Pearl of Vietnam: Trang An Landscape Complex

Nestled amidst a picturesque panorama, Trang An Landscape Complex enchants visitors with its exquisite tapestry of towering mountains, verdant valleys, and shimmering lakes that coexist in perfect harmony.

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Shortly after Trang An Landscape Complex was recognized as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO, the northern province of Ninh Binh drew up a master plan and policies to preserve and promote the values of the complex in line with green and sustainable development.

Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ninh Binh Province, where the complex is located, Pham Quang Ngoc, said at a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of UNESCO’s recognition of the [2014-2024].

Chairman of the Ninh Binh People’s Committee Pham Quang Ngoc delivers a speech at the ceremony. Photos: Ninh Binh Newspaper

“After 10 years, many organizations, experts, and academics have praised the model of combining sustainable economic and tourism development with nature conservation, ensuring the harmonious interests of local people, the state, and businesses,” said Ngoc.

Simona-Mirela Muculescu, President of the 42nd General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said the ceremony not only marked a decade of the site’s inscription by UNESCO but also recognized Trang An’s success in preserving and developing its heritage in a sustainable way.

Simona-Mirela Muculescu, President of the 42nd General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

She also praised the contributions of Vietnamese leaders, conservationists, managers and local people in preserving and developing the heritage in a responsible way.

In the next decade, Ninh Binh must preserve Trang An as part of an overall vision for a better and more sustainable future for all, Muculescu added.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang emphasized that the Trang An Landscape Complex is a special highlight of Ninh Binh’s nature and people, a hyphen between the past and the present, and a place of harmonious convergence in the space of symbiotic culture. 

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang speaks at the ceremony.

He praised the complex for becoming one of the world’s best examples of balancing economic development, sustainable tourism, and conservation.

“In addition, Trang An has become a symbol of Vietnam’s responsible commitment to the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

He urged Ninh Binh, organizations, businesses, and people to further explore the complex’s great potential and be creative in pooling resources, especially through public-private partnerships.

“The provincial authorities should take advantage of the support of ministries, agencies, domestic and foreign experts to preserve, plan, and develop the values of Trang An’s heritage to popularize the values of Ninh Binh’s culture and nature to friends at home and abroad,” Tran Luu Quang stressed. 

An artistic performance at the 10th-anniversary celebrations.

Impressive performance.

The Trang An Landscape Complex is divided into five areas covering nearly 2,000 hectares. It includes the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, a core area, a cave area, tourism service areas, and the spiritual tourism area of Bai Dinh Pagoda. 

The heritage site boasts 47 historical relics within stunning limestone karst mountain ranges.  

The complex has outstanding geological-geomorphological World Heritage values within a limestone mountain system. The height of the Hoa Lu limestone block is about 200 meters above sea level, decreasing from Northwest to Southeast as it descends towards the sea. This is why Trang An is often referred to as “Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay on land.”

 French visitors in the Trang An landscape. Photo: Bich Hoi/The Hanoi Times