A journey into awesome nature

Published: 08/06/2011 05:00



Just as I arrived at the boat terminal at Phong
Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the north-central province of Quang Binh, I heard a
familiar boat engine sound in the distance and in no time recalled a worthwhile
trip to Ba Be National Park in the northern upland province of Bac Kan.

A tour boat is seen in front of the entrance to
Phong Nha cavern.

The very image of
a calm, shallow, crystal-clear river that meanders through the limestone
mountains, the humming sound of boats carrying nature-loving tourists, and the
same three-hour duration of the tour are among the similarities that could be
drawn between Phong Nha-Ke Bang and Ba Be.

Unlike Ba Be,
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park does not possess many breathtaking towering
karst limestone mountains on both banks of the Son River along the way to Phong
Nha cavern though it is located in a 2,000 square kilometer limestone zone.

After a
half-an-hour ride, the boat arrives at the lofty entrance of the cavern and then
switches off the engine. The pilot and his assistant shift to rowing along a
600-m stretch of the underground river to protect the environment inside the
cavern from air and noise pollution, and give tourists some time to contemplate
the stunning limestone formations.

A stalactite on the right of the picture looks like
a woman’s hair. (Photos: SGT)

Cruising deep into Phong Nha cavern
in what is the world’s longest underground river, one may have a feeling of
being engulfed by darkness. But in some places there are lighting systems
highlighting the diverse and awestriking shapes and sizes of stalactites that
could arouse one’s imaginability. One stalactite may be claimed to be similar to
a tiger, one looks like an eagle, one can be perceived as a child, and one seems
to be similar to a young or old woman holding her child in her arms depending on
where you stand to view it.

So all the wonders
that one must view and have some photo opportunities for are inside the cavern.
This differs from Ba Be. The beauty of Ba Be lies along the path of the Ba Be
Lake, which is formed by smaller lakes. The high mountains are covered by the
thick lowland evergreen forests on the way to Ba Be. Meanwhile, the jaw-dropping
views inside Phong Nha cavern make a 190-km tiring bus journey from Hue city City a
real rewarding experience.

especially those nature-minded, should drop by both Ba Be and Phong Nha-Ke Bang
for a visit when they are in Bac Kan and Quang Binh provinces. And they won’t
regret it.


Provide by Vietnam Travel

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