Trang An is a complex of scenic landscapes and historical and cultural heritages. The complex has an area of over 10,000 hectare. It consists of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Tam Coc and Bich Dong natural site, and Trang An ecological site. Trang An ecological tourist attraction stretches on an area of 4,000 ha with spectacular limestone areas and rice fields. The site dates back some 250 million years and has hundreds of valleys and caves. Trang An Relics is one of the most spectacular Vietnam wonders. Dr. Tran Tan Van, Director of Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources analyzed that it is limestone blocks that makes Trang An unique, and clarifies the tropical karst landscapes in the region. These relics were formed because of interaction of major geological structures on earth.
At a conference on report and discussion of the construction heritage profile progress in May 2012, experts of Institute of Archaeology, Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, Institute of Development and Traditional Study agreed to create a records of Trang An to propose UNESCO for recognition. There is a mixture of criteria including seven criteria of aesthetics and landscaping value, eight criteria of geological geomorphological value, and five criteria of cultural value. In addition, there are more three criteria of culture containing the exclusive value or, at least, a specific evidence about lost cultural traditions of humanity.
Mr. Nguyen Duc Long, the director of the board of management of Trang An scenic relics said that Vietnam will have three heritages recognized by UNESCO: Cat Ba (Haiphong); Trang Anh (Ninh Binh), and Vi - Giam singing, a Vietnamese traditional folk music. In particular, Trang An scenic landscape complex is the first Vietnam’s cultural and natural heritage applying for UNESCO’s recognition. Through reviewing the documents and fact-finding, UNESCO assesses records of Trang An with good quality. As planned, in June 2014, UNESCO will hold a poll of honoring Trang An as a World Heritage. To complete the management plan of Trang An scenic landscape complex at the request of UNESCO, the board of management of this complex collaborates with the Institute of Communication and Development Survey to synthesize information in 20 local communes. Also, documents and texts are prepared; archaeological monuments’ surveys are conducted by the local board of management and German and Japanese experts; surveys and scientific researches on caves in the scenic area of Trang An are implemented. At the same time, document collections of Trang An’s relics are digitized.
The board of management of Trang An issued documents to guide and monitor relevant units to test, order security, and ensure surrounding sanity in the relics, especially Ancient Hoa Lu Capital. With responsibility for developing country along with the development of Ninh Binh tourism, the board of management of Trang An Relics also coordinates with experts to study, explain and argue about scientist records to support to the recognition of Trang An Relics. At the same time, many activities of promotion and promulgation about Trang An such as promotions on the internet, posters, banners, and cooperation with mass media agencies are strengthened. Besides, the international cooperation and promotions are paid more attention to enhance promulgation of Trang An scenic landscape complex. By virtue of these, a website with Vietnamese content on introducing the relics is open and operating well. The content is being extended in other languages as English. In addition, some Vietnamese-English-French magazines and books on archaeology and geology are being designed, edited and published to promote and propagandize Trang An to the entire world. Moreover, the content of Trang An ecological complex will be introduced in the book of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); films on Trang An Relics will be shown on CNN, and tours to Trang An will be enhanced.
If being honored by UNESCO, Trang An scenic landscape complex in Ninh Binh will be the 8th heritage and the first cultural heritage of Vietnam recognized under the criteria mixed with outstanding natural, archaeological and cultural values.