Tuesday - 04/05/2021 15:48
On the journey to the east of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp named “Experience traditional culture in a wonderland”, about 40km from Cao Bang city visitors will have an opportunity to discover a fascinating and magical destination.
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The surrounding view of the Magic Stone

 The Magic Stone, which is “Rang Phat well” in local language (Rang: sinkhole, pothole…, Phat: boiling), resides in a peaceful and pristine karst valley of Lung Sang village, Hong Quang commune, Quang Hoa district. 

The Stone is located in a basin of about 100 square meters, 3m deep. The water level changes seasonally. In the rainy season (from April to August) the water level rises and floods the Magic stone area, however when the water recedes, the average water depth is about 1m. In dry season, the Magic stone is visible, which is a sinkhole with a diameter of 1m. About 3m away from the Magic stone exists a cave which is said to have been the shelter of three girls.

Once upon the time, in the village, there was a very rich family with three beautiful daughters at the age to get married called Sam, Soi, Moi. Although many men proposed marriage, all were turned down. As the family had a lot of treasures, the father kept them in the cave and took the girls inside the cave to protect the family’s treasure. The father told his daughters to raise water to cover the sinkhole and hide the cave’s entrance when thieves appeared. Therefore, when there were warning sounds or someone called “Tý Sằm, Tý Sỏi, Tý Mỏi Rằng Phặt / Sặc Kim, Sặc Ngằn lố/ Bó áu nặm khảu mà/ Boong au ngằn léo lớ” (Miss Sam, Soi, Moi Rang Phat, the thieves are coming, raise water or the thieves will take all the treasures), the girls would raise water to hide the cave’s entrance, to protect their treasure.

Coming here, visitors can have spiritual experience; in the peaceful wilderness, they can try making warning sounds for the three girls to raise water by clapping hands or pounding the ground inside the cave with a stick or rock and calling them out loud 3 to 5 times. After calling, there appears bubbling sounds inside the cave, at the same time the water in the sinkhole rises gradually; especially, in the rainy season, the whole Magic stone area bubbles up, also for that reason, the locals call it “Rang Phat”.

The water rises cyclically: when there is sound effect, the water rises continuously twice or three times and stops at a level of 10-25 cm. After 10-15 minutes, the water recedes and rises again.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Tan Van – Former Head of Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral resources explained the magical phenomenon of the Magic stone as follows: shouting, calling out loud or clapping hands create air currents, noises, and sound waves spreading in the air, reflecting on surrounding surfaces including the ground, water, rocks, clefts on rocks…The reflection on water surface makes it disturbed, even concave. Water is an uncompressed matter so if the surface is concave at a point, it will flip upwards at another point at the same time. The phenomenon of the Magic Stone is miraculous and unique as the water level rises and recedes rather high and stays for quite a long time, which possibly happens when combined with other factors.

Firstly, the water in Rang Phat area is available and abundant in all season even when the surrounding area dries out. It is known that, more than half of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark area is made up of limestone, especially the development of the lake-karst cave-underground river-systems, like the 36 lake-karst cave-underground river Thang Hen system, of which Thang Hen is the largest, collects water from other lakes and underground rivers. Perhaps, Rang Phat is a similar “swallow hole”.

Secondly, the noticeable up and down fluctuation of the water level in Rang Phat may be resulted from resonance. It is often told that in mountainous areas when someone shouts out loud, series of echoes return from surrounding cliffs. Possibly, the lake-karst cave-underground river-system in Rang Phat is so complicated and special that the sounds of calling Sam, Soi, Moi echoing in the cave resonate and become louder, which creates a greater pressure on the water surface, making the water level rise or recede as high as being recorded.

The Magic Stone is definitely an attraction. In addition to its exceptional scientific significance, it is mentioned in the story about the three girls “Sam, Soi and Moi” who were the keepers of their family’s treasure in this desolate valley. Due to its good reputation, many visitors from faraway places came to ask for good blessings and prosperity from the girls. Moreover, according to the locals, in order to communicate and express their wishes to the spiritual world, people have to use the votive money made from traditional paper (chia sla) and Phja Thap incense sticks, the gods will be able to receive their respect and consider wishes.

The Magic Stone - Rang Phat is really an indispensible stop for those fancy about discovery; in addition to the mysteriously spiritual feature is the miracles of geology factors. Besides, there is an emerald-green lawn in the valley where tourists can spend time to chill out and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.  

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