Thanh Hoa Province

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Thanh Hoa Province is in north-central Vietnam, at the narrowest part of the country. Its northern neighbors are Ho Binh, Ninh Binh and Son La Provinces, with Nghe An Province forming its southern border. To the west is the international border with Laos, and the South China Sea is its eastern edge. Thanh Hoa City (THC) is its capital; it has a population of 197,511 (2006), the majority of whom have only low-level skills.

It is the fourth largest province in Viet Nam, has an area of 11,168 km2, and 3.7 million residents, of whom 9.8% live in urban areas. This makes it the second densest province in population, but also the second poorest, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) half the national level, and a poverty rate of 36% in 2008. THP is the second densest province in terms of population, the second poorest in Viet Nam, with a poverty level of 36% (2006) and a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita half of that of the national average. [1]

Vietnam War

The "Dragon's Jaw", or Ham Rong bridge, over the Song Ma River was a critical part of the north-south transportation route on National Highway 1, and was one of the first targets for precision-guided munition attack, after many failed raids. This bridge and the Paul Doumer bridge in Hanoi were the most important transportation targets of the war, and their areas were extensively bombed. The first PGM raid took place on April 27, 1972; two followed until the bridge was considered destroyed in October.

It has been rebuilt as part of civilian infrastructure.

Current development

Provincial officials have, since the 1990s and especially in 2006, placed a strong emphasis on what they term the "socialization of culture and information." This takes the form of encouraging the use of Vietnamese tradition in social events such as weddings, the formation of cultural clubs, and the building of libraries, reading rooms, and village bookcases.[2] Business reporting in 2008 recounts a significant rise in Internet connectivity, with 30,000 subscribers, primarily broadband connected. [3]

On a more modest note, the Asian Development Bank is funding small-scale infrastructure improvement to reduce poverty around the central urban area. At the commune level, this will create "access roads, waste collection, piped water supply, drainage, and health centers." It is, however, an effort to be able to spread the development techniques elsewhere in Vietnam, as it includes "the preparation of a grant implementation manual, training of the communities in selecting projects components, and development of the monitoring and evaluation framework. The intention is to develop a model for community-led poverty reduction efforts for possible upscaling to other cities and provinces." [1]

Major economic development centers on the industrial sector at the Nghi Son economic zone. This has been funded to contain an oil refinery, an electrical power plant and a steel mill, with the total of 20 installations funded at USD $8.18 billion [4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Asian Development Bank (20 June 2008), ADB to Help Thanh Hoa to Reduce Peri-Urban Poverty
  2. Socialization of culture and information in Thanh Hoa province, Communist Party of Vietnam, October 23, 2006
  3. "Internet use booms in Thanh Hoa Province", Vietnam Business Finance, December 19, 2008
  4. "Thanh Hoa urged to boost industrial development", Vietnam News Agency, December 15, 2008