Much of what is now Bình Thuận Province was part of the Cham principality of Panduranga, which had its political centre in neighbouring Ninh Thuận Province. It was the last independent principality after the fall of Vijaya in 1471. Bình Thuận was later incorporated into Vietnam, while Ninh Thuận remained independent longer, until 1832. Before 1976, Bình Thuận Province was much smaller because much of the west was in the separate Bình Tuy Province). Bình Tuy, Bình Thuận and Ninh Thuận were merged in 1976 to form Thuận Hải Province. It was divided again into Ninh Thuận and Binh Thuận in 1991, while Bình Tuy remained part of Bình Thuận Province.
Bình Thuận borders Lâm Đồng Province in the north, Ninh Thuận Province in the north-east, and Đồng Na and Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu provinces in the west. Much of the borders with Lâm Đồng and Ninh Thuận are mountainous, while much of the rest of the province is relatively flat. However, there are several hills with a height of at least 200m along the coast of the province.
The highest peak in the province (1548m) is in northwestern Tánh Linh District, near Lâm Đồng.Phú Quý island is located around 120 km south-east of Phan Thiết. It is a separate district. There are several much smaller island off the coast of Bình Thuận, including Cau Island (cù lao Cau) in the east, Lao Island (hòn Lao) at Mũi Né, and Bà Island (hòn Bà) in the west.
Bình Thuận has several rivers mostly originating in the province itself or in the highlands of neighbouring Lâm Đồng Province. Most flow into the South Sea (also known as the East Sea). Some of the major rivers are the Luy River (Sông Luỹ) in the east, the Cai River (Sông Cái) in the centre, and the Dinh River (Sông Dinh) in the west.
La Ngà River (Sông La Ngà) flows through four districts in the north-west of the province and is a major tributary of the Đồng Nai River The largest lake is Song Quan Lake (hồ Sông Quán) in the centre of the province around 30 km north of Phan Thiết. Another major lake is Biển Lạc in the northwest region of the province.
As of 2007, 50% of the province (394,100ha) are covered with forests, which is high compared to most other provinces of the South Central Coast region.
Forests are mostly located in the province’s mountainous regions in the northwest and northeast. Despite its large forested area, the province also has a lot of agricultural land. 284,200ha were used for agriculture in 2007, which is the largest figure among all provinces of the central coast regions (both North Central and South Central).
Bình Thuận is one of the most arid provinces in Vietnam. Much of the province receives less than 800mm of rain per year. The months from November to April are particularly dry, with less 200mm of rain. It has reserves of arsenic in the north-western mountains and titanium along its western coast.
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