Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park

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Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park locates in the Bo Trach and Minh Hoa districts of Quang Binh Province in the North-central Vietnam, about 500 km to the south of Hanoi capital. It borders Hin Namno Nature Reserve in Khammouan, Laos to the west and 42 km far from South China Sea to the south. Phong Nha – Ke Bang is recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2003 for its geological value.

The name Phong Nha – Ke Bang derived from Phong Nha Cave – the most magnificent cave in the area and Ke Bang forest. The park is suited in a karst area of about 2,000 km2 in Vietnamese territory. It has the core zone of 857.54 km2 and the buffer zone of 1,954 km2. The park was established with an aim to protect one of the world’s largest limestone regions with about 300 caves and grottoes and conserve the ecosystem in Ke Bang forest of the Annamite Range in the north central of Vietnam. The national park is divided into three main systems: Phong Nha Grottos, Vom Caves, and Ruc Mon Caves. In 2009, the world's largest natural cave, Son Doong Cave, was discovered by a team of British explorers of British Caving Association. It is a part of the underground system connected to more than 150 different activities in Vietnam, located near the border with Laos.

With the evolution of 400 million years (since Palaeozoic), the karst formation of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is known as the oldest major karst area in Asia. There is a remarkable amount of earth’s history evidence found in Phong Nha, which helps to understand the geologic history and topography of the area. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is probably one of the distinctive pattern of the most beautiful and complex limestone landform in Southeast Asia.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang is a central biodiversity of Annamite Range Eco-region with wide range of flora and fauna, which has been identified as one of 200 biodiversity centers in the world. Especially, it is home to sixty-six animal species listed in the Vietnam Red Book and 23 other species in the World Red Book.

The park is home of Bru – Van Kieu minority ethnic group, the largest population of the minority ethnic groups in the Truong Son North range and Chut - minority ethnic group. The first group includes the group of the people: Van kieu, Khua, Mang Coong, Tri, So while the later one includes Sach, May, Ruc, Arem, Ma Lieng. There are typical cultural features of the various local minority groups such as Drum Beating festival of the Macoong people in Thuong Trach commune, Fairy’s Water Begging festival of people in Son river’s valley, Tuong singing of the Khuong Ha villagers, Hung Trach commune, the full moon festival in Third Lunar month of the Lunar Year in Minh Hoa district and etc.

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