Phong Nha – Ke Bang is another important attraction near Son Doong and belongs to the same province as Son Doong, Quang Binh. This is also a really large system of caves and should be visited given the chance.
Overview of Phong Nha- Ke Bang
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is located in the ecological site of North Truong Son, covers administrative borderlines of Bo Trach, Quang Ninh, Minh Hoa districts (mainly Bo Trach); about 50 km northwest of Dong Hoi city, about 500 km south of Ha Noi capital, is evaluated as one of the 238 globally important ecological regions, with ranges of calcareous mountains which have almost been developing continuously with relatively unified components, is the largest Karst region with an area of over 200,000 ha. It is a typical sample of geological process of Karst category and formation of caves which have been taking place globally, not only in the field of biological diversity but also the best scenery in caves of the world .
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park has a total area of 343,638.04 ha. Of which, the core zone is 125.729,6 ha, including: strictly protected sub-zones 64,894 ha, ecological restoration sub-zone 17,449 ha, service-administration sub-zone 3,411 ha, extended area 31,070 ha (belongs to communes of Thuong Hoa, Hoa Son of Minh Hoa district), special forest 8,364.5 ha, the land without forests 173.6 ha, other land 367.5 ha. The buffer zone is 217,908.44 ha (belongs to 13 communes of districts of Bo Trach, Quang Ninh, Minh Hoa).
The cave system
Phong Nha – Ke Bang area has a group of over 300 caves multi – shaped known as the “Kingdom of the cave”, where there is a mystery of wonders and attraction, a paradise for scientists in caves, explorers and tourists. Up to now, the British cave research association in collaboration with the Geography Department of Hanoi National University has surveyed more than 170 caves with a total length of hundreds of kilometers, which have been published on the journal of International Caves – No. 48, July 1994 and valuated as one of the most beautiful sights with characteristics as follows: the cave with the longest underground river, the highest and widest entrance, the most beautiful sandbank and reef,the most beautiful undergroud lake, the most beautiful and widest dry cave, the most spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and longest water grottos. Among the caves, Phong Nha is really prominent with surveyed length of nearly 8 km, mainly with underground rivers, Vom cave (Arch cave) is more than 15 km long, Paradise cave is 31.4 km which are included in the list of the caves with the longest underground rivers in the world.
Along with the miraculous cave system, the Trooc river, Chay river and Son river in Phong Nha – Ke Bang region with the fresh blue streams winding among the rock mountains with forests, have created a poetic beauty as a magnificent water – color painting.
The primeval forest Phong Nha – Ke Bang with tens of top of mountains of more than 1,000m high, full of obstacles and no human footprints, is an attractive place for climbing and exploration. For instance, Co Rilata peaks of 1,128 m high, Co Preu of 1,213m high. Lying among the peaks over 1,000 m, suitable for ecological tourism and climbing such as mount Phu Sinh of 965 m high, Ma Ma of 835 m high. Especially, mount Ma Tac of 721 m high.
To be continued…
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