Old banyan copse in Ha Giang recognized national heritage
Update: May 14, 2015
A group of the 600 year banyan trees in Thien Huong hamlet, Dong Van district in northern mountainous Ha Giang province was recognized as a national heritage on May 11.

The Viet Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) awarded the banyans the title of the national heritage to boost relevant preservation programs.

According to Chairman of the Dong Van People’s Committee Hoang Van Thinh, the recognition holds a special spiritual meaning to the community and its ecological value.

The Tay, Mong, and Giay Ethnic groups in Thien Huong have long considered the trees their protective gods, building a shrine under its branches and establishing rules to guard the forest. In the New Year, locals bring offerings and have a ceremony praying for bumper crops, good health and happiness.

In so-doing, the 2,000-square-kilometre Dong Van stone plateau is home to 31 national and provincial heritages. The plateau is 80 percent limestone and contains fossils of thousands of prehistoric species that roamed the region 400-600 million years ago.