Annam ənăm´, ă´năm [key], historic region (c.58,000 sq mi/150,200 sq km) and former state, in central Vietnam, SE Asia. The capital was Hue. The region extended nearly 800 mi (1,290 km) along the South China Sea between Tonkin on the north and Cochin China on the south. In addition to Hue, the principal cities in the region are Da Nang (the chief seaport), An Nhon, Quang Tri, and Vinh. In 1954, when Vietnam was divided on a line approximating the 17th parallel, Annam went largely to South Vietnam. The ridge of the Annamese Cordillera separated N and central Annam from Laos on the west; the ridge then swung southeastward and ran along the coast of S Annam, which included the plateaus that stretched to the borders of Cambodia and Cochin China. The narrow coastal plains of N and central Annam were interrupted by spurs of mountains that almost reached the sea, as at Porte d'Annam, a pass important in Annamese history.
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