Vietnam gains its 8th UNESCO World Heritage Site in the form of Trang An

07/16/2014
By Elton

In Ninh BinhProvince in the north of Vietnam, the scenery is both dramatic and picturesque. The capital city here bears the same name and whilst there is not a great deal to do here, it is a superb base from which to experience one of Vietnam’s famous natural wonders. The grottoes of Trang An, have for years been known locally as Halong Bay on land. They have the same dramatic karst features and similarly, the best way to see it, is by boat.

trang-an
Trang An attracts a large number of tourists every year

Trang An World Heritage Site – Ninh Binh Tourism

On June 23rd 2014 Trang An was officially recognised by UNESCO and now joins Vietnam’s seven other famous sites by becoming inscribed onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This is a worthy inclusion onto the list and another boost to the local economy. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism. It has been recognised based on the principles of the Convention on the Protection of World Culture and Natural Heritages. These include cultural, aesthetic, and geological-geomorphic principals and the preservation of cultural and natural heritage.

Trang An covers an area of nearly 5,000 acres, it consists of three joined up sites. These are the Hoa Lu ancient citadel, Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong natural scenic site, and the Hoa Lu primeval forest. Over the course of hundreds of million years, dramatic movements of the earth’s crust have provided the whole area of Ninh Binh with a unique landscape of caves, mountains, lakes and an astonishing collection of 47 historical relics.

Hoa-Lu
The beauty of Hoa Lu Trang An

Interesting journey to explore Trang An cave

The many caves here are adorned with fabulous stalagmites and stalactites, plus many other important geological formations. There are over 30 valleys here and many are joined by cave systems. Historically the area is of great importance also. It is here that more than 1000 years ago, Hoa Lu, the first capital of the then feudal and independent state of Vietnam, existed.

This whole area has its own ecosystem. The forest that engulf it contain important flora and fauna including 310 types of tracheophyta, many fungi, rare species of moss and algae, rare trees and many endangered species of animal. Some 50 types of birds reside here and over 30 types of animal, including the rare white chested gibbon.

tamcoc-bichdong
Bich Cave

UNESCO’s recognition is seen as important both financially and aesthetically. Some of the caves have been widened to accommodate boats and hopefully this will cease from happening now and the area can be seen in its natural beauty. The increased tourism that UNESCO recognition brings is seen as a positive boost to an area that goes somewhat unnoticed among Vietnam’s myriad of geological attractions in Vietnam tours.

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