return icon

Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark, a wonderland on Earth

Non Nuoc Cao Bang Global Geopark is an exceptional area in which it is possible to explore the history of the Earth for more than 500 million years. It’s also a land of tangible and intangible cultural heritage sites.

Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark, a wonderland on Earth hinh anh 1

Ban Gioc Waterfall on Quay Son River in Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang province (Source: VNA)

Non Nuoc Cao Bang Global Geopark is an exceptional area in which it is possible to explore the history of the Earth for more than 500 million years. It’s also a land of tangible and intangible cultural heritage sites.

"Nang ve nuoi cai cung con
De anh di tray Nuoc non Cao Bang”

(Go back home and take care of our children and our mother
Let me go and have a venture in the majestic nature of Cao Bang)

This popular Vietnamese folk song explains that Cao Bang is a magnificent land filled with attractions. One such mystical place is Non Nuoc Cao Bang Global Geopark, one of the most impressive attractions of the province, which has been recognised as a UNESCO global geopark, the second of its kind in Vietnam.

Located in the north of Vietnam, 300km from Hanoi, Non Nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark covers 3, It covers six districts of Ha Quang, Tra Linh, Quang Yen, Trung Khanh, Ha Lang, Phuc Hoa, and part of Hoa An, Nguyen Binh and Thach An districts. The geopark is home to nine ethnic groups including Tay, Nung, Mong, Dao and San Chay.

The geopark is an exceptional territory which offers insights into the history of our planet across more than 500 million years through protected sites. Fossils, marine sediment, volcanic and plutonic rocks and minerals are witness to the remarkable evolution and changes of our planet, and they constitute an exceptional geological heritage.

It is also a land of tangible and intangible cultural heritage sites and special historical monuments. The area is also well-known for its high biological diversity with abundant endemic plant and animal species and ecosystems.

There are three main routes to explore the geopark, including going to the east to experience traditional cultures, north to see history and freedom, and west to experience Phia Oac, the mountain of transformations.

Wonderland to the east

The path to the route east is winding with one side green limestone mountains, and the other an abyss covered by white mist. Little wild flowers in many colours in the wind, fresh cool air, yellow sunlight, imposing scenes, and ethnic Tay girls in black costumes working happily in the rice fields created a painting of a peaceful rural life, harmoniously blended with nature. Ma Phuc Pass was the first site on the route.

Located in Cao Xuyen cillage, Quoc Toan commune, Tra Linh district, more than 3.5km long at an altitude of 700m above sea level, the pass is one of the most beautiful in Cao Bang.

Tran Van Tan, Director of the Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, said the pass winds between two high limestone mountain ranges and constitutes, at its bottom, an exceptional geosite. Here, in contact with limestone (white rock) can be seen a blackish green rock with rounded shape – the so-called pillow basalt.

“Besides the exceptional geological interest, Ma Phuc is also a place of intangible heritage,” said Chu Thi Vinh, Vice Chairwoman of the Tra Linh District People’s Committee.

“According to legend, in the 11th century, a leader of the Nung people named Nung Tri Cao led local people to fight against the Chinese Song army from the north. Once returning from a patrol along the border, at Quoc Toan commune of present day Tra Linh district, he faced this high, winding and steep pass, and his horse was crippled and could not continue. The mountain was since named An Lai, literally meaning to stop, and the pass was named Ma Phuc, literally meaning a kneeling horse,” Vinh said.

Leaving Ma Phuc Pass, visitors can travel to Angel Eye Mountain in Quoc Toan commune, Tra Linh district.

Angel Eye Mountain or Phia Piot in Tay language means a mountain with a through-going hole, which is 50m in diameter and 50m above the lake.

After a walk of about 15 minutes, we saw Tay people in Ban Danh hamlet with stilt houses, yin and yang tiled roofs, stone fences, paddy fields of rice and maize, water buffaloes and cows, and the surrounding green and mature karst landscape. This helped us relax and recover from our daily stresses.

At the end of the route going to the east, we reached Ban Gioc Waterfall, a must-see place in Cao Bang.

Located on the Quay Sơn River at Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, Ban Gioc Waterfall is the fourth largest waterfall in the world at an international border, after Iguazu Falls between Brazil and Argentina, Victoria Falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and Niagara Falls between the US and Canada.

Tran Thi Xuan Quynh, member of the management board of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark, said Ban Gioc Fall is approximately 300 wide and 35m high, with three cascades. It runs between Vietnam and China.

Historical experience to the north

From Cao Bang city, heading to the north, passing vast fragrant paddy rice fields which were in harvest time, tourists can visit historical sites that tell of the revolutionary life of President Ho Chi Minh after he came back to Vietnam on January 28, 1941.

The jade tranquil Lenin Stream which softly and peacefully meanders at the foot of the rampart – like Karl Marx Mountain, is worth a visit.

Crossing a small bridge, walking 15 minutes and then climbing up for about 50 steps, both natural and artificial, we reached Coc Bo Cave, President Ho Chi Minh's shelter during his time in Pac Bo.

The small, almost dry and quiet reserve, though still having a second entrance, was badly damaged during the border war with China and has been partly restored. The stone bed where President Ho Chi Minh used to sleep is still there.

Mountain of transformations to the west

After recovering with some local food and a good sleep, tourists should head west on the next day to experience Phia Oac, the mountain of transformations.

The route was a highlight, with many attractive sights including Phai Khat Post, beewax brocade by Dao Tien people, Phia Den salmon farm, Ban O and Lung Muoi tungsten mines, Phia Oac-Phia Den National Park and Tran Hung Dao Forest Special National Monument.
The three experience routes give visitors a chance to explore the geopark, as well as local people here. Each of these routes can be visited, with a guide, and will leave a unique and unforgettable experience.

Source: VNS

Spectacular beauty of nature, culture in Cao Bang

Spectacular beauty of nature, culture in Cao Bang

With three major tourism routes, the northern border province of Cao Bang is giving visitors opportunities to explore all landscapes and cultures of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Global Geopark.


VN-Index bounces back from two-year low

The benchmark VN-Index on Wednesday regained the 1,100-point landmark after falling to a two-year low, but low liquidity may threaten the market recovery in the next sessions.

Sexual-assault victims choose to remain silent amid backlash on social media

Many travelers have told VietNamNet that they had been victims of sexual assault but later decided not to report their cases for fear of being ridiculed and blamed.

'South Korean street’ in HCM City deserted as business people leave

Amid business decline, some South Korean businessmen have gone bankrupt or shut down their business and left for their home country. It’s unclear if they will come back.

Foreign tech firms scale up operations in Vietnam

Molex, the world’s leading electronic component and connection device manufacturer, has announced a plan to expand its production facility in Hanoi with a total production area of 16,000 sq m.

Vietnam’s veggie, fruit imports from China surge

Vietnam spent some US$473 million importing vegetables and fruits from China between January and August, surging by 74% year-on-year and accounting for 38% of the country’s total veggie and fruit imports.

Legal move towards fair competition in pay TV market

A new decree on the use and management of broadcasting services aims to create an impartial playground between domestic and foreign pay TV service providers.

79 villas to be pulled down in Phu Quoc for construction violations

Authorities in Phu Quoc Island in the southern Kien Giang Province are removing 79 villas that were illegally built in Duong To Commune.

Vietnam needs large domestic shipping lines

The lack of domestic shipping firms has caused difficulties for export companies.

VN seeks ways to increase export of organic farm produce

The organic food market was expected to reach $437.36 billion by 2026 with a compounded annual growth rate of 14 per cent.

Twins survive after premature birth, weighing just 500g

The National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology has for the first time successfully bred twins who were born at 25 weeks, each weighing just 500g.

Hanoi to spend $5.3 million to inspect old apartments

Hanoi plans to spend about VND128 billion (US$5.3 million) to appraise the quality of old apartments across the city this year.

Applying special mechanism, HCMC attracts 10 experts, scientists and talents

HCM City has issued a Resolution on the income level of experts and scientists for the fields the city needs to attract talents in the 2018-2022 period.

People should be cautious of 'easy job, high salary' in Cambodia

Nguyen Minh K., 24, of Ninh Thuan Province, still can't believe he was illegally sold to a casino in Cambodia.

25 Apple’s partners have factories set up in Vietnam

The number of Apple manufacturing partners setting up their factories in Vietnam has increased to 25 at present, four more than the 2020 figure, the tech giant said in its list of supply partners for the fiscal year 2021.


Hanoi inaugurates new road tunnel to address traffic congestion