Song Hong
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Song Hong

Song Hong Ming dynasty person CBDB = 295908

Ming dynasty person CBDB = 295908
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Ming dynasty person CBDB = 295908
Countries China
Gender male
Father: Song Qian (Eastern Wu)
Children: Song Chun
Song Hong
The details
The reddish-brown heavily silt-laden water gives the river its name. View from bridge in Hanoi, Vietnam
Sunset over Red River, view from Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi, Vietnam

The Red River (simplified Chinese: 红河; traditional Chinese: 紅河; pinyin: Hóng Hé; Vietnamese: Sông Hồng), also known as the Hồng Hà and Sông Cái ( "Mother River") in Vietnamese and the Yuan River (元江, Yuán Jiāng Nguyên Giang) in Chinese, is a river that flows from Yunnan in Southwest China through northern Vietnam to the Gulf of Tonkin. According to C. Michael Hogan, the associated Red River Fault was instrumental in forming the entire South China Sea at least as early as 37 million years before present.


The Red River begins in China's Yunnan province in the mountains south of Dali. It flows generally southeastward, passing through Dai ethnic minority areas before leaving China through Yunnan's Honghe Autonomous Prefecture. It enters Vietnam at Lào Cai Province. It forms a portion of the international border between China and Vietnam. The river, known as Thao River for this upper stretch, continues its southeasterly course through northwestern Vietnam before emerging from the mountains to reach the midlands. Its main tributaries, the Black River (Da River) and Lô River join in to form the very broad Hồng near Việt Trì, Phú Thọ Province. Downstream from Việt Trì, the river and its many distributaries spread out to form the Red River Delta. The Red River flows past the Vietnamese capital Hanoi before emptying into the Gulf of Tonkin.

The reddish-brown heavily silt-laden water gives the river its name. The red river has a reddish-brown tint to the river because of the silt. The Red River is notorious for its violent floods with its seasonally wide volume fluctuations. The delta is a major agricultural area of Vietnam with vast area devoted to rice. The land is protected by an elaborate network of dikes and levees.

The Black River and Lô River are the Red River's two chief tributaries.

As a travel and transportation route

In the 19th century, the Red River was thought to be a lucrative trade route to China. The late 19th-century French explorers were able to travel up the Red River until Manhao in South Yunnan, and then overland toward Kunming.

The Red River remained the main commercial travel route between the French Indochina and Yunnan until the opening of the Kunming–Haiphong Railway in 1910. Although French steamers would be able to go as far upstream as Lao Cai during the rainy season, during the dry season (November to April) steamship would not go upstream of Yên Bái; thus, during that part of the year goods were moved by small vessels (junks).

Thanks to the river, Haiphong was in the early 20th century the sea port most easily accessible from Kunming. Still, the travel time between Haiphong and Kunming was reckoned by the Western authorities at 28 days: it involved 16 days of travel by steamer and then a small boat up the Red River to Manhao (425 miles), and then 12 days overland (194 miles) to Kunming.

Manhao was considered the head of navigation for the smallest vessels (wupan 五版); so Yunnan's products such as tin would be brought to Manhao by pack mules, where they would be loaded to boats to be sent downstream. On the Manhao to Lao Cai section, where the current may be quite fast, especially during the freshet season, traveling upstream in an wupan was much more difficult than downstream. According to one report, one could descend from Manhao to Lao Cai in just 10 hours, while sailing in the reverse direction could take 10 days, and sometimes as much as one month.


A number of hydroelectric dams have been constructed on the Red River in Yunnan:

  • Da Wan Dam
  • Dachunhe I Dam
  • Dachunhe II Dam
  • Nansha Dam, near Nansha Town, Yuanyang County
  • Madushan Dam, near Manhao Town, Gejiu City

Many more dams exist on the Red River's tributaries, both in Yunnan and in Vietnam. One of the earliest of them is the Thác Bà Dam in Vietnam, constructed in 1972, which forms the Thác Bà Lake.


China (Trung Quốc)

  • Yunnan (Vân Nam)
    • Honghe (Hồng Hà)
    • Nansha Town, the county seat of Yuanyang County, Yunnan (Nam Sa Nguyên Giang Vân Nam)
    • Manhao Town (Gejiu County-level City) (Man Hao Cá Cự)
    • Hekou (Hà Khẩu)

Vietnam (Yuenan)

The Red River, view from Long Biên Bridge, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Hà Nội (Henei)
    • Tây Hồ District (Xihu)
    • Ba Đình District (Bating)
    • Hoàn Kiếm District (Huán jiàn)
    • Hai Bà Trưng District
    • Long Biên District (Longbian
    • Gia Lâm District (Jialin)
    • Hoàng Mai District (Huang Mei)
    • Ba Vì District (Sanwei)
    • Đan Phượng District (Danfeng)
    • Đông Anh District (Dong ying)
    • Mê Linh District (Mi Ling)
    • Phúc Thọ District (Fu Shou)
    • Phú Xuyên District (Fu Chuan)
    • Sơn Tây (Sanxi)
    • Thanh Trì District (Qingchi)
    • Thường Tín District (Changxin)
    • Từ Liêm District (Cilian)
  • Hà Nam Province (Henan)
    • Duy Tiên District (Weixian)
    • Lý Nhân District (Liran)
  • Hưng Yên Province (Xingan)
    • Văn Giang District (Wen Jiang)
    • Khoái Châu District (Kuai Zhou)
    • Kim Động District (Jindong)
    • Hưng Yên (Xingan)
    • Tiên Lữ District (Xianlu)
  • Lào Cai Province (Laojie)
    • Bảo Yên District (Bao An)
    • Bảo Thắng District (Bao Sheng)
  • Nam Định Province (Nanding)
    • Nam Trực District (Nanzhi)
    • Giao Thủy District (Jiao Shui)
    • Trực Ninh District (Zhi Ning)
    • Xuân Trường District (Chun zhang)
  • Phú Thọ Province (Fu shou)
    • Cẩm Khê District (old name: Sông Thao District) (Jin Xi)
    • Hạ Hòa (Xia He)
    • Lâm Thao (Lin Tao)
    • Phú Thọ (Fu Shou)
    • Tam Nông (San Nong)
    • Thanh Ba (QingBo)
    • Thanh Thủy (Qingshui)
    • Việt Trì (Yuezhi)
  • Thái Bình Province (Taiping)
    • Hưng Hà District (Xinghe)
    • Vũ Thư District (Wu qiu)
    • Kiến Xương District (Jianchang)
    • Tiền Hải District (Qianhai)
  • Vĩnh Phúc Province (Yongfu )
    • Vĩnh Tường District (Yong Xiang)
    • Yên Lạc District (Anle)
  • Yên Bái Province (Anpei)
    • Trấn Yên District (Zhen An)
    • Vân Yên District (Wen An)
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