Binh Dinh was probably one of the places where the Cham first arrived in what is now Vietnam. Its favourable geography led to the rise of the Cham Port of Thi Nai where Quy Nhon is now located. The city-state of Vijaya was located around this port and the main city, which was further inland. Its centre was in the southern lowland of Binh Dinh. However, its architecture implies that it did not become important until the eleventh or twelfth century.
Vijayas architecture also distinguishes it from other Champa centers, since it used a combination of stone and brick elements, while most other Cham structures only used bricks. This suggests some influence from Cambodian Angkor. It also points to the relative abundance of labour in Vijaya compared to other Champa centers of powers, because processing stones for construction was more labour-intensive than the production of bricks.
Vijaya was involved in various wars with neighbouring countries. Major wars were fought with Angkor (now Cambodia) in the 12th and 13th centuries. Around this time Vijaya seems to have been associated with and at times even dominated by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII. Major wars with Vietnam were fought in 1069 and again in the 15th century, which eventually led to the defeat of Vijaya and the demise of Champa in 1471.
The majority of Binh Dinh Province is covered by mountains or hills. Elevations range from 0 at the coast to around 1200 meters above sea level in An Lao District in the north-west of the province. While most of the mountains as well as the highest peaks are in the west, there are mountains throughout the province, even near the coast. Most districts of Binh Dinh have a topography that is a mix of mountains or hills and lowlands. The districts of An Lao in the north-west, Vinh Thanh in the west, and Van Canh in the south-west are mostly mountainous. All other districts have some lowlands.
The largest lowland area is located in the south of the province along the lower Con River. It encompasses much of Quy Nhon City, the districts of Tuy Phuoc, An Nhon, the western part of Phu Cat, and the eastern part of Tay Son. Given its size, and the access to a major port as well as Binh Dinhs major river, it has long been the place where most of Binh Dinhs people and economic activities concentrate. It was the site of Vijaya, one of the major city-states of Champa. The majority Binh Dinhs population lives in the districts around this plain.
Other lowland areas are located in the coastal districts of Hoai Nhon, Phu My, Phu Cat, as well as the inland district of Hoai An. There are some hills or mountains near the coast in all of the coastal provinces, with the highest peak in Phu Cat at 874m (Ba mountain, nui Ba) and in Phu My at 602m.
Mountains form natural borders to the neighbouring provinces. Cu Mong pass (deo Cu Mong) is the main border crossing to Phu Yen Province. National Route 1A passes through this pass, while there is another road (1D) along the coast. The border to Gia Lai Province is the most mountainous, with the only road connection at An Khe pass (deo An Khe) between the towns of Phu Phong in Tay Son District and An Khe in Gia Lai. The border to Quang Ngai Province is also very mountainous, with the major road and railway passing through Binh De Pass (deo Binh De) near Tam Quan.
With a GDP per capita of 9.57 million VND in 2007 Binh Dinh is ranked 4 out of 8 provinces and cities in the South Central Coast. While being significantly behind the main success stories of the region, namely Da Nang and Khanh Hoa Province, it is more developed than most other provinces in the region. It has been benefiting from its strategic position as one of the main gateways to the Central Highlands and its port. It is the regions third largest industrial center (mainly based on furniture manufacturing) and also has strong agricultural, forestry, livestock, and fishing sectors.