The Tràng An Archaeological Project (TAAP) is focused on the excavation of two upland caves set in the tower karstic landscape of an isolated limestone massif on the south western edge of the Song Hong (Red River) delta, Ninh Bình, Vietnam.
Working under licence from the Vietnamese Government, a local developer, the Xuan Truong Construction Company, has undertaken the herculean task of creating an infrastructure across the 2,400 hectares of this park, including the provision of a new temple complex, the largest currently under construction in Southeast Asia. The Tràng An park, which also lies in very close proximity to Vietnam’s ancient capital, Hoa Lu, is intended to showcase the province’s historical, cultural and ecological significance at a national and international scale. To this end the developer in conjunction with the local authorities will be submitting a formal application to UNESCO for World Heritage Site status within the next five years. In late 2006 the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, was approached by the Xuan Truong Construction Company to conduct independent archaeological investigation in the park as part of this process. Archaeological work began in Tràng An in 2007 and is due to run until 2011.