Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cochin China

Cochin China, the eastern division of the Indo-Chinese peninsula, includes Anam proper, the French colony of Cochin China and Tong-King, and consists of a strip of land forming the arc of a circle, and extending about 1,240 miles along the E. coast, being bounded on the W. by a mountain chain, and varying in breadth from 372 miles in the N. of Tong-King to 50 miles in Hue and 190 miles in Lower Cochin China. The empire of Anam contains about 230,000 square miles, and the French Indo-China about 21,630, but the western boundary is vague, and many parts are unexplored. The country in the S. is low, flat, and alluvial, rising, however, to the height of 920 feet in Cape St. Jacques, at the entrance of the river Donnai, which leads to Saigon. The principal river of this part of the country is the Cambodia or Me-Kong, which has a delta of more than seventy miles in area. About 45 miles from the mouth of the Me-Kong is the island of Pulo Condore, with a good port, and a French penitentiary establishment, and the coast generally is studded with islands, some of which in the Gulf of Tong-King are the haunts of pirates. The chain of mountains which stretches for a long way down the west of the country is the last offshoot of the plateau of Thibet, but nowhere rises to a greater height than 5,250 feet. The principal river of Tong-King is the Hong-Kiang, upon which the capital Hanoi is situated. This river is very low in March, but becomes a torrent in July, and floods the country. The kingdom of Anam has many unimportant rivers, and most of the rivers of Southern Cochin China are connected by canals. The climate of Tong-King is healthy, but that of the French colony is particularly fatal to Europeans, dysentery being the most prevalent disease. The mean temperature of this part is 83° F., and the atmosphere is damp and depressing. The fauna is rich, and besides the timber forests, there are in parts abundant fruit-trees, from which one province - Vinhlong - obtains its name of the garden. The chief production is rice, next to which come cotton, mulberry, sugar-cane, maize, betel, and vegetables, and the cultivation of tea has been introduced. Tong-King is rich in metals, but Lower Cochin China is poor in minerals. The population of nearly two millions consists chiefly of Anamites, who present peculiarities which mark them off as a distinct race, Cambodians, Chinese, savages, and Malays. The French colony is connected by telegraph with Singapore, Tong-King, and Hong-Kong, and Saigon has a railway and steam tramways.