The World Heritage site of Phong Nha – Ke Bang, a natural area in the oldest limestone region in Asia, created more than 400 million years ago, is located in Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province, some 50km North West from Dong Hoi. With its natural charms, Phong Nha – Ke Bang has enchanted many visitors.
In addition to its well-known caves, Phong Nha – Ke Bang boasts a tropical primeval forest with great valuable properties in terms of geology, culture, history and biology. According to research carried out by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the abundant fauna and flora at Phong Nha – Ke Bang are very diverse with about 570 species of animals and almost 880 plant species, of which may are listed in Vietnam Red Book and in the Red List of global protection as they are at risk of becoming extinct.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang holds more than 300 caves of various sizes, the most beautiful of which are Phong Nha Cavern (a water cave) and Tien Son Cavern (a dry cavee). Phong Nha Vacern which is recharged as “the most beautiful cavern in the country” and which has been evaluated by speleologists of the British Cave Research Association (BCRA), is one of the most tow typical caves in the world that meet seven set criteria: it’s the longest cave, boasting the highest and widest entrance opening, with the most beautiful banks of sand and stones under water, the largest subterraneous pool, most wonderful stalagmites, and the longest subterraneous river (13,969m).
Phong Nha Cavern, is only accessible by small boats, and visitors should be ready with torches in order to see its beauty. Seen from afar, the cavern entrance, which is almost 10 metres high and about 20 metres wide, seems to be enveloped in mist. When you approach, it suddenly opens like the mouth of a giant animal hiding behind the moutain. Visitors moving on boats in the cavern may feel as if they are travelling into a fantasy world because everything there is so wonderful. Displayed along both sides in the carven are numerous stalactites in various sizes and wonderful colours. The deeper the cavern, the more beautiful and dramatic things are as you approach the subterraneous river which has created large sandbanks and strance stone, which are almost rectangular as if they had been worked on by humans.
Including Phong Nha – Ke Bang, Vietnam is the proud owner of five world heritage sites. It is a great honour. However, we must take more responsibility to protect and preserve this wonder, which is, from now on, the great property not only of Vietnam, but also of the world.
(CPV/World heritages in Vietnam)