Dong Van Rock Plateau is the highland in the most extreme north
of Vietnam with majority of the terrain at 1,400-1.600m above sea level and with
over 80% of the surface covered by just rocks and with high concentration of
rocky peaks of over 2,000m above sea level.
The rock of Dong Van is said to contain fossils of 400million-600million years
ago. The plateau was recognized by the UNESCO as one of the 77 geological parks
in the world and the second in Southeast Asia on October 3.
The park covers four districts of Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh and Quan Ba,
totaling over 2,300sq.km, with nearly 250,000 residents. Up to 80 percent of the
plateau is covered by limestone. The center of the Rock Plateau is Dong Van
Town, 150km from the provincial capital town of Ha Giang. The Nho Que River
starts its 192km-course from Yun Nan (China) making its flow through the heart
of Dong Van Rock Plateau in Dong Van and Meo Vac Districts discharging its water
into the Gam River at Bao Lam District of Cao Bang Province. Nho Que brings
vital source of water for the whole plateau of Dong Van.
Dong Van Rock Plateau has a temperate climate with average temperatures of 21-23
Degrees Celsius. It may get up to 27-28 Degrees Celsius in July-August and may
drop down to below Zero Degree Celsius in January.
Dong Van is home to nearly 20 ethnic groups, with diverse cultures and
traditions, which make the plateau an interesting destination for
tourists/visitors. These ethnic minorities live on cultivating rice along the
basins of the Nho Que River and corn on the rocky mountain slopes. Life may be
tough, but most of the local ethnic groups still stick to their century-old
traditions. It is easy for a traveler passing by the Rock Plateau to get
dumb-founded by watching local people plow in rocks, cultivate crops in rocks,
build walls around their home with just rocks.