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Ba Be Lake, candidate for World Heritage
Update: Sunday, November 13, 2005
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{mosimage}Before becoming a candidate for a world natural heritage, Ba Be Lake was recognised in 1995 by Conference on World Fresh Water Lakes as one of 20 special fresh water lakes of the world that need protecting. By the end of 2004, Ba Be National Park was recognised as an ASEAN Heritage Park.

In terms of geographic scenery, this area reflects clear historical traces of the earth's crust forming period. In terms of geography and geomorphology, this is a large limestone area with particular tectonics. In recent years, the Geographic Institute in co-ordination with the Belgium Geographic Association has studied Ba Be Lake?s limestone area and confirmed that the limestone area dates back to 450 million years. Scientists discovered that limestone was turned into granite during the geographic changing process.

Geologists have said that it is very typical that limestone turned into granite. In the middle of a limestone mountainous area stands a giant lake hanging over ancient stone. Normally, there are fractures in the middle of limestone areas; therefore, water ?drops down? to form underground rivers. However, there is a 200-metre thick clay layer at the bottom of Ba Be Lake, which prevents water from running away and the lake is formed. There are two small islets in the middle of the lake. The big one looks like a horse wading in water.

The lake lies at a height of 145 metres. It is over 8km long, 3km wide and 30m deep with many caves and underground streams. The overview of the lake looks like a water-colour painting impressing tourists a great deal.

The lake is named Ba Be (three lakes) because it was formed by three big tributaries of Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng (Pe means lake in the Tay ethnic minority language.) The lake is surrounded by tourist sites such as Fairy Bond, Po Gia Mai Island, Puong Cave and Dau Dang waterfall.

There are as many as 50 species of fish in the lake, including many precious and rare species.

Together with Ba Be Lake, Ba Be National Park is a beautiful natural site. The name of the park means three lakes. Ba Be Lake is covered with many limestone mountain chains, which have numerous caves and underground streams.

Puong Cave, 30m high, 300m long, with a navigable river inside ? a part of Nang River, is an interesting place to visit by boat. Thousands of flitter-mice living in this cave generate powerful odours.

Nang River flows at the foot of the limestone mountain, goes through Puong Cave to reach Ba Be Lake.

Ao Tien is a small lake on the top of the mountain. It is very cool and fresh here. Legend has it that the fairies from haven always go down in this place to swim and play chess. Therefore, people name this place Ao Tien (the lake of fairies).

(Source: Nhan Dan)

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