Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park(World Natural Heritage)
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
lies in Quang Binh Province - the central Viet Nam. Covering an area of more than 343,000 hectares, Phong Nha – Ke Bang situated in Quang Ninh, Bo
Trach and Minh Hoa districts, is 50km northwest of Dong Hoi
Phong Nha - Ke Bang can be compared to a huge
geological museum thanks to its complicated geological structure with
different categories of stone including sandstone, quartz, schist,
siliceous limestone, granite, granodiorite, diorite, applet, pegmatite,
etc. Phong Nha-Ke Bang is the oldest and largest tropical karst formed
400 million years during the main geological periods of the Earth,
bearing the original topographic and geologic characteristics.
Experiencing major tectonic phases, high mountain ranges and the
depressed sedimentary basins were formed. These fluctuations have also
contributed to the diversity of geology, topography, geomorphology.
Phong Nha - Ke Bang karst mountains can provide a lot
of valuable information about the Earth's prolonged geological process
through various periods, from the Ordovician Age - Silurian Age (about
463.9 - 430 million year ago) to the Quaternary Age (1.75 million years
ago). It is also noteworthy to mention a geological characteristic – the
system of underground rivers and grottos in limestone mountains.
In the non-karst geomorphologic area, there are many
low mountains covered by a floristic carpet. The erosion has created a
number of abrasion-accumulation terraces along the valleys of the Son
and Chay rivers and at the margins of the central limestone massifs. The
transition terrain consists of a diversity of rock intercalated by
Besides the historical value of geology, topography,
geomorphology, Phong Nha - Ke Bang is also favoured with the mysterious
and majestic landscapes by nature. The Phong Nha - Ke Bang Natural Park
still hides various myths of nature. It also has spectacular karst caves
formed for hundreds of millions of years.
Locating in the area with a high average rainfall,
however, few rivers and streams can be seen because water is absorbed to
run inside limestone mountains. Therefore over tens of million years,
water has eroded rocks, creating numerous caves in the area. Phong
Nha - Ke Bang area is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is
composed of 300 caves and grottos, divided into three main systems:
Phong Nha Grottos, Vom Caves, and Ruc Mon Caves.
The Phong Nha grotto system is about 80km long in total, rising from south of Ke Bang Limestone Mountain. The
main entrances are Khe Ry and En Grottoes situated at a height of 300m
above sea level. The grottoes of this tree-branch system run in the
direction of northeast-southwest.
The system of Vom caves is over 35km long, rising
from Ruc Ca Roong Cave located at a height of 360m above sea level and
ending with Vom Cave. The system runs south and north. Ruc Ca Roong
River sometimes hides in mountains, sometimes appears in narrow and deep
valleys, and flows into the Chay River at the entrance of Vom Cave.
The system of Ruc Mon caves that lies in the district
of Minh Hoa is also a large cave. However, the information about this
system is not abundant because few surveys have been conducted in this
area so far.
Some typical caves and grottoes in Phong Nha - Ke
Bang are Phong Nha, Tien Son and Thien Duong grottoes, Toi, En and Khe
Ry caves. Especially, Son Doong Cave is considered as the largest cave
in the world with 200m in height, 200m in width, at least 8.5km in
With its characteristics of topography, climate, soil
and hydrography, Phong Nha - Ke Bang boasts a rich, diversified and
unique flora. Investigations show that Phong Nha - Ke Bang has a large
tropical forest floor. It covers 96.2 percent of the natural area, of
which nearly 94 percent is covered by primeval forests. The diversity of
rare and precious species of animals and plants in Phong Nha - Ke Bang
is corollary of its natural conditions, and is a feature of the forest
that the flora of Phong Nha - Ke Bang belongs to 2,400 species of higher plants
with 208 orchid species, of which many rare and precious species are listed in Viet Nam’s Red Book and IUCN’s Red Book (International Union for Conservation
of Nature and Natural Resources). Besides, there are 140 animal species, 356 bird
species, 97reptile species, 47
amphibian species, 162 fish species, 369 insect species, many of which are listed in Red Book of Viet Nam and IUCN
such as Sao la, Mang lon, Mang Truong Son, Ha Tinh langur… Phong Nha - Ke Bang is considered a huge biological
museum in Viet Nam.
With its vivid evidences of geological and
geomorphologic values, Phong Nha – Ke Bang has been declared a world
natural heritage by UNESCO at the 27th meeting in Paris in July 2003.
Some typical caves:
Nha Grotto - Toi
(Dark) Cave - Tien
Son Grotto- En
(Swallow) Cave - Son
Doong Cave - Thien
Duong (Paradise) Grotto