Dong Van stone plateau situated on an altitude of 1,000m-1,600m and belong to 4 districts of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac, Dong Van ( Ha Giang Province) the 2,356km² -this is one of Viet Nam’s special limestone areas, housing prominent imprints that depict the development of the earth’s crust. Up to 80% of the karst formations of Dong Van Plateau are limestone formed by environment conditions and different development stages of nature.
According to a survey of Viet Nam institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources , 13 fossil- geological formations were found in Dong Van, including Chang Pung, Lut Xia, Si Ka, Bac Bun, Mia Le, Si Phai, Toc Tat, Lung Nam, Bac Son, Dong Dang, Song Hien, Hong Ngai, and Lan Pang. Of which, Chang Pung is the oldest one with date of 540 millions years.
Besides, scientists also discovered 19 paleontology groups, including Brachiopoda (Tay cuon), Tabulata (San ho vach day), Tetracoralla (San ho bon tia), Stromatoporoidea (Lo tang), Trilobita (Bo ba thuy), Polybranchiaspis liaojiaoshanensis (Ca co), Foraminifera (Trung lo), Tentaculies (Vo non), Conodonta (Rang non), Pelecypoda (Chan riu), Gastropoda (Chan bung), Cephalopoda (Chan dau), Bryozoans (Dong vat dang reu), Crinoidea (Hue bien), Sclerotesta (Vo cung), Ancient Crustacean (Giap xac co), Hydrilla verticillata (Thuc vat thuy sinh), Spirulina (Tao), and Chitinozoa. The paleontology groups have helped scientists draw a complete picture of development history in terms of geology of Dong Van Karst Plateau in particular and northeast Viet Nam and south China in general.
Dong Van stone plateau
There are two seasons here, rainy season ( from May to October) and dry season ( from November to April). The average temperature here stays between 24 and 28oC. In winter, the temperature is sometimes down to -5oC.Spring is the best season for visitors to come here because at that moment, there are many beautiful landscape worth visiting, such as: yellow cai (kale) flowers and pink peach flowers in full blossom, mossy tiled roofs of stilt houses, dark green rocks and blue skies.
How to get the karst plateau
From Ha Giang City, visitors travel on National Highway 4C for 43km to Quan Ba. Continuing on this highway through Can Ty Pass, pine forests, steep drops, deep ravines, and razor sharp turns, visitors will reach to Dong Van karst plateau.
Thanks to weather changes and Dong Van’s geo-diversity, the karst evolution has created “rock gardens” and “rock forests” of diverse forms in the area, such as Khau Vai rock garden (Meo Vac) where tourist can contemplate the peaks of rocks in the shape of different kinds of flowers, Lung Pu rock garden (Meo Vac) with animal-shaped rocks such as tiger and dragon, Van Chai rock garden (Dong Van) with round flagstones arranged like thousands of black sea lions leaning one another getting some rest on the beach. However, found commonly here are ranges of mountains running one after another to form pyramids heading up to skies. A system of caves and grottos found in the Dong Van Plateau provides a proof of the evolution of karst with Rong Cave in Sang Tung (Dong Van), Kho My Cave in Tung Vai (Quan Ba), En Grotto in Van Chai (Dong Van)…
Dong Van Plateau is also evaluated as unique and diverse mountainous geo-ecosystem. The forests here are original includes many floral species, such as: Burretiodendron hsienmu (Nghien), Taxus Wallichiana Zucc (Thong do), Amentotaxus hatuyenensis (De tung soc nau), Cephalotaxus hainanensis (Dinh tung), Podocarpus pilgeri Foxw (Thong tre la ngan), Cupressus funebris (Hoang dan ru)…especially over 40 species of orchids. Scientists have spotted over 50 species of wild animals, birds and reptiles in the site such as Capri conrnis sumatresis (Son duong), Rhinopithecus avunculus (Vooc mui hech), Sus cristatus (Lon rung), Garrulax canorus (Hoa mi)…
Dong Van Karst Plateau also contains unique cultural values of 17 ethnic minority groups such as Mong, Dao, Lo Lo, Tay, Nung… Since long time, the ethnic groups in Dong Van has had rich cultural and spiritual life. It is expressed clearly through the cultivation method in the small rock caves or mountain sides. They also use rocks to build houses; hold water and land… To Dong Van, tourists can see the rock gardens dotted with green corn fields and golden rice fields
Dong Van Karst Plateau seem to be more attractive ato visiors thank to the appearance of highland markets, such as Pho Bang, Dong Van, Lung Cu, Sa Phin… together with traditional festivals, cuisine…
Ha Giang province
SOME OUTSTANDING DESTINATIONS:
– Lung Cu Flag Tower in Lung Cu Commune, Dong Van District, about 20km from Dong Van Town to the north.
– Ma Pi Leng Pass – Tu San Canyon in 3 communes of Pai Lung, Pa Vi and Xin Cai (Meo Vac District).
– Khau Vai Rock Garden in Khau Vai Commune, Meo Vac District, about 15km from Meo Vac Town to the southeast.
– Kho My Cave in Kho My Hamlet, Tung Vai Commune, Quan Ba District, about 20km from Tam Son Town to the west.
– Vuong Family Palace in Sa Phin Valley, Sa Phin Commune, Dong Van District, about 24km from Dong Van Town to the southwest.
– Lung Cam Tren Culture – Tourism Village in Sung La Valley, Sung La Commune, Dong Van District, about 20km from Dong Van Town to the south.
– Khau Vai Love Market in Khau Vai Hamlet, Khau Vai Commune, Meo Vac District, about 30km from Meo Vac Town to the south.
– Quan Ba Twin Mountain in Na Khoang Hamlet, Tam Son Town, Quan Ba District, about 7km from Tam Son Town to the south.
– Dong Van Ancient Quarter in Dong Van Town, Dong Van District.
Specialties: On the market-day on Sunday (Dong Van, Meo Vac fairs…) visitors can enjoy dishes such as men men (steamed ground corn), color steamed glutinous rice, corn bread, chicken, dried beef, Meo colza, bamboo shoots, thang co (a special local soup), smoked bacon and sausages, corn liquor…
Visitors can buy traditional products such as brocade, linen, jewelry,… in the cultural villages, traditional craft villages, attractions, fairs … on the karst plateau.
Things to note when visiting the karst plateau:
– Dress in a pleasingly tidy manner, smooth lightweight shoes with low sole (or sneakers) and soft stockings, warm clothing as the weather getting colder at night.
– Baggage should be neat, not bulky to move easily.
– Should be equipped phones with Google map system, using Vina, Viettel, Mobi network.
– Prepare personal medicine bag for common diseases by cold weather.
– Bring cash because there are very few ATMs in the town center.
– Fill up before starting the trips as the gas stations just are gathered in the towns.
– If you are planning on staying overnight in the forests, you have to prepare picnic tents, multifunctional cooker…
– Ensure safety for children and seniors when car stops along the way
– Comply with environmental regulations.
– Do not trespass caves and surroundings such as breaking off stalactites…
The Karst Plateau Guide
For tourist guide services, management and tourism related information on the karst plateau, please contact to Management Board of Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark.
Management Board of Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark
Group 16 – Tran Phu Ward – Ha Giang City – Ha Giang Province
Tel/Fax: (84-219) 3860 393
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]