Ecotourism is now a trend throughout the world, especially for countries having various natural wonders but facing puzzles of preservation like Vietnam. It doesn’t only bring exciting and unique experiences of wonderful beauty of the nature to tourists, but also promotes tourists awareness about environment protection and sustainable development. Therefore, it benefits the local economic growth as well as cultivates respect for different cultures and for human rights.
In Vietnam, the question here is how to approach the said beauty of this tropical country like an intelligentsia in the most sophisticated manner to contribute to its further sustainable development. In this case, the answer can be easily found in some actual experiences at the top UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is not a stranger to travellers globally, attracting about eight millions visitors per year since 2016. Known as one of Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Ha Long Bay is a centre of a larger island zone covering Bai Tu Long Bay to the Northeast, and Cat Ba Island to the Southwest with unique geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate and cultural features.
Ha Long Bay features thousands of limestone mountains and isles in various shapes and sizes
The gorgeous and unspoiled beauty of this bay is suitable to develop ecotourism. In addition, with many delicate, pristine, and fairly undisturbed natural areas like 2,000 rocky islands, grottoes or caves and emerald ocean, Ha Long Bay is a perfect place to be kept in any tourist’s memory as a treasure of nature.
To preserve Ha Long Bay, you can explore its islets by cruises labelled with the eco tag of Green Sail which are qualified by the government to host ecotourism programs including visiting rare coral areas, primitive sea regions, and mysterious caves under rocky islands associated with water sports like kayaking and diving.
Fishing villages are a cultural heritage as well as a tourists attraction
With more reasonable budgets, you can join ecotours to floating fishing villages which preserve traditional customs and habits of fishermen for years or register in annual coastal clean-up campaigns by the local government and NGOs. In addition, you can move further to adjacent Cat Ba Island for a biking or trekking trip to explore Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve and the amazing ingenuous culture of people here.
Trang An Landscape Complex
Trang An Landscape Complex was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. This mixed cultural and natural property contained mostly within three protected areas being Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Trang An -Tam Coc – Bich Dong Scenic Landscape, and Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest.
The most popular ecotourism program here is cave tours by boat
Located within the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve, Trang An Landscape Complex features a spectacular scene of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, many of them partly submerged and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs. Exploration of caves at different altitudes has revealed archaeological traces of human activity over a continuous period of more than 30,000 years. This property also encompasses temples, pagodas, paddy-fields and small villages with the well-established wet rice civilization of Vietnam.
Trang An Landscape Complex was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014
The most popular ecotourism program here is cave tours by boat. Drifting along the peaceful rivers, visitors can discover mysteries of caves, immerse in magnificent delta landscape, listen to echoing temple bells or smell the aroma of freshly cooked rice from riverside villages. All together draws a perfect picture of the peaceful live of Northern rural areas in Vietnam that can be found nowhere in the world.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha – Ke Bang is called the speleologists’ heaven on earth
Designated a Unesco World Heritage site in 2003, the remarkable Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia, formed approximately 400 million years ago. Riddled with hundreds of cave systems – many of extraordinary scale and length – and spectacular underground rivers, it is a speleologists’ heaven on earth.
It offers spectacular phenomena, including a large number of caves and underground rivers
When it comes to ecotourism here, you are advised to explore the 40-hectare botanical garden located in the centre of this national park. It is a natural forest with six major sites including the 30-metre high Gio (Wind) Waterfall, Vang Anh Lake, a specimen showroom, a 3km natural pathway, plant nursery as well as precious and rare plant areas with 500 plant species. You can also go to surrounding villages to feel simple living and the fine culture of the local people here which is filmed on “Kong: Skull Island” movie.