Non Nước Cao Bằng global geopark

(VOVWORLD) - At a ceremony held late last month in the northern mountain province of Cao Bằng, UNESCO officially recognized Non Nước Cao Bằng as a global geopark, the second of its kind in Vietnam after Đồng Văn Karst Plateau and the 8th in Southeast Asia. 

Non Nước Cao Bằng global geopark - ảnh 1Bản Giốc waterfall is at the heart of the Non Nước Cao Bằng geopark. 

Non Nước Cao Bằng geopark is 300 kilometers from Hanoi. The 3,300-square-kilometer park stretches through 9 districts and has 130 unique geological heritages of limestone towers, valleys, and complexes of lakes, rivers, and underground caves linking together. It is home to fossils, ocean sediment, volcanic rocks, minerals, and especially karst landscapes, which can give researchers an over-500-million-year window of insight into history of the Earth. There are varied geologic features as the terrain is divided by limestone and soil mountains, creating magnificent waterfalls and flat valleys where ethnic minority people reside. Inside the park are numerous famous sites: Phia Oắc and Phia Đén eco-tourism areas, Thang Hen lake, Ngườm Ngao grotto, and notably Bản Giốc waterfall, one of the four biggest and most majestic border waterfalls around the world. This geopark has 215 cultural and historical relics with three certified as special national sites.

Non Nước Cao Bằng global geopark - ảnh 2The 30-meter high Bản Giốc waterfall falls through layers of limestone rocks. 

Local administrators and people have, for years, preserved the geological, cultural, and historical values of this park while promoting sustainable tourism. Non Nước Cao Bằng was named a global geopark by UNESCO at a meeting of its Executive Board in Paris this year.

Trương Thế Vinh, Vice Director of the Cao Bằng provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and head of the park’s management board, said: “The geopark has been built to meet UNESCO standards. We will work with UNESCO experts on a master plan to promote the park’s value and sustainable development. We will invest in upgrading infrastructure, seek partners, and diversify tourism products to improve the livelihood of local people living inside the park.”     

Non Nước Cao Bằng global geopark - ảnh 3The lake is named "Thang Hen", which, in the Tay minority language, means "bee tail".  

There are 3 tours currently operated in Non Nước Cao Bằng geopark. The tour to the west will take visitors to Phia Oắc, the second highest mountain peak in Cao Bằng, through which they are delighted by diversified geological, geomorphological, and climatic conditions. The tour to the north is designed for those interested in Vietnam’s history. In the tour to the east, where ethnic people live, visitors can discover their crafts, festivals, and native food.

Hoàng Mạnh Ngọc, Director of Miền Tây Company Limited, one of Non Nước Cao Bằng geopark’s partners, told VOV: “The UNESCO recognition of Non Nước Cao Bằng global geopark will promote Cao Bằng province as an international tourist attraction. We will invest in infrastructure and diversify tours to the park cater to customers’ needs.”

Local residents are working with enterprises to promote the advantage of Non Nước Cao Bằng global geopark, making Cao Bằng tourism a trademark of northern Vietnam.       

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