Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Sông Côn, Vietnam

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Viet Nam, Bo Trach and Minh Haoa districts, Quang Binh Province

Phong Nha-Ke Bang is a national park in middle of the Annamite Mountain range and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bo Trach and Minh Hóa districts of central Quang Binh Province in the North Central Coast region.

A large number of faunal and floral species occur within the territory of the protected area with over 800 vertebrate species recorded comprising 154 mammals, 117 reptiles, 58 amphibians, 314 birds and 170 fish.

The national park has clearly impressive levels of biodiversity within its intact forest cover, notwithstanding some gaps in knowledge of the population status of some species.

Submitted by
Franko Janko
Approved by
Greg Martin & Peter Unmack
17.4876213, 106.2623444
Geographical region
Southeastern Asia
Drainage Basin
Gianh River
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Sông Côn
Water body part
Water body course
Upper course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
20 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

80 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen

Substrate in nature

Stone form
Submerged terrestrial vegetation

Aquatic Biotope

Date of collecting
Collecting area
Water depth
Air temperature


Affected by human activity
Affected by human activity
Surrounding area

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is a national park in middle of the Annamite Mountain range and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bố Trạch and Minh Hóa districts of central Quảng Bình Province in the North Central Coast region of Vietnam, about 500 km south of Hanoi.

The park borders the Hin Namno National Park in Khammouane Province, Laos to the west and 42 km east of the South China Sea from its borderline point. Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is in a limestone zone of 2,000km2 in Vietnamese territory and borders another limestone zone of 2,000km2 of Hin Namno in Laotian territory. The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2003, covered 85,754 hectares. With this extension, the site covers a total surface area of 123,326 hectares (a 46 % increase) and shares a boundary with the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos.

The Park’s landscape is formed by limestone plateaux and tropical forests. It features great geological diversity and offers spectacular phenomena, including a large number of caves and underground rivers. The site harbours a high level of biodiversity and many endemic species. The extension ensures a more coherent ecosystem while providing additional protection to the catchment areas that are of vital importance for the integrity of limestone landscapes.

The Ke Bang primary jungles have been home to 98 families, 256 genera and 381 species of vertebrates, many of which are listed in the Vietnam and World’s Red Book.

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos. A 2009 survey brought the total discovered length of the cave system to about 126 km, with many areas still not well explored.

Sơn Đoòng Cave, which was discovered in the 2009 survey by British and Vietnamese explorers, is considered the largest cave in the world. Even before this discovery, Phong Nha held several world cave records, including the longest river as well as the largest combined caverns and passageways.

Underwater landscape

The underwater landscape is made up mostly of rocks, small and larger pebbles and sand, the stones are overgrown with algae and biofilm, which is the main food of Sewellia lineolata, on the edges are the roots of terrestrial plants, the shore is mostly heavily overgrown with tropical trees and low vegetation, there are no plants in the water due to the fast flow of the stream, here and there there is a branch that falls from the nearby trees.

Threats to ecology
  • Ground transport infrastructure: negative impacts of a road construction project in the World Heritage site.
  • Illegal activities: Illegal logging and forest crimes (poaching).
  • Management systems/management plan: Lack of a visitor management plan, inadequate sustainable tourism.
  • Impacts of tourism/visitor/recreation: cable car project to provide access to the Son Doong cave.

Riparian zone

Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many -