The Vietnamese government often groups the various provinces into eight regions. These regions are not always used, and alternative classifications are possible. The regions include: Northwest (Tây Bắc Bộ)
Northeast (Đông Bắc Bộ)contains inland provinces in the west of Vietnam's northern part. Three of them are along Vietnam's border with Laos, and two border China (Dien Bien borders both China and Laos).
Red River Delta (Đồng Bằng Sông Hồng)contains most of the mountainous provinces that lie to north of the highly populated Red River lowlands. Four of them are along Vietnam's border with China.
Hà Nội †
Hải Phòng †
North Central (Bắc Trung Bộ)contains the small but populous provinces along the mouth of the Red River. The Red River Delta has the smallest area but highest population and population density of all regions. It is also the only region without any land borders with neighboring countries.
contains the coastal provinces in the northern half of Vietnam's narrow central part. They all stretch from the coast in the east to Laos in the west.