HANOI (Bernama-Xinhua): Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago in the north of Vietnam has been recognised as a world natural heritage, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
This has increased the total number of UNESCO-recognised world heritage sites in Vietnam to nine.
The title has made Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago, located in Quang Ninh province and Hai Phong City, to become the first inter-provincial UNESCO-listed world heritage site in Vietnam.
The archipelago cluster, which boasts a rich diversity of island and ocean ecosystems, is home to various rare animals and plants, and houses the country's largest maritime forest with an area of more than 17,000 hectares, Xinhua quoted the Vietnam News Agency report, citing the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Cat Ba Archipelago and Ha Long Bay have been recognised by UNESCO with international titles earlier.
Cat Ba Archipelago in Hai Phong City is Vietnam's largest limestone archipelago with over 360 islands, and is recognised by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve.
Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province was named by UNESCO as a world heritage site twice in 1994 and 2000.
Besides Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago, Vietnam's eight other world heritage sites recognised by UNESCO are Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province, Ha Long Bay, the Hue Imperial Citadel City in Thua Thien-Hue province, Hoi An Ancient Town and the My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam province, Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi, the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty in Thanh Hoa province, and the Trang An Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh province.