Located in the northern province of Ha Giang, the Dong Van Stone Plateau is imposingly situated at an average altitude of over 1,400 metres above sea level. Through investigations and studies, scientists have proved that the Dong Van Stone Plateau preserves many hallmarks of the history of complex and long-lasting geological development of the Earth’s crust.

Dong Van Stone Plateau

Beautiful narrow valleys in Dong Van Stone Plateau
Beautiful narrow valleys in Dong Van Stone Plateau

According to preliminary statistics, this area has hundreds of expressions of geologic heritages: archaeological sites, geological strata, geomorphology, structure-tectonics, karst, stone, ancient environment … Their geological variety and good preservation capacity in the natural conditions of the region has brought about great values and potential for tourism development, geological research and education. The great potential of natural resources, especially geological heritages, along with the values of the Dong Van Stone Plateau region’s humanity heritage not only fully meet criteria for developing a geological park but more importantly it will become a symbol of tourism and cultural and natural heritages of Ha Giang in general and four highland districts of Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh and Quan Ba in particular.

Dong Van Stone Plateau

Dong Van Stone Plateau

The nature is harsh but also gentle and mild when it shapes the mountains and water of Dong Van, the land bearing a part of the ancient ocean and now on the path of innovation. During the national construction, Ha Giang in general and ethnic people in the stone plateau in particular have joined efforts to build a new position for themselves. That position has been implicitly originated from the values that the air, land and water have created for a plateau with over 80 percent of area being limestone. Despite little land and water, when the season comes, we see an immense green of corn, rice, beans and fruits. That green is made by the hard-working of ethnic people, which helps them to harmonise with life here. The heaven, earth and people seem to be mixed, together making the stone plateau more beautiful and grandiose.

2 ethnic girls are climbing over the rocky cliffs to collect vegetables
2 ethnic girls are climbing over the rocky cliffs to collect vegetables

And there, the people’s efforts have been consolidated through specialised cultural layers. Legends or traces of culture and cultural heritages are being maintained like the lifestyle and routines of the people here, in both spiritual cultural values, and tangible culture … which are existing and queerly attractive.

The Dong Van Stone Plateau is not of anyone but is a common asset of the whole nation and humankind. Air, land and water have created a grandiose stone plateau, people have left on this land a cultural stratum. And perhaps coming to Ha Giang with the Dong Van Stone Plateau, we just see all these values.

Ethnic people live near Dong Van Plateau
Ethnic people go to work

On October 3, 2010, the Dong Van Stone Plateau Geological Park was officially recognised by the advisory council of the Global Geo-parks Network (GGN) of UNESCO as a Global Geological Park. This is the only title in Vietnam and the second in Southeast Asia. /.