Location and Values: The Trang An Landscape Complex is a small area of spectacular limestone and karst scenery on the southern margins of the Red River Delta in northern Vietnam. It includes many ‘classic’ karst landforms including cones, rock towers and ridges with steep canyons, cliffs, subterranean rivers and decorated caves. The area shares many of these features with other karst landscape areas in the wider region, including Halong Bay and the series of sites in the South China Karst world heritage site. In addition to its spectacular natural scenery and geological values, the area provides archaeological evidence of 30,000 years of human occupation and the ancient capital of Vietnam, Hoa Lu, was established here in the 10th and 11th centuries AD.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2014) the conservation status of this site is of ‘significant concern’. The IUCN report notes that ‘while the values remain in good condition, the boundaries of the property contain areas which detract from core values; there are concerns regarding the standards and consistency of legal protection over the site; and weaknesses in the management planning framework and zoning systems. Of greater concern is the threat of rapidly increasing tourism pressure on the site in the absence of a clear plan and measures to mitigate potentially negative consequences. The property has the potential to become a major tourism asset for Ninh Binh Province and Vietnam but must be very carefully managed to avoid impact and to retain a quality visitor experience.’
Official UNESCO Site Details
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description