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Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bố Trạch and Minh Hóa districts of the North Central Coast region of Quảng Bình province, Vietnam, about 500 km south of Hanoi City and bordering the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in Khammouane Province, Laos. The national park has a core zone of 857.54 sq kilometers and a buffer zone of 1,954 sq kilometers.

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is located in a limestone zone of 2,000 sq kilometers and is adjacent to other limestone zones in Hin Namno, Laos. The park is declared to protect one of the two largest karst areas in the world including 300 caves and protect the limestone forest ecosystem in the Annamite Range region of North Central Coast of Vietnam.

Xvlor Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is cave and underground river systems

Xvlor.com Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is cave and underground river systems

The cave system

This region has a cave system where a survey in 2009 recorded a total length of 126 kilometers with many areas still unexplored. The Sơn Đoòng Cave to date is the largest cave in the world that overpowered the previous record by Phong Nha Cave in the same region.

Phong Nha cave contains many spectacular rock formations and the Kẻ Bàng forest in the highlands is probably one of the best and most distinctive examples of complex karst landforms in the world. This national park was listed on UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 for its geological value.

Karst in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng has evolved since Paleozoic around 400 million years ago as the oldest karst area in Asia. Large tectonic changes and many types of interconnected rocks in complex ways in which the seven different stages of karstic development result from tectonic lift and sea-level changes.

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng contains many mountain peaks including Peak Co Rilata with 1,128 meters high and Peak Co Preu with a height of 1,213 meters. The Sơn and Chay Rivers are the main rivers that flow into the cave's mouth and continue underground to emerge as far as 20 kilometers to the south near Mount Pu-Pha-Dam. Gió Waterfall, Madame Loan, Mọc flow coming from the mountains.

Phong Nha Cave systems has a length of 7,729 meters, 14 grottos and a long underground river 13,969 meters. The cave is constantly shaped by the Chay River where the stalactites and stalagmites look glittering as bright light shines. The main Phong Nha includes 14 chambers, secondary corridors branched off in all directions. The other great caves are Vòm Cave, Tiên Sơn Cave, Thiên Đường Cave and Sơn Đoòng Cave.

Biodiversity

The largest type of vegetation is a moist, humid tropical moist forest in limestone below 800 meters where 92.2% is intact primary forest. The most common tree species are Hopea sp., Sumbaviopsis albicans, Garcinia fragraeoides, Burretionendron hsienmu, Chukrasia tabularis, Photinia aroboreum and Dysospyros saletti.

Types of cypress trees are dominated by Dipterocarpus, Anogeissus acuminate, Pometia pinnata and Lagerstroemia calyculata. The dominant plant families are Lauraceae, Fagacaeae, Theaceae and Rosaceae with several scattered gymnosperms such as Podocarpus imbricatus, Podocarpus neriifolius and Nageia fleuryi.

This forest is home to 98 families, 256 genera and 381 vertebrate species, including 89 endangered species. The researchers reported Lygosoma boehmeiwas as a new gecko species in 2005. Gaur fish and one species of eel are also found in this park, including 10 other new species.

The park is home to 10 species and sub-species of primates, including pig tailed monkeys, Assam monkeys, stump-tailed apes and white-legged crested (Nomascus leucogenys and Nomascus leucogenys siki), Minggir Hatinh and black monkeys. Major mammals that are endangered include serowland land (Capricornis sumatraensis), giant muntjac (Megamuntiacus vuquangensis) and saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis).

The Asian black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus) and sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) have been confirmed. Other smaller mammals include the Sundanese pangolin (Manis javanica) and the newly discovered striped rabbit (Nesolagus timminsii). Ten species of bats are listed in the IUCN List of Threatened Species.

At least 59 species of reptiles and amphibians, including 24 of them are threatened. Fish consists of 72 species in which 4 endemic species including Danio quangbinhensis. More than 200 species of birds, including some rare are chestnut-necklaced partridge, red-collared woodpecker, brown hornbill, sooty babbler, short-tailed scimitar babbler, Vietnamese pheasants (Lophura hatinhensis) and imperialist pheasants (Lophura imperialis).

www.xvlor.com Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is cave and underground river systems

Xvlor Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is cave and underground river systems

Location: Trạch and Minh Hóa districts, Quảng Bình province, Vietnam.

Routes and public transport: All flights to Dong Hoi Airport. Then travel overland to the north for 50 kilometers by bus for 90 minutes or train for faster time.

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