1.1 Geographical location
Thai Nguyen is located in the Northern Key Economic region and is also the economic center of the Northern midland and mountainous region (NMMR) (including Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang), connected with the highly developed Economic Triangle: Ha Noi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh. In the long term, Thai Nguyen will form the economic growth quadrangle comprising Ha Noi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh-Thai Nguyen, which is developed along the National Route No 18, connecting the Northwest, Northern Vietnam with Cai Lan deepwater port and Highway No 5 linked with Hai Phong Port
Thai Nguyen province, a political and economic center of the Northern VietNam in particular, of the NorthEast midland and mountainous region in general, is the gateway for the economic and social exchange between the midland and mountainous region and The Northern plain region; sharing borders with Bac Kan province to the North, with Vinh Phuc and Tuyen Quang province to the West, with Lang Son province, Bac Giang to the East and with Ha Noi capital to the South (80 km away)
Thai Nguyen covers a natural area of 3.533,1sq km with total population of 1.173.238 people from 8 ethnic groups: Kinh, Tày, Nùng, Sán Dìu, H’Mông, Sán Chay, Hoa and Dao. Administratively, after Thai Nguyen province is formed (according to the Resolution of the IXth National Assembly, at its 10th session),it has two cities (i.e. Thai Nguyen city and Song Cong city), one town - Pho Yen and six districts: Phú Bình, Đồng Hỷ, Võ Nhai, Định Hóa, Đại Từ, and Phú Lương. The province is also constituted from 180 commune-level units in which 140 communes, 30 wards, and 10 townships can be counted.
Geographically, Thai Nguyen has two advantages. Firstly, it lies in the center of the Northern midland and mountainous region. Secondly, it profits from the sufficient mineral resources for industrial development, that makes Thai Nguyen a pioneer in the development of metallurgical industry in the country.
From the economic and political aspect, Thai Nguyen is one of the economic, cultural and social centers of the Northern midland and mountainous region and the gateway for the economic and social exchange between the NMMR and the Red river delta region
Thai Nguyen is the transportation hub connecting Ha Noi capital to the Northern mountainous provinces, playing a significant role in national defense and security, and usually known as the protective belt for Ha Noi capital. Until now, Thai Nguyen Province has been seen by government as the cultural and economic center for the ethnic groups in the North, ranked the 3th largest training center in the country (with its 9 universities, 12 colleges and 14 professional secondary schools ), owning a local general hospital, and shown to be the largest center for the mechanical metallurgy industry in the country.
With the economic and political location advantages, the traffic network, connecting Thai Nguyen province to other places, is quite convenient. Thai Nguyen’s transport system incorporates road, railway and inland waterway in a fan-shaped structure with Thai Nguyen as the head. Highway No 3 vertically runs through the entire Thai Nguyen, accessing Ha Noi as well as other provinces in the Red river delta region to the south andgoing through Bac Kan to Cao Bang and to China border to the north.
The National Highway No 37, 1B together with the provincial and district highway systems form an important traffic network, linking Thai Nguyen with the surrounding provinces. The Ha Noi - Quan Trieu, Luu Xa-Kep-Dong Trieu railway routes connect Song Cong river industrial zone, the Iron and Steel industrial areas to Thai Nguyen City. This position has offered Thai Nguyen the opportunity to become the regional economic center of the NMMR, a focal point for development in the north of Hanoi especially after Hanoi-Thai Nguyen Highway is built .
Thai Nguyen terrain is characterized by hills interspersed with fields, mainly limestone and bowl-shaped hills
Thai Nguyen terrain primarily consists of low hills, running from the North and lowering to the South. This type of topography enables the development of agriculture, forestry and the construction of the industrial projects.
The complicated characteristics of Thai Nguyen terrain have significantly affected the climate differentiation.
The important characteristic of Thai Nguyen climate is its transition between the plains and the mountains. Thai Nguyen climate was formed by high temperature of the tropics and the replacement of the seasonal circulations, which is combined with specific geographical locations to create a hot and humid climate, seasonal rainy, cold and irregular in the winter.
In general, Thai Nguyen climate is relatively favorable in all the aspects for the development of diversified and sustainable ecosystem, as well as argriculture, forestry and fishery industries.