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Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Photo © Gill.J

Travel Guide Asia Vietnam Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

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Introduction

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bố Trạch and Minh Hóa districts of central Quảng Bình Province in the North Central Coast region, about 500 kilometres south of Hanoi. The park derives it name from Phong Nha Cave, containing many fascinating rock formations, and Kẻ Bàng forest. The plateau on which the park is situated is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in Southeast Asia. This national park was listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2003 for its geological values. In April 2009, the world's largest cave, was re-discovered by a team of British cave explorers of the British Caving Association led by a local farmer named Ho Khanh.

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Geography

The park borders the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in Khammouane Province, Laos to the west and 42 kilometres east of the South China Sea from its borderline point. Phong Nha–Kẻ Bàng National Park is situated in a limestone zone of 2,000 km2 in Vietnamese territory and borders another limestone zone of 2,000 km2 of Hin Namno in Laotian territory. The core zone of this national park covers 857.54 km2 and a buffer zone of 1,954 km2.

The park was created to protect one of the world's two largest karst regions with 300 caves and grottoes and also protects the ecosystem of limestone forest of the Annamite Range region in North Central Coast of Vietnam.

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos. A 2009 survey brought the total discovered length of the cave system to about 126 kilometres, with many areas still not well explored. The Sơn Đoòng Cave, which was discovered in the 2009 survey by British and Vietnamese explorers, is considered the largest cave in the world. Even before this discovery, Phong Nha held several world cave records, including the longest underground river as well as the largest combined caverns and passageways.

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Sights and Activities

  • Phong Nha and Tien Son Caves
  • Nuoc Mooc Spring Eco Trail
  • Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave
  • Tu Lan Cave System
  • Hang Son Doong is the world's biggest cave, discovered as recently as 2009
  • Hang En is of the largest and most beautiful caves in the world, this is close to Hang Son Doong.

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Getting There and Around

The park is accessible by road (National Route 1A or Ho Chi Minh Highway 450 kilometres south of Hanoi, 50 kilometres north of Dong Hoi, 210 kilometres north of Hue); by rail at Đồng Hới Railway Station on Hanoi–Saigon Railway; by air at Dong Hoi Airport 45 kilometres south of the park.

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Eat/Drink

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This is version 1. Last edited at 10:42 on Jan 18, 16 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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