Earlier this summer, between 11th and 15th May 2016, a group of international ambassadors to Vietnam have recently completed an exploration of Son Doong, the world’s biggest cave, which is located in the heart of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh, Vietnam.
Besides the participating Ambassadors from six countries of the UK, Australia, Sweden, Italy, Argentina, and The Czech Republic, there were the Assistants of US Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tom Malinowski, Mr. Pham Sanh Chau – the General Secretary of UNESCO in Vietnam, and the runner-up of Miss Universe Vietnam 2008 Duong Truong Thien Ly who joined the trip.
Over the course of a 4-day trip, the group made their way past physical obstacles, including caves, jungles, and rivers, and had been captivated by the spectacular landscapes of this natural wonder.
Mr. Tom Malinowski, the Assistant of US Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed that the journey to the Son Doong cave in the center of Vietnam with other ambassadors is the most memorable experience of his life. He stated that the landscapes could not be found anywhere else, even described the scenery as an illustration of fantasy stories and out of the planet Earth.
Italian Ambassador Cecilia Piccioni also shared that the expedition was her dream-come-true from her bedtime story Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. “I recognize and appreciate the preservation of the Son Doong cave made by the Quang Binh province”, she commented.
But first: a little further about Son Doong.
Yes, Vietnam has the biggest cave in the world – and they didn’t even notice it until a great discover in 2009. “Son Doong” means “mountain river cave” and the 9-km long cave was created 2-5 million years ago by river water eroding limestone beneath a mountain, and was classified as World Natural Heritage by UNESCO. (This massive cave is situated in the heart of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park in central Vietnam.) But the special thing is about Son Doong’s “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.
Having conquered the otherworldly cave expedition, UNESCO representative in Vietnam Pham Sanh Chau shared his feelings at the congratulation party in 5 words: Escape, Satisfaction, Pride, Joy, and Appreciation. He felt escaped, appreciated and satisfied as the trip had ended successfully with the enthusiastic participant of the international ambassadors.
The party had been organized warmheartedly at Chay Lap Farmstay and in an open atmosphere. Sharing their thoughts after the 5-day-4-night excursion, all members said that the expedition to Son Doong Cave had made them feel the sincerity, the heartfelt hospitality and the creativity of the people in Quang Binh. In the end, the ambassadors together sang a selves-composed song in praise of the mesmerizing landscapes of the world’s largest cave and their unforgettable memories in this exploration. There is no doubt that they will spread the most beautiful words about Son Doong Cave, as well as the genuine friendliness of the local people to their family, friends back in their home countries and the world.