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 30-July 5.
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 site.
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 area.
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 area.
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, Royal Court and Buddha.
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
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