Phong Nha-Ke Bang fairy cave

Nature has offered Quang Binh a superb world natural heritage - Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park - unique in terms of geology, topography, biodiversity and geomorphology. The park contains 300 caves and Phong Nha is considered one of the finest in the world.

Located north of Hue, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is recognized world heritage by UNESCO since 2003 because “Phong Nha displays an impressive amount of evidence of earth's history. It is a site of very great importance for increasing our understanding of the geologic, geomorphic and geo-chronological history of the region” (UNESCO).

The beauty of Phong Nha Cave is recorded in historic annals. At the end of the 19th century, in the “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi”, a set of Chinese characters in geography books compiled by the Nguyen Dynasty, it was called “Fairy Cave”.

This cave is located north-west of Quang Binh province, near the border with Laos, 50km northwest of Dong Hoi city and 500km south of Hanoi. To get there from the center of Nhon Trach town (Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province), take a boat and cruise up Son river for 30 minutes.

At the end of the 19th century, a French explorer Michel Leopold Cadiere proclaimed that Phong Nha cave was “the most beautiful of Indochina”. In July 1924, Barton, a British caver, explored Phong Nha and said it was a beautiful place comparable to the most famous caves in the world, such as Padirac in France and Caves of Drach in Spain.

As part of the oldest karst region of Asia (including formation dating back over 400 million years), this huge complex karst landscape offers many spectacular caves and underground rivers stretching for dozens of kilometers. This extraordinary network of galleries is currently being explored.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park is also covered largely by tropical forests, with a high level of biodiversity with many rare species. Ecotourism programs can be implemented. It is also in this region that live Chut ethnic groups (including Sach, May, Ruc, Arem tribes) who earn a living by hunting, picking in wild conditions.

This is the fifth tourist and cultural site of Vietnam recognized World Heritage by UNESCO, after the Imperial City of Hue in 1993, Halong Bay in 1994, Hoian Ancient Town and My Son in 1999.

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