Phong Nha-Ke Bang
Viet Nam's Phong Nha-Ke Bang national
park has been recognised as a world natural heritage site by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
(UNESCO) at its 27th general assembly session being held in Paris from June
At the session, delegates from
over 160 member countries of UNESCO
World Heritage Convention agreed to include Phong Nha-Ke Bang park
and 30 others worldwide to the list of world heritage sites.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang park is now the
fifth UNESCO recognised site in Viet
Nam after Ha Long Bay, the imperial city of Hue, the ancient
quarter of Hoi An and the My Son historical
Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park,
located to the north of the majestic Truong Son range in central
Quang Binh province, is one of the world's two largest limestone
The over 200,000 ha of parkland
includes beautiful limestone formations, grottoes and caves, and
boasts lush forestland covering 95 percent of the park
The area is considered a paradise
for researchers and explorers of grottoes and caves, and Vietnamese
and British scientists have so far surveyed 20 with a total length of
70km. Of them, 17 are in the Phong Nha area and three in the Ke Bang
The Phong Nha cave itself which
lends its name to the whole system is probably the most beautiful of
all, containing many fascinating rock formations, enchanting visitors
with evocative names such as Lion, Fairy Caves,
Besides the grotto and cave
systems, Phong Nha has the longest underground rivers, the largest
caverns and passageways, the widest and prettiest sand banks, and the
most astonishing rock formations in the world.
According to initial statistics,
the primitive tropical forest in Phong Nha-Ke Bang houses 140
families, 427 branches, and 751 species of high-rated plants, of
which 36 species are endangered and listed in the Viet Nam Red Book.
The forest is also home to 32 sets, 98 families, 256 races and 381
species of four land backboned animals. Sixty-six animal species are
listed in the Viet Nam Red Book and 23 other species in the World Red
Book. In general, Phong Nha-Ke Bang's animals are more diverse than
in other natural reserves and national parks.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang also boasts
dozens of mountain peaks of over 1,000 metres still unexplored by men
and seen as ideal sites for activities like climbing and exploration.
Worthy of note are Peak Co Rilata with the height of 1,128 m and Peak
Co Preu, 1,213 m. Lying between these peaks are valleys which promise
tourists exciting eco-tours.
In addition to the diversity in
the ecosystem, Phong Nha-Ke Bang is home to archeological and
historical relics, such as an ancient hieroglyphic script of the Cham
ethnic minority, King Ham Nghi's base built for the resistance war
against French colonialists in the late 19th century, and the Xuan
Son ferry station, Ho Chi Minh Trail and Road 20 used during the US
Central Quang Binh province has
poured heavy investment into upgrading the Phong Nha-Ke Bang visitor
site to turn it into the country's major tourist destination.