Quang Binh – an attractive destination for adventure and experience travelling

Friday, 2019-09-13 16:55:28
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Visitors camping at En cave at Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park (Photo: Mai Thanh Chuong)
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NDO – The central province of Quang Binh has many potentials and advantages for the development of tourism, particularly the adventure and experience travels.

Currently, there are 15 types of adventure and experience tourism operated at the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, the world’s natural heritage, contributing to affirming the brand of Quang Binh tourism on the world travel map.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park has been twice recognised by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site with many outstanding criteria of geology, geomorphology and biodiversity. The park also consists of numerous beautiful, pristine and mysterious natural landscapes, including rivers, streams, underground rivers, rocky beaches, waterfalls, valleys, tropical primeval forests, grasslands and especially the cave system.

Since 1990, an expedition of the British Royal Caving Research Association, led by Howard Limbert, in collaboration with the University of Natural Sciences at the Hanoi National University, conducted nearly 20 surveys and expeditions and announced a lot of important information.

The explorers said that Phong Nha – Ke Bang possesses thousands of large and small caves, over 350 of which, with a total length of up to 223km, were explored. There are many specials caves, including Khe Ry – the longest water cave in the world, Phong Nha – the cave with the longest underground river (7.7km) and Thien Duong – the longest dry cave with the most spectacular and unique stalactite system (over 7km), and En – the third largest cave in the world.

On April 22, 2009, the British Royal Caving Research Association began exploring Son Doong cave and affirmed that it was the largest cave in the world, with a width of 200m, length of 9km, height of over 150m and a volume of 38.5 million m3.

According to the explorers, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park can be considered as the ‘kingdom’ of caves in the world. The diversity and uniqueness of the geology, topography and geomorphology are prerequisite for beautiful, stunning and pristine landscapes. The primeval forests, such as Gao (over 10 ha), Bach Xanh on limestone mountains and Sinh Ton valley, are ideals destinations for eco-tourism as well as experience, exploration and adventure travelling activities.

Quang Binh has now 25 tourism products with a diverse range, including 15 types of experience and adventure tourism held in Phong Nha - Ke Bang. Thanks to the results of surveys and recommendations from the British Royal Caving Research Association and Howard Limbert, the provincial authorities have focused on developing tours to explore caves to turn the exploration travelling into a typical tourism products, creating the impressive brand of Quang Binh’s tourism.

According to Deputy Director of Quang Binh provincial Department of Tourism, Dang Dong Ha, the type of exploration, adventure and experience tourism is temporarily divided into two main segments. The first is universal experience with tours and entertainment activities at Phong Nha, Tien Son and Thien Duong caves as well as water games at Chay river, Toi cave and Nuoc Mooc spring. With affordable prices, products and services in this segment attract a large number of visitors every year. However, in order to join activities in this segment, tourists should have high-spending ability, good health and more free time. Meanwhile, with an intense adventure level, the higher segment will bring visitors to more interesting and surprising discoveries. The exploration of Va - Nuoc Nut, Tu Lan - Tien, Rao Thuong - En, Tra Ang, Vom - Gieng Vooc caves, Ma Da valley are typical tourism products. Especially, the expedition of Son Doong cave is the most interesting service with many experiences.

Many major international newspapers and magazines have voted Son Doong as one of the best destinations in the world. According to Chua Me Dat Limited Company, which conducts tours of Son Doong, over 800 visitors successfully conquered the cave in 2018. In 2019, Son Doong welcomed the same number of tourists in 2018, with numerous different and attractive experiences.

In addition to tours to explore and experience caves, the adventure tourism activities, including hiking and snorkeling in underground rivers, which have attracted many visitors. This new tourism product was launched after divers of the British Royal Expedition Delegation dived in the underground river of Son Doong cave to discover an underground passage between Son Doong and Thung caves in early April of this year. After a survey in the Nuoc Mooc spring area at the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, the diving experts also said that the limestone cave system at the park was divided into three layers: dry cave, water cave with flow and underground cave system located at a depth of nearly 100 metres.

With great potentials and advantages, Quang Binh is expected to become one of the leading centres for adventure tourism and exploration of nature not only in the region but also in the world. The province is considering conditions to implement the project on the development of adventure and expedition travelling, in order to effectively tap into the potentials of the cave system with endless mysteries.