A Travellerspoint blog

Son Doong Cave

the world's largest cave | the world cultural heritage in Vietnam

Hang Son Doong (roughly translates to Mountain River Cave in English) is the world's largest cave and it is so large that it could hold a modern-day skyscraper inside of its caverns, so large that it has its own small jungle. What's more, the cave was only discovered about 20 years ago and is just now being explored as a recent feature in National Geographic points out.
hang-son-doong.10953.large_slideshow

hang-son-doong.10953.large_slideshow

Located near the Vietnam-Laos border, the cave was found by a local man named Ho-Khanh in 1991. The locals, it is said, were too afraid of the cave to go exploring because of the sound coming from the fast-moving underground river.

In 2009, a group of scientists from the British Cave Research Association began an extensive survey of the cave's depths. According to Howard Limbert, the man leading the survey, the cave is five times larger than Phong Nha, which once held the title of the largest in Vietnam. The biggest chamber, his team found, is over five kilometers long and 200 meters tall.
hang-son-doong.10954.large_slideshow

hang-son-doong.10954.large_slideshow


The jungle found inside of the cave has formed underneath a collapsed roof in one of the caverns. After the roof collapsed, enough light spilled into the cavern that vegetation was able to creep in slowly from outside. As the vegetation took hold, larger and larger plants began to grow.

Japan’s NHK World TV will broadcast on June 25 a 3D scientific reportage on Vietnam ’s Son Doong cave, which is classified as the largest cave in the world.

NHK TV’s broadcast will reach 60 countries around the world, according to the Foreign Affairs Department of the central province of Quang Binh , where Son Doong cave was found.
hang-son-doong.10956.large_slideshow

hang-son-doong.10956.large_slideshow

Department Deputy Director Nguyen Ngoc Quy said this scientific reportage is the first in the world using 3D technology.

The reportage, called “Let’s fell the grandness of nature”, has been made by Japan ’s Kyodo film studio with assistance of Quang Binh province and the British Cave Research Association (BCRA).

Hang Son Doong (Mountain River Cave was announced as the largest in the world by BCRA, and selected as one of the most beautiful in the globe by the BBC news, according to Quy.
hang-son-doong.10958.large_slideshow

hang-son-doong.10958.large_slideshow


Son Doong cave was first spotted in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991.

The cave was then made known publicly as lately as in 2009 by a group of British scientists from BCRA, led by Howard Limbert, after their surveying trip in Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park .

According to Limbert, the cave is five times larger than the nearby Phong Nha cave, previously considered to be the largest cave in Vietnam .

Son Doong cave is found to have a length of at least 6.5km. It is estimated to be 200m in width and 150m in height. The largest chamber of the cave is judged to be 250m in height.

Scientists have also discovered a great number of stalactites in astonishingly extraordinary shapes and also primitive forests in the cave./.

For further information, contact please:
NhatPhong Travel Company
Website: http://dulichmientrung.net
Add: 57 Phan Thanh, Thanh Khe, DaNang City
Tel: [+084] 0511. 3 82 33 82
Email: nhatphongvn@gmail.com

Posted by vinhnng 21:30 Archived in Vietnam Tagged son cave doong Comments (0)

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

the world Natural heritage in Vietnam

Brief Description

The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Palaeozoic (some 400 million years ago) and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park’s karst landscape is extremely complex with many geomorphic features of considerable significance. The vast area, extending to the border of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, contains spectacular formations including 65 km of caves and underground rivers.
Justification for Inscription
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park


Criterion (viii): Phong Nha is part of a larger dissected plateau, which also encompasses the Ke Bang and Hin Namno karsts. The limestone is not continuous and demonstrates complex interbedding with shales and sandstones. This, together with the capping of schists and apparent granites has led to a particularly distinctive topography.

The caves demonstrate discrete episodic sequences of events, leaving behind various levels of fossil passages, formerly buried and now uncovered palaeokarst (karst from previous, perhaps very ancient, periods of solution); evidence of major changes in the routes of underground rivers; changes in the solutional regime; deposition and later re-solution of giant speleothems and unusual features such as sub-aerial stromatolites. The location and form of the caves suggests that they might owe much of their size and morphology to some as yet undetermined implications of the schists and granites which overlay the limestone. On the surface, there is a striking series of landscapes, ranging from deeply dissected ranges and plateaux to an immense polje. There is evidence of at least one period of hydrothermal activity in the evolution of this ancient mature karst system. The plateau is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in SE Asia.

In summary, Phong Nha displays an impressive amount of evidence of earth’s history. It is a site of very great importance for increasing our understanding of the geologic, geomorphic and geo-chronological history of the region.
Long Description

The Phong Nha Nature Reserve is situated on the edge of the Phong Nha/Ke Bang Karst plateau in central Viet Nam. It is only part of the total plateau, which extends to and adjoins the Hin Namno karst of the Lao PDR. Phong Nha contains many large and spectacular caves. The karst landscape is an extremely complex and ancient one, with high geodiversity and some geomorphic features of considerable significance. It has an Earth crust development history from the Ordovician period (464 million years ago). This has produced three types of topography and geomorphology. One type is the non-karst landforms, which consist of low, round-top mountains with planation surfaces and abrasion-accumulation terraces along the valleys of the Son and Chay rivers and at the margins of the central limestone massif. The other major type is karst landforms, which are characterized by old tropical karst mainly from the Mezozoic era, but two-thirds of the site consists of karst from the Cenozoic. Extensive transitional landforms comprise an extremely complex intercalation of limestone massifs and terrigenous terrain with a diversity of rock types. The limestone occupies an area of about 200,000 ha, with a similar adjacent area in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and its highest point is 1,290 m above sea level.

The karst formation process has resulted in many features such as underground rivers, dry caves, terraced caves, suspended caves, dendritic caves and intersecting caves. The active river caves are divided into the nine caves of the Phong Nha system discharging to the Son River, and the eight caves of the Vom system discharging to the Chay River. The Phong Nha Cave is the most famous in the entire system, with a currently surveyed length of 44.5 km. Its entrance is the last part of an underground river that connects with the Son River and tour boats can penetrate inside to a distance of 1,500 m. Other extensive caves include the Vom cave at 15 km in length and the Hang Khe Rhy cave with a length of 18,902 m.

Some 92% of the park is covered by tropical forest, 92.2% of which is primary forest. By far the largest vegetation type is tropical dense moist evergreen forest on limestone. Although this was severely damaged by fire during the war, it is recovering rapidly and is now in a healthy state. It has a high level of faunal diversity and there are many vascular plants.

A total of 568 vertebrate species have been recorded in the site, comprising 113 mammals, 81 reptiles and amphibians, 302 birds and 72 fish. The fauna is typical of the limestone karst forests of the Annamite mountains. The high mammal species richness includes threatened species such as tiger, Asiatic black bear, Asian elephant, giant muntjac, Asian wild dog, gaus, and the newly discovered sao la. The site is particularly rich in primates, with 10 species and subspecies forming 45% of the total number of species in Viet Nam.

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang karst has evolved since the Palaeozoic era and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. It has been subject to massive tectonic changes. The karst landscape of the park is extremely complex with high geodiversity and many geomorphic features of considerable significance.

The limestones of Phong Nha are interbedded with a number of other rocks. There is also strong evidence that sulphurous solution and hydrothermal action have played an important role in shaping the broad-scale landscape and the caves. The incorporation of the Ke Bang forest into the park has added another very important dimension.

This sector has many 'fossil' caves at a high level, which occur when the groundwater and rivers move to a lower level. Only a very few have been visited to date. It is one of the most important eco-regions of the Indo-Pacific. A large number of faunal and floral species occurs in the park, including some endemic to the site.
For further information, contact please:
NhatPhong Travel Company
Website: http://dulichmientrung.net
Add: 57 Phan Thanh, Thanh Khe, DaNang City
Tel: [+084] 0511. 3 82 33 82
Email: nhatphongvn@gmail.com

Posted by vinhnng 21:22 Archived in Vietnam Tagged park travel vietnam national tour bang phong nha-ke Comments (0)

Ha Long Bay

the world Natural heritage in Vietnam

Brief Description
Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. The site's outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest.

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay

Long Description

Ha Long Bay, situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and relatively unaffected by human influence.

The geomorphology of Ha Long Bay is known as a drowned karst landscape due to the exceptional combination of its limestone karst features which have been subject to repeated regression and transgression of the sea over geological time. The limestones of Ha Long Bay have been eroded into a mature landscape of fengcong (clusters of conical peaks) and fenglin (isolated tower features) karst features, modified by sea invasion at a later stage.

The smaller islands are fenglin towers of 50m to 100m high with height. Many have vertical walls on all or most sides and these continue to evolve by rock falls and large slab failures.

Marine invasion of Ha Long Bay has added an extra element to the normal process of lateral undercutting of the limestone towers and islands. The most conspicuous feature being the main notch cut into the entire rocky coastline. Notches are a feature of limestone cliffs worldwide, but those of Ha Long Bay are exceptionally well developed and, at many sites, extend into arches and caves. This process of undercutting and subsequent erosion maintains the steep faces of the fenglin karst towers and thereby perpetuates the spectacular nature of the landscape.

A distinctive feature of Ha Long Bay is the abundance of lakes within the larger limestone islands.

Extensive limestone caves represent another important feature of Ha Long Bay, with three main types able to be identified: old phreatic caves formed below the water table of the time; old karstic foot caves formed by lateral undercutting of cliffs at base level; and marine notch caves formed at sea level where rock structures are powerfully eroded and eventually reduced to a wave cut platform.

In summary, Ha Long Bay possesses a tremendous diversity of caves and other landforms which derive from the unusual geomorphological process of marine invaded tower karst. These areas provide a unique and extensive reservoir of data for the future understanding of geoclimatic history and the nature of karst processes in a complex environment.
Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

28 April 1962. Established as a historical and cultural relict and national scenic spot under Decision No. 313/VH VP, issued by the Minister of Culture.
For further information, contact please:
NhatPhong Travel Company
Website: http://dulichmientrung.net
Add: 57 Phan Thanh, Thanh Khe, DaNang City
Tel: [+084] 0511. 3 82 33 82
Email: nhatphongvn@gmail.com

Posted by vinhnng 21:18 Archived in Vietnam Tagged travel vietnam bay tour long ha Comments (0)

My Son Sanctuary

the world cultural heritage in Vietnam

Brief Description

Between the 4th and 13th centuries a unique culture which owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism developed on the coast of contemporary Viet Nam. This is graphically illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower-temples located in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence.
My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary


Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii) : The My Son Sanctuary is an exceptional example of cultural interchange, with the introduction the Hindu architecture of the Indian sub-continent into South-East Asia.

Criterion (iii) :The Champa Kingdom was an important phenomenon in the political and cultural history of South-East Asia, vividly illustrated by the ruins of My Son.
Long Description

The Champa Kingdom was an important phenomenon in the political and cultural history of South-East Asia, vividly illustrated by the ruins of My Son. The sanctuary is an exceptional example of cultural interchange, with the introduction of the Hindu architecture of the Indian subcontinent into South-East Asia.

My Son, a valley surrounded by mountains, was chosen as the site for a religious centre for the capital of the Champa Kingdom. The sanctuary area is one of the most famous Champa architectural and sculptural monuments in Viet Nam.

The Champa Kingdom began in AD 192. The Cham economy was based on farming (wet-rice agriculture), fishing, and seaborne trade. When the Cham came under the influence of the Hindu religion many temples were built to the Hindu divinities, such as Krishna and Vishnu, but above all Shiva. Mahayana Buddhism must have penetrated the Cham culture later, probably in the 4th century, and became strongly established in the north of the Champa Kingdom.

While the religious significance of My Son was important, its location in a small valley surrounded by high mountains gave it strategic significance as an easily defensible stronghold. Successive kings in the 6th to 8th centuries favoured My Son and endowed it with fine temples. In the later 10th century, most of the finest surviving architectural monuments were built there.

Most of the 11th century was a period of continuous warfare and My Son, along with other sacred sites in the Champa Kingdom, suffered grievously. Harivarman IV had moved his capital to Do Ban towards the end of the century and he undertook the restoration of My Son. From 1190 to 1220 the Champa Kingdom was occupied by the Khmers. From the 13th century the Champa Kingdom slowly declined and was absorbed by the growing power of Viet Nam. It ceased to exist as an entity in the later 15th century, when worship ceased at My Son.

The site represents the ancient settlement and sanctuary area; eight groups of tower temples have been singled out. In date they cover the period from the 10th to the 13th centuries, and this long date range is reflected in different architectural styles. All are constructed in fired brick with stone pillars and decorated with sandstone bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

The main tower (kalan ) symbolizes the sacred mountain (meru ) at the centre of the universe. The square or rectangular base (bhurloka ), representing the human world, is built from brick or stone blocks and decorated with reliefs. Above this rises the main tower (bhuvakola ), constructed entirely in brick, with applied columns and a false door facing east.

The interiors are plain, with small niches for lamps; the Shivalingam was situated on a plinth in the centre. It symbolized the spirit world. The towers were separated from their roofs (suarloka ) by a decorated frieze. Many of these roofs were originally covered with gold or silver leaf.

The predominant style of the architecture and sculptural decoration of the My Son temples derives directly from India.
Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The Champa Kingdom began in AD 192 when the people of the Tuong Lam area rose up against their Chinese overlords and founded an independent state in the narrow strip of land along the coast of central Vietnam. This state is known from sporadic Chinese records, in which it appeared successively as Lam Ap, Hoan Vuong, and then Chiem Thanh, a transcription of Champapura, meaning "the city of the Cham people." The Cham economy was based on farming (wet-rice agriculture), fishing, and seaborne trade.

The Cham came under the influence of the Hindu religion of the Indian sub-continent early in their development, though the exact date is not known. Many temples were built to the Hindu divinities, such as Krishna and Vishnu, but above all Shiva. Mahayana Buddhism must have penetrated the Cham culture later, probably in the 4th century, and became strongly established in the north of the Champa Kingdom, but Shiva Hinduism remained the state religion. There were two sacred cities in the Champa Kingdom, each belonging to a large clan. My Son (the name in Vietnamese means "Beautiful Mountain") was sacred to the Dua clan (Narikelavansa in Sanskrit), who worshipped the mythical king Srisanabhadresvara and governed Amaravati, the northern part of the kingdom; it was also the capital of the whole Champa Kingdom. Whilst the religious significance of My Son was important, its location, in a small valley surrounded by high mountains gave it strategic significance as an easily defensible stronghold.

Successive kings in the 6th to 8th centuries favoured My Son and endowed it with fine temples. Between 749 and 875 the Cau clan were in power, and for a time the capital was moved to Vivapura in the south of the territory. Nevertheless, My Son retained its religious importance, and resumed its paramountcy in the early 9th century during the reign of Naravarman I, who won many battles against the Chinese and Khmer armies.

From the beginning of the 10th century the influence of Buddhism began to wane, to the advantage of My Son, where Hinduism had always been strong. By the reign of Giaya Simhavaram in the later 10th century it had achieved parity with Buddhism in the Cham Kingdom. It was at this time that most of the finest surviving architectural monuments were built there.

Most of the 11th century was a period of continuous warfare and My Son, along with other sacred sites in the Champa Kingdom, suffered grievously. It was Harivarman IV who brought peace to the kingdom. He had moved his capital to Do Ban towards the end of the century but he undertook the restoration of My Son. Warfare broke out again in the 12th century, when Jaya Indravarman IV attacked the Khmer Empire and sacked its capital. This resulted in an immediate reprisal, and the Champa Kingdom was occupied by the Khmers from 1190 to 1220.

From the 13th century the Champa Kingdom slowly declined and was absorbed by the growing power of Vietnam. It ceased to exist as an entity in the later 15th century, when worship ceased at My Son.
For further information, contact please:
NhatPhong Travel Company
Website: http://dulichmientrung.net
Add: 57 Phan Thanh, Thanh Khe, DaNang City
Tel: [+084] 0511. 3 82 33 82
Email: nhatphongvn@gmail.com
My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary

Posted by vinhnng 21:15 Archived in Vietnam Tagged my son travel vietnam tour sanctuary Comments (0)

Hoi An Ancient Town

the world cultural heritage in Vietnam

Brief Description

Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii) : Hoi An is an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international commercial port.

Criterion (v) : Hoi An is an exceptionally well preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port.
Long DescriptionHoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An, an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port, is an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international maritime commercial centre.

The town is a special example of a traditional trading port in South-East Asia which has been completely and assiduously preserved: it is the only town in Viet Nam that has survived intact in this way. Most of the buildings are in the traditional architectural style of the 19th and 20th centuries. They are aligned along narrow lanes of traditional type. They include many religious buildings, such as pagodas, temples, meeting houses, etc., which relate to the development of a port community. The traditional lifestyle, religion, customs and cooking have been preserved and many festivals still take place annually.

Archaeological finds and excavations have shown that there was a port and trading centre of the local Sa Huynh people along the Thu Bon River as early as the 2nd century BC. This continued to expand, especially during its most flourishing period from the late 16th to the early 18th centuries. It was through Hoi An that Christianity penetrated Vietnam in the 17th century.

By the end of the century, the rise of other ports on the coast of Vietnam, in particular Da Nang, and silting of its harbour, led to the final eclipse of Hoi An. As a result of this economic stagnation, it has preserved its early appearance in a remarkably intact state, the only town in the country to have done so. The ancient town is situated on the north bank of Thu Bon River. There is a street running east-west along the river's edge and three further streets parallel to the river. They are intersected at right angles by streets and alleys. Within this area there are houses (often combined with shops), religious monuments such as pagodas, temples, communal houses and family cult houses, a ferry quay and an open market.

The architecture of Hoi An, which is almost entirely of wood, is of considerable interest. It combines traditional Vietnamese designs and techniques with those from other countries, above all China and Japan, whose citizens settled there to trade and built houses and community centres to their own designs.

The typical house conforms to a corridor plan, the following elements occurring in sequence: house, yard and house. The buildings are:

family cult houses, dedicated to the worship of ancestors;
the community houses, used for worship of ancient sages, founders of settlements, or the legendary founders of crafts;
the pagodas are almost all from the 19th century, although inscriptions show them to have been founded in the 17th and 18th centuries. They conform to a square layout and decoration is largely confined to the elaborate roofs. In the case of the larger examples, they constituted nuclei of associated buildings with religious and secular functions. Some of the larger pagodas also served as meeting halls. These are located along the main street (Tran Phu).

There is a fine wooden bridge, reminiscent of Japanese examples, with a pagoda on it. It has existed from at least the early 18th century, as an inscription indicates, but it has been reconstructed many times. There is also a number of ancient tombs in Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese style within the buffer zone.
Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

Archaeological finds and excavations have shown that there was a port and trading centre of the local Sa Huynh people along the Thu Bon river as early as the 2nd century BC. This continued to expand, and by the 15th century Hoi An (known in Vietnam and abroad under various names - Fayfo, Haifo, Kaifo, Faifoo, Faicfo, Hoai Pho) was already the most important port of the powerful Champa Kingdom. It continued after the Vietnamese absorption of the Champa Kingdom in the same capacity, becoming one of the most important centres of mercantile, and hence cultural, exchange in South-East Asia, attracting ships and traders from elsewhere in Asia and from Europe, especially during its most flourishing period from the late 16th century to the early 18th century. It was through Hoi An that Christianity penetrated Vietnam in the 17th century.

It retained its role as the main port of the central region throughout the 19th century, when the Nguyen dynasty kings operated a "closed trade policy." By the end of the century, the rise of other ports on the coast of Vietnam, in particular Da Nang, and silting of its harbour, led to the final eclipse of Hoi An. As a result of this economic stagnation, it has preserved its early appearance in a remarkably intact state.

For further information, contact please:
NhatPhong Travel Company
Website: http://dulichmientrung.net
Add: 57 Phan Thanh, Thanh Khe, DaNang City
Tel: [+084] 0511. 3 82 33 82
Email: nhatphongvn@gmail.com

Posted by vinhnng 21:12 Archived in Vietnam Tagged travel town vietnam tour ancient hoi an Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 9) Page [1] 2 »