square kilometres (1,876.2 sq mi) of the province. It is one of the least populated provinces in the northern midlands and mountain areas of Vietnam.[3] The male population during this period was 152800[4] with females accounting for 156,100.[5] The rural population was 262,000 against an urban population of 56,900 (about 5% of the rural population).[6][7] The main ethnic groups in the province in decreasing number, are ethnic Kinh, Tày, Nùng and Dao.

  Administrative divisions

Bắc Kạn is divided into: one town municipality (thị xã) Bắc Kạn and seven rural districts (huyện): Ba Bể District, Bạch Thông District, Chợ Đồn District, Chợ Mới District, Na Rì District, Ngân Sơn District, Pác Nặm District, four precincts,six towns under districts and 112 communes.[8]

Name Division type Population (2003) Area (km²) Towns (huyện lỵ or thị trấn) (bold)
and communes (xã)
Bắc Kạn Township (thị xã) 29,227 (2007) 131.95 Wards (phường): Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Đức Xuân, Sông Cầu, Phùng Chí Kiên, Communes: Huyền Tụng, Dương Quang, Nông Thượng, Xuất Hóa
Ba Bể District District (huyện) 47,910[9] 678[9] Chợ Rã, Mỹ Phương, Đồng Phúc, Hoàng Trĩ, Quảng Khê, Yến Dương, Chu Hương, Địa Linh, Thượng Giáo, Khang Ninh, Nam Mẫu, Cao Thượng, Cao Trí, Phúc Lộc, Bành Trạch, Hà Hiệu
Bạch Thông District District (huyện) 31,585[9] 546[9] Phủ Thông, Phương Linh, Vi Hương, Tú Trĩ, Lục Bình, Đôn Phong, Dương Phong, Quang Thuận, Hà Vị, Quân Bình, Cẩm Giàng, Tân Tiến, Sĩ Bình, Vũ Muộn, Cao Sơn, Nguyên Phúc, Mỹ Thanh
Chợ Đồn District District (huyện) 49,296 [9] 913[9] Bằng Lũng, Bình Trung, Yên Nhuận, Nghĩa Tá, Lương Bằng, Phong Huân, Yên Mỹ, Đại Sảo, Bằng Lãng, Đông Viên, Rã Bản, Phương Viên, Ngọc Phái, Yên Thượng, Yên Thịnh, Bản Thi, Quảng Bạch, Bằng Phúc, Tân Lập, Đồng Lạc, Xuân Lạc, Nam Cường
Chợ Mới District District (huyện) 37,665[9] 606[9]

Chợ Mới, Quảng Chu, Yên Đĩnh, Như Cố, Bình Văn, Yên Hân, Yên Cư, Thanh Bình, Nông Hạ, Nông Thịnh, Cao Kỳ, Tân Sơn, Hòa Mục, Thanh Vận, Thanh Mai, Mai Lạp

Na Rì District District (huyện) 38,833[9] 834[9] Yên Lạc, Đồng Xá, Liêm Thủy, Xuân Dương, Dương Sơn, Quang Phong, Hảo Nghĩa, Cư Lễ, Hữu Thác, Côn Minh, Văn Minh, Ân Tình, Lam Sơn, Kim Lư, Lương Thành, Lạng San, Kim Hỷ, Lương Thượng, Văn Học, Lương Hạ, Cường Lợi, Vũ Loan
Ngân Sơn District District (huyện) 29,509[9] 644.4[9] Ngân Sơn, Hương Nê, Lãng Ngâm, Thuần Mang, Thượng Quan, Đức Vân, Vân Tùng, Trung Hòa, Cốc Đán, Thương Ân, Bằng Vân
Pác Nặm District District (huyện) 26,476[9] 474[9] Ba Bể Bằng Thành, Nhạn Môn, Công Bằng, Giáo Hiệu, Bộc Bố, Xuân La, Cổ Linh, An Thắng, Cao Tân, Nghiên Loan

  Economy

  Agriculture operations in the province

Bắc Kạn's economy is centred on mining, forest products, agriculture and some degree of tourism offered by its mountains, lakes and the national park. Some statistics related to the economy of the province are the following.

In 2008, there were only 10 farms as against the national number of 120,699 farms.[10]

The province's agricultural output produce in 2008, at constant 1994 prices, was worth 406.3 billion dongs against the national value of 156,681.9 billion dongs.[11]

The province produced 151,800 tonnes of cereals as against the national production of 43.68 million tonnes, in 2008.[12]

The per capita production of cereals in the district was 491.4 kg as against the national figure of 501.8 kg, in 2007.[13]

In 2007, the industrial output of the province was a meagre 376.5 billion dongs against the national output of 1.47 million billion dongs.[14]

  Water resources development

The limited water resources development in the province is managed by the communes through better water management practices (government supported initiatives) such as water users associations both for domestic water use and agricultural operations. The irrigation systems developed, though often of temporary nature, in many communes. The participatory management practices adopted since the 1990s has resulted in a greater realization by the farmers that they can play a positive role in the development of irrigation systems in their region for their own benefit. This system has ensured more efficient water delivery to the fields and is reported to have increased the cropping area by 15% and yield levels by 20%. This has resulted in improved economic and living conditions for the farmers.[2]

  Attractions

The province generates tourism, with the mountains, rivers, and lakes of Bắc Kạn being considered quite scenic, especially Ba Be Lake (part of Ba Bể National Park).

  Ba Bể lake

  Karst limestone formations on the banks of Ba Bể lake
  Francois Langur
  Snub-nosed monkey in the reserve area

Ba Bể Lake located at an altitude of 178 metres (584 ft), in the midst of the Ba Bể National Park has a water spread area of 500 ha bounded within geographic coordinates of (22°13′59″N 105°33′58″E / 22.233°N 105.566°E / 22.233; 105.566) and (22°31′00″N 105°43′59″W / 22.5166°N 105.733°W / 22.5166; -105.733). The lake's water stretch is over 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) (from north to south) with a width of 800 metres (2,600 ft)(average). The depth of the lake is from 20–25 metres (66–82 ft) to 35 metres (115 ft). The bed of the lake is uneven with submerged mounts and also limestone islets. The details of the lake have been submitted for UNESCO recognition under the Criteria: (viii)(ix), Category: Natural Submitted by the Ministry of Culture and Information - Government of Vietnam. It is the biggest natural lake in Vietnam, formed in the Cho Ra-Ba Be-Cho Don karstic or "Karst" low-lying terrain in the northern midlands. Its formation is attributed to the raising mass formation “from the destruction of South East Asia continental mass at the end of Cambrian era, around 200 million years ago”. As opposed to similar karstic lakes in the world, it retains its full storage all through the year. The Government of Vietnam has also notified the lake as a forest preserve and a techno-economic study was instituted as part of the National Park Conservation programme.[15][16][17]

The lake and its environs have rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Among the flora recorded are 417 species of trees, several species of orchids and species of medicinal plants; 179 species of phytoplankton belonging to Chorophyta, Cyanophyta, Bacillariophyta, Euglenophyta, Pyrrophyta and Chrysophyta have been observed in the lake as well. The faunal species recorded are of terrestrial, aquatic and flying varieties. These are 319 species of animals, out which 42 species are recorded in Vietnam’s Red Book with 3 endemic animal species; the endemic species are the gibbon (snub nose), Bamboo-Thread and Red Algae.[15][16] 106 species of fish recorded in the lake consist of 61 genera, 17 families and 5 orders.[17]

The three lakes, also called the Slam Pe in the local Tay ethnic language, that form Ba Bể lake are called the Pé Lầm, Pé Lù, and Pé Lèng; all linked as one waterbody. The lake’s central part is contracted while its outer two parts are wider. The lake's hilly catchment drains 3 rivers into the lake, namely, the Tả Han, Nam Cường and Cho Leng rivers from south and west and is drained by the Năng River flowing to the north. The lake water is very clear with blue colour, and it is a flowing lake with a velocity maintained by controls at 0.5 metres (1.6 ft)/s. The lake acts as a flood absorption reservoir during the high flow stages of the Nang river when reverse flow occurs from the river into the lake, preventing flooding in the Nang, Gam and Lô river deltas. The Năng river flows southwards, eventually joining the Lô river in southern Tuyên Quang Province, before debouching in the Red River west of Hanoi.[15][16][17]

  Ba Bể National Park

  The narrow central part of the Ba Bể Lake in the dry season.

Ba Bể National Park, established in 1992, covers an area of 100.48 square kilometres (38.80 sq mi), delimited within geographical coordinates of 22°24′19″N 105°36′55″E / 22.40528°N 105.61528°E / 22.40528; 105.61528. It was set up to protect the Ba Bể Lake along with its surrounding limestone and lowland evergreen forests. The South-West valley of Phiabyior Range of the park has mountain peaks with an elevation range of 517–1,525 m.[15] The reserve forest has two main types of forest vegetation namely the limestone and lowland evergreen forests. The limestone forest, the larger of the two types in the reserve has steep limestone slopes with shallow soil cover. The forest species recorded are mostly Burretiodendron hsienmu and Streblus tonkinensis. The other type is the lowland evergreen forest shallow slopes with a thicker mantle of soils. It has a rich ground flora with a higher diversity of tree species.[16]

  Park sign near the lake management station

There are 65 mammal species in the park. The prominent ones are the Owston's Civet Hemigalus owstoni (globally vulnerable), Francois's Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus francoisi and Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus avunculus (the globally critically endangered).[16] The other species include Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang), Rhesus Macaque, Stump-tailed Macaque, Francois' Langur, Asiatic Black Bear, European Otter, Asian Golden Cat, Mainland Serow, Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Particolored Flying Squirrel (Hylopetes alboniger), Hairy-footed Flying Squirrel as well as 27 bat species.[17]

About 330 species of butterfly have been recorded, of which 22 are said to be new.[16] Facilities at the park include an information centre, guest houses, a lake management station, and an ecological research station opened in 2004. The park has 13 villages inhabited by five ethnic groups comprising more than 3,000 people, of which the Tày are the oldest ethnic group (over 2,000 years) and form the majority. The other ethnic groups are Dao, Mong, Nùng and Kinh in descending order by population.[17]

  Other attractions in the park

  Puong Cave in the Nang River

Puong Cave is a large cave in the north of Ba Bể park through which the Năng River flows. The main cave is up to50 metres (160 ft) high and about 300 metres (980 ft) long, in limestone formation. The cave is inhabited by a large population of bats which belong to 18 species, out of which three species are identified for plant pollination and scattering seeds.[17]

The "Fairy Pond" is an isolated rock basin filled with clear water that seeps through the surrounding limestone rock. However, the water level in this pond is the same as the Ba Bể Lake. The Dau Dang Waterfall is formed by the Năng River. It consist of a sequence of rapids which stretch over a length of almost one kilometre as the river flows into Tuyên Quang Province.

Widow Island is a small, cone-shaped islet near the centre of the southern part of the lake. According to local legend, the islet was once the home of an old widow who was spared from a flood through divine intervention.[17] Other well known caves include Puông Cave, Nả Poỏng, Ba Cửa Cave, Sơn Dương Cave and the Kim Hỷ nature reserve.

  References

  1. ^ "Population and population density in 2008 by province". General Statistics Office of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=467&idmid=3&ItemID=8653. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Practical Experiences and Successful Lessons in Bac Kan Province" (pdf). Asian development Bank. http://www.adb.org/Water/CFWS/WP_Report_03.pdf. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  3. ^ "Population and population density in 2008 by province". General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=467&idmid=3&ItemID=8653. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  4. ^ "Population and Employment: Average male population by province". Population and Employment: General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=467&idmid=3&ItemID=8650. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  5. ^ "Average female population by province". General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=467&idmid=3&ItemID=8649. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  6. ^ "Average urban population by province". Population and Employment: General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=467&idmid=3&ItemID=8648. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Average ruralpopulation by province". Population and Employment: General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=467&idmid=3&ItemID=8647. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Administrative Unit, Land and Climate: Number of administrative units as of 31 December 2008 by province". General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=466&idmid=3&ItemID=8601. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Districts of Vietnam". Statoids. http://www.statoids.com/yvn.html. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery: Number of farms by province". Population and Employment :General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=469&idmid=3&ItemID=8893. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery: Output value of agriculture at constant 1994 prices". Population and Employment :General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=469&idmid=3&ItemID=8889. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery:Production of cereals by province". Population and Employment: General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=469&idmid=3&ItemID=8883. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery:Production of cereals per capita by province". Population and Employment: General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=469&idmid=3&ItemID=8882. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery:Production of cereals per capita by province". Population and Employment: General Statistics Office of the Government of Vietnam. http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=470&idmid=3&ItemID=8970. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Ba Be Lake". Unesco.org. http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/957. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Ba Be National Park". Vietnam National Parks. http://www.vietnamnationalparks.org/north-eastern-area/ba-be-national-park.html. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "Ba Be National Park, 3 days". Main place in National Park. Easygoing tours. http://www.easysaigontour.com/babe_national_Park_tours.asp. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 

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