Son Doong Cave belongs to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave complex in Sơn Trạch commune, Bà Trạch district, Quảng Bình province.
Son Doong Cave is considered as “magnificent, amazingly beautiful” creation with many stalagmites, but the most distinctive feature is that it contains the primeval forest growing inside the cave. The geologists say that Son Doong is the most magnificent cave in the world.
1. Discovered by Accident
That year, Mr. Ho Khanh – a woodman who went to the forest to find agarwood – in a forest trip encountered a heavy rain, so he seeked a shelter. He chose a cliff to take shelter, suddenly saw a phenomenon of clouds soaring from the cave door with noise coming from inside the cave. He was so scared and left immediately, missed his opportunity to explore the world’s largest cave.
In 2001, Mr. Howard Limbert’s expedition came to Vietnam; coincidently Mr. Khanh was their guide. Mr. Khanh described the phenomenon of mist spraying from the cave accompanied by weird sound. With decades of experience of exploring caves, Mr. Howard said that this could be a very large one.
However, it was not until 2009, after many failures that Mr. Ho Khanh and the British Caving Association expedition officially identified Son Doong cave. It was difficult for him to find the cave, which was located deep in the jungle with quite rugged terrain, far away from the main road and could not found on Google Earth. He is also the person who named the cave.
With the event on 5/4/2009, after finding and discovering Son Doong cave, the British Expedition has shocked the whole world. Finding Son Doong cave is like finding Mount Everest underground.
Immediately after Dr. Howard Limbert announced the news, Son Doong cave, confirmed as the largest in the world, many major foreign newspapers such as Daily Mail, Telegraph, The Sun, Breitbart and Newser simultaneously uploaded their posts about Son Doong cave.
The Royal Expedition also honored Ho Khanh to name this cave. The Daily Mail ran headline on the front page “British explorers found the light at the end of the tunnel in the world’s largest cave,” and the Telegraph noted the contributions of Ho Khanh – the guide for expedition into Doong area leading the discovery of Son Doong cave.
This cave has a beautiful stalactite system with images of “garden of Eden” inside the cave, or a collection of thousands of years old “pearls”. It is the discovery and publication of the Son Doong cave that has transformed the Phong Nha-Ke Bang national cave region into a world-renowned cave kingdom.
2. Map of Son Doong Cave
The road from the entrance to the cave is very steep, difficult to walk down, so must go along a deep underground river to go further into the cave.
The cave has about 92 meters width, 244m tall arch that can accommodate an entire 40-storey building in New York. The structures here are bigger, more majestic than any human imagination.
Mr. Howard Limbert, who presented the largest area of the Son Doong cave, said that three large aircraft could fly in a line comfortably.
Son Doong cave was formed about 2-5 million years ago, when water flowed through the limestone area. The stream erodes and scrapes a giant tunnel in the ground below the mountain range. In “soft” rock places, the ceiling collapsed and formed holes, then turned into a huge cave dome.
A part of the roof of the Son Doong cave collapsed many years ago, creating conditions for the light to shine in provided the factors for the trees to grow, creating a wonderful forest in the middle of the cave. The explorers named this place Garden of Eden.
Eden garden has a very large area, including many types of plant surrounded by forest clusters, diverse tropical ecosystems, especially wire plants climbing across the rocks.
This is the ideal home for many species of plants and natural creatures. Somewhere you will hear the birds chirping under the trees; the water flowing through the ravine is impressive and majestic.
In the Garden of Eden, the scientists have discovered three new species of millipedes (a group of arthropods that is characterized by having two pairs of jointed legs on most body segments), woodlice and another type of crustacean. In the forest, there are nearly 400 species of plants, including birds outside migrating to live.
From the cave of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, you can see the hills, the traces of the war imprinted over time; the bomb craters of that day became a fishpond; the green fields, fertile lands, mountains, rivers and fields make the landscape more beautiful and attractive. It also evoke a peaceful and peaceful countryside.
Wherever the sun shines, there is the green shade of life in Son Doong cave, a world completely different from the bare, pitch-black darkness found in most other caves.
Pearl cave in the rooftop lake dried out, with unbelievably beauty. Naturally structured for thousands years, calcium crystals have enveloped small grains of sand to form these precious “pearls”. This priceless “pearl collection” is located near the Garden of Eden in Son Doong cave.
The giant stalactite cliff, about 70m high, protruding at a depth of more than 6km below the Son Doong cave, named ‘’Great Wall of Vietnam”. Behind that wall is the second entrance to the cave.
Let’s come to Quang Binh province to explore the most magnificent cave in the world. You will immerse in the pristine natural mountain forests, the sound of birds chirping, the gurgling streams and the rustling wind of the World Natural Heritage Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
3. The Birth of Son Doong Exploration Expedition
To best protect and preserve the ecosystem, the People’s Committee of Quang Binh Province decided to choose Oxalis Adventure as the only unit to organize the Son Doong Expedition tour with the assistance of experts of the British Caving Association.
The first tour made on August 1, 2013. Each tour averages 10 visitors and camps 4 days 3 nights inside Hang En and Son Doong.
The world’s top experience – Son Doong Expedition will take you to explore the mysterious world deep in the planet’s largest cave, learn about the unique ecosystems inside the cave or admire the giant stalactites.
With a limited exploitation of the number of participants, the number of successful conquerors of the world biggest cave is now even less than the number of people who ever stood on Mount Everest.
The expedition tour to Son Doong, the largest cave in the world, identified by the People’s Committee of Quang Binh Province as a high-quality adventure tour. Tour design criteria as well as safety standards follow the European standards.
Each tour has 10 guests but requires 30 waiters, including cave experts, guides, safety assistants, chief and porters bringing a total of about 600kg of equipment in and out for the whole trip. Everything brought in must be taken out of the cave, including human waste.
Since Son Doong officially became a tourist destination for those who are passionate about conquering and exploring, Quang Binh’s magnificent cave discovery tour has been fully booked until 2021, so if this place is the one you are looking for, you are better hurry up. Sign up as soon as possible because the line is getting longer.
Son Doong sightseeing tour cost 3,000 USD / person and only accepts a maximum of 10 guests per tour to ensure safety and environment protection of the cave. Each group of 10 guests will have 22 porters carrying luggage, food throughout the journey, 5 safety assistants to assist guests, an international guide, an English cave expert, two chefs and a ranger.
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