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 2,819 m (9,249 ft)
Coordinates 18°35′30″N103°48′0″E / 18.59167°N 103.80000°E / 18.59167; 103.80000 Coordinates: 18°35′30″N103°48′0″E / 18.59167°N 103.80000°E / 18.59167; 103.80000
Length1,100 km (680 mi)NW/SE
Width130 km (81 mi)NE/SW
Chaine Annamitique.png
CountriesLaos and Vietnam
Age of rock Triassic
Annamite Range in Huong Son District, Ha Tinh Province, Viet Nam National route 8A Vietnam.jpg
Annamite Range in Hương Sơn District, Hà Tĩnh Province, Việt Nam
Landscape south of the Annamite Mountain Range near Hoi Yen, Quang Nam Province, Viet Nam Hoi Yen QNam Landscape.jpg
Landscape south of the Annamite Mountain Range near Hoi Yen, Quảng Nam Province, Việt Nam

The Annamite Range or the Annamese Mountains (French : Chaîne annamitique; Lao : ພູ ຫລວງPhou Luang; Vietnamese : Dãy (núi) Trường Sơn) is a major mountain range of eastern Indochina, extending approximately 1,100 km (680 mi) through Laos, Vietnam, and a small area in northeast Cambodia. The mountain range is also referred to variously as Annamese Range, Annamese Mountains, Annamese Cordillera, Annamite Mountains and Annamite Cordillera. The name "Annam" is the Vietnamese pronunciation and terminology of Chinese :安南 (Pinyin: Ān Nán), meaning "to pacify the south" referring to Vietnam. The French adopted the word and used "Annamese" or "Annamite" to refer to the Vietnamese.


The highest points of the range are the 2,819 m (9,249 ft)-high Phou Bia, the 2,720 m (8,920 ft)-high Phu Xai Lai Leng and the 2,598 m (8,524 ft)-high Ngọc Linh (Ngoc Pan). The latter is located at the northwestern edge of the Triassic Kontum Massif in central Vietnam. [1] Important mountain passes are the Nape Pass and the Mụ Giạ Pass.

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.


The Annamite mountains form an important tropical seasonal forest global ecoregion, the Annamite Range Moist Forests Ecoregion, which consists of two terrestrial ecoregions, the Southern Annamites montane forests and the Northern Annamites moist forests. [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 beginning of the 20th century. 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.

See also

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Northern Annamites rain forests Ecoregion in the Annamites Range

The Northern Annamites rain forests ecoregion covers the rugged and relatively unexplored northern Annamite Mountains of central Laos and Vietnam. There are high numbers of endemic plant species, and the relative remoteness and isolation of the area supports many rare and endangered animals. Rainfall is somewhat less than the lowland rainforest of the lower elevations in Vietnam, and the temperatures slightly cooler due to the higher altitude.

Southern Annamites montane rain forests Ecoregion in the Annamites range

The Southern Annamites montane rain forests ecoregion covers a region of high biodiversity in the central and southern mountains of the Annamite Range in Vietnam. Terrain ranges from wet lowland forest to evergreen hardwood and conifer montane rain forest. There is a short dry season centered on January–February, but fog and dew are common throughout the year and support a lush forest character.

Northern Khorat Plateau moist deciduous forests Ecoregion in Northern Khorat Plateau

The Northern Khorat Plateau moist deciduous forests ecoregion covers a small area on the border between northeastern Thailand and Laos, in the transition zone between the drier Khorat Plateau to the south and the wetter Annamite Range of mountains to the north. Much of the ecoregion has been converted to agriculture along the floodplain of the middle course of the Mekong River.


  1. Southern Annamites montane rain forests Archived October 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. "WWF - Annamite Range Moist Forests". Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2012-02-21.