When caught with a thirst for adventure, Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave is one of the few destinations that stand out on this gorgeous planet, the Huffington Post marked on its website. In addition, Son Doong cave in Quang Binh was ranked No. 5 in the top 10 destinations adventurous tourists need to visit once in their lifetime, which is announced by this expert travel site.
Unquestionably, a visit to Son Doong would be an exhilarating off the beaten track experience for anyone who seeks for an adventure.
The discovery of Son Doong Cave
In 1990, a young local man named Ho Khanh was searching for food and timber in the jungle, when he came across an opening in a limestone cliff and went forward to investigate. Not having ropes or light, he resisted the urge to enter its pitch black interior and the strong wind then returned home. Tales of his discovery spread throughout his village, but he had forgotten its exact location and thought no more of it. Despite many attempts to return, the location of the cave remained a mystery, hid by the challenging dense jungle.
In 2008 while out on another wood gathering trip, Ho Khanh once again found the mysterious opening and tried to remember the path to get there. In 2009 he led Howard, Deb – two members of the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) with a team of professionals back to the cave for the first expedition to enter the cave. The exploration succeeded and the massive cave became known as the largest one in the world under the name of Son Doong, or ‘Mountain River Cave’.
About Son Doong Cave
“Son Doong” means “mountain river cave” and was created from 2 to 5 million years ago by river water eroding limestone under a mountain. It is located in the remote jungle of Phong Nha National Park in the central region of Vietnam, about 15km from the border of Laos. It is part of a network of caves, many still not surveyed, in the Annamite Mountains. It is more than 5km long and in some parts reaches 200m high with a width of 150m. Son Doong is recognized as the largest cave in the planet.
With the average width of over 150m and 200m high, Son Doong is large enough to hold a 40-story skyscraper or three Leaning Towers of Pisa standing on top of each other, with a lot of room to spare. Also, the 80m high column stalagmite in this cave was also ranked as the highest that experts have ever seen in the world. But the special thing is about Son Doong is “the Garden of Edam“, which is the cave’s own rain forest of trees up to 30m tall, with its own inhabitants of birds, flying foxes and monkeys.
Giles Lever – British Ambassador to Vietnam, called the cave as the Jewel in Vietnam’s crown, shared on his blog: “Son Doong is truly spectacular, full of views that look like special effects from a film, or scenes from another planet. “
Is Son Doong Cave for you?
If you have a case of wanderlust, are reasonably fit, enjoy wandering off the beaten track, are motivated by the opportunity to visit a location very few people have seen or are inspired by the gorgeous images, then Son Doong Cave may just be for you.
However, “the natural wonders such as Halong Bay or the Son Doong Cave must be preserved and protected for our descendants”, Obama claimed during his official visit to Vietnam in May 2016. Thus, the Vietnamese government understands that the uniqueness of the cave and its special newly discovered species need to be protected, and has taken steps to preserve the cave and to limit the number of tourists allowed to enter each year. Undoubtedly, by promoting sustainable development, tourism in Quang Binh province in particular and Vietnam, in general, will continue to make significant breakthroughs in the near future.