Dong Van Stone Plateau is the highland in the most extreme north of Vietnam with majority of the terrain at 1,400-1.600 m above sea level and with over 80% of the surface covered by just rocks and with high concentration of rocky peaks of over 2,000 m above sea level. The rock of Dong Van is said to contain fossils of 400 million-600 million years ago. The plateau was recognized by the UNESCO as one of the 77 geological parks in the world and the second in Southeast Asia on October 3.
The park covers four districts of Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh and Quan Ba, totaling over 2,300 sq.km, with nearly 250,000 residents. Up to 80 percent of the plateau is covered by limestone. The center of the Rock Plateau is Dong Van Town, 150 km from the provincial capital town of Ha Giang. The Nho Que River starts its 192 km-course from Yun Nan (China) making its flow through the heart of Dong Van Rock Plateau in Dong Van and Meo Vac Districts discharging its water into the Gam River at Bao Lam District of Cao Bang Province. Nho Que brings vital source of water for the whole plateau of Dong Van.
Dong Van Rock Plateau has a temperate climate with average temperatures of 21-23 Degrees Celsius. It may get up to 27-28 Degrees Celsius in July-August and may drop down to below Zero Degree Celsius in January.
Dong Van is home to nearly 20 ethnic groups, with diverse cultures and traditions, which make the plateau an interesting destination for tourists/visitors. These ethnic minorities live on cultivating rice along the basins of the Nho Que River and corn on the rocky mountain slopes. Life may be tough, but most of the local ethnic groups still stick to their century-old traditions. It is easy for a traveler passing by the Rock Plateau to get dumb-founded by watching local people plow in rocks, cultivate crops in rocks, build walls around their home with just rocks.