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Annamite Range

Annamite Range

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The Annamite Range or the Annamese Mountains is a mountain range of eastern Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

, which extends approximately 1100 km (683.5 mi) through Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, and a small area in northeast Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

. It is known in Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

 as Dãy Trường Sơn, in Lao
Lao language
Lao or Laotian is a tonal language of the Tai–Kadai language family. It is the official language of Laos, and also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, where it is usually referred to as the Isan language. Being the primary language of the Lao people, Lao is also an important second language for...

 as Xai Phou Luang (ພູ ຫລວງ), and in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 as the Chaîne Annamitique. The mountain range is also referred to variously as Annamese Range, Annamese Mountains, Annamese Cordillera, Annamite Mountains and Annamite Cordillera.

The highest point of the range is the Ngọc Linh
Ngoc Linh
Ngọc Linh mountain in Vietnam is 2,598-metre high, and straddles the two provinces of Quảng Nam and Kon Tum. It is considered "the roof of Vietnam"....

 (Ngoc Pan), 2598 m (8,523.6 ft). It is located at the northwestern edge of the Triassic
Triassic
The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 250 to 200 Mya . As the first period of the Mesozoic Era, the Triassic follows the Permian and is followed by the Jurassic. Both the start and end of the Triassic are marked by major extinction events...

 Kontum Massif, in central Vietnam.

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
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

. 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
Bolaven Plateau
The Bolaven Plateau is an elevated region in Laos. It is located between the Annamite Mountain Range, along which runs Laos’ eastern border with Vietnam, and the Mekong River to the west, at about . The plateau's elevation ranges approximately from above sea level. The plateau is crossed by...

.

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
Plain of Jars
The Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos. Scattered in the landscape of the Xieng Khouang plateau Xieng Khouang, Lao PDR, are thousands of megalithic jars...

 is located) lie east of the divide. Most of Vietnam lies east of the divide, although Vietnam's Tây Nguyên
Tây Nguyên
Tây Nguyên, translated as Western Highlands and sometimes also called Central Highlands, is one of the regions of Vietnam. It contains the provinces of Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Lâm Đồng....

 (Central Highlands) region lies west of the divide, in the Mekong basin.

The range is home to rare creatures such as the recently-discovered Annamite rabbit and the antelope-like saola
Saola
The Saola, Vu Quang ox or Asian unicorn, also, infrequently, Vu Quang bovid , one of the world's rarest mammals, is a forest-dwelling bovine found only in the Annamite Range of Vietnam and Laos...

, the large gaur
Gaur
The gaur , also called Indian bison, is a large bovine native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986 as the population decline in parts of the species' range is likely to be well over 70% over the last three generations...

 and the Indochinese tiger
Indochinese Tiger
The Indochinese tiger or Corbett's tiger is a subspecies of tiger found in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam and formerly in China. Tigers in peninsular Malaysia, formerly classified as Indochinese, have recently been reclassified as a separate subspecies, Malayan tiger Panthera tigris...

.

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