(VNF) - According to Lonely Planet, a renowned travel publication, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh has come in second in a list of the “Top experiences in Vietnam”.
Phong Nha - Ke Bang ranked second on top experiences in Vietnam by Lonely Planet.
Lonely Planet describes Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park as the remarkable world natural heritage. The site was first honored by the UNESCO in 2003. The second UNESCO recognition of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was announced in 2015.
“The National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia, formed approximately 400 million years ago. Riddled with hundreds of cave systems – many of extraordinary scale and length – and spectacular underground rivers, Phong Nha is a speleologists’ heaven on earth. The Phong Nha region is changing fast. Son Trach village (population 3000) is the main centre, with an ATM, a growing range of accommodation and eating options, and improving transport links with other parts of central Vietnam,” the travel site said.
According to them, the caves are the region's absolute highlights, but the above-ground attractions of forest trekking, the area's war history, and rural mountain biking means it deserves a stay of around three days.
Phong Nha - Ke Bang is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bo Trach and Minh Hoa Districts of central Quang Binh Province in the North Central Coast region, about 500 km south of Hanoi. The park borders the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in Khammouane Province, Laos to the west and 42 km east of the South China Sea from its borderline point. The 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.
Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, known as "Cave Kingdom", still has many undiscovered caves. (Credit: Oxalis)
Phong Nha-Ke Bang 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 km, with many areas still not well explored. The Son Doong 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.
Recently, 58 new caves have been discovered in the Phong Nha - Ke Bang cave system, according to the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park Management Board.
“Top experiences in Vietnam” voted by Lonely Planet's include Hoi An, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Giang province, Cat Tien National Park, Bac Ha markets, Phu Quoc island, Hanoi, Con Dao island, Ba Be National Park, Sapa trekking, Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and Mui Ne./.