This article seeks to tell the story of a river and a canal in pre-fifteenth-century Thanh Hóa. Although apparently dissimilar, the fate of both waterways reflected a similar process, as both lived or died from the consequences of dynastic attempts to promote integration by bridging the territory of northern Vietnam with that of Champa. Integration was a central goal for the Việt authorities and water was one of their most important means. The story of water in the Thanh Hóa area illustrates the ongoing historical tension between integration and disintegration in Vietnamese history.

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