THACH SON THAN Group of unique limestone statues on Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark13/01/2012

 Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark today has become a global geopark. A landscape needs to meet many criteria to win this recognition of UNESCO. This small article introduces one of the unique natural heritages of the plateau, making the plateau unique and attractive to more and more domestic and foreign tourists.

Along the motorway to karst plateau, on the rather flat surface of Lang Dan plateau, Quyet Tien commune, Quan Ba district. On the right side of the road, a cluster of seven limestone columns imposingly emerges. It’s the group of “Thach Son Than” limestone statues. Somewhere in the world you can see the stone forests with hundred of thousands of tops like those in Shilin, Yunnan, China, but single limestone column group “ grow up” on the fairly flat ground as in Lang Dan plateau is unique.

Formerly this place used to have a limestone layer with tens of meters thick above the ground at the foot of the group. After millions of years, they were exposed to the elements and cracked, washed and gradually disappeared. Then only a big stone block existed and continued to be cracked, washed and corroded to gradually split into separate stone pillars today. This shows that nature took much time and effort to create this unique wonder.

The group of limestone statues reminds us of megalithic work Stone pillar (menhir) created by ancients in some parts of Europe. But these are artificial works, cannot be compared with group of Thach Son Than limestone statues sculpted by nature. This type of limestone had been formed under the seabed about 400 million years ago. The rocks also contain vestiges of corals, Eurispirifer Tonkinensis of the Devon period.

Facing the imposing stone pillar at the gateway to karst plateau and being surrounded by small mountains, tourists feel as if the statue group were the messengers of the Dong Van Karst Plateau. They were sent here to stand on the way and welcome tourists from the four corners of the earth visiting this great mountain area.

Thach Son Than limestone group should be soon recognized, protected and embellished as an incomparable geolandscape in the world to be preserved and promote long-term effects for sightseeing, tourism. If the surrounding areas of the statues is converted into a beautiful and solemn campus, this place will surely be the first concern og travelers before arriving at Quan Ba Heaven Gate, come into Karst Plateau.

(Photo: Lai Dien Dam)