The Amazing Son Doong Cave in Vietnam
Only very recently discovered, the fascinating Son Doong Cave is the largest known cave in the world. You can find it in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, near the border with Laos. As you approach it, you might feel intimidated by a strong whistling sound coming from deep within. Don’t worry, though, that sound has scared locals for a very long time, but now everybody knows that it’s only the noise of a fast-flowing underground river.
We’ve already captured your attention, haven’t we? Well, rest assured that there are even more fascinating things going on deep within the 5.5 mile long cave. The man who first found its entrance was a local named Ho-Khann, who made the discovery back in 1991. Official exploration, though, started only four years ago, in 2009. That was when the British Cave Research Association sent a group of explorers to the amazing cave whose name translates to “mountain river cave”.
Its exit was only found in 2010, at the end of an unforgettable journey of discovery. The largest chamber of Son Doong is said to be approximately 3 miles long, 492 feet wide, and 656 feet high – imagine the sense of awe that the explorers must have felt at this sight! If imagining is not enough for you, tour company Oxalis invites you to see the marvel for yourself! The first tourists have been here in August 2013 and each one of them paid $3,000 for this one-of-a-kind experience.
Probably the most spectacular sight here is that of a full-fledged forest inside the cave! When you reach it, you first get the impression that you have actually reached the exit, when in fact you are still inside the vast Son Doong, surrounded by tall trees with monkeys and flying foxes! To better understand how this is possible, you need to know how the cave was formed, billions of years ago.
Its limestone walls have been eroded by constantly flowing underground rivers for ages, and those places in the ceiling which were least resistant eventually collapsed, forming huge skylights. This is basically all that nature needed in order to grow a magical ecosystem within the giant walls. Light is essential for plants and plants are essential for insects, creepers and larger animals. The rest is literally history – a truly wonderful one, that is.
If you choose to spend a memorable vacation in the Son Doong Cave, get ready to see some absolutely unforgettable things here. Take your camera with you and make sure you shoot some of the world’s largest cave pearls (the size of baseballs), newly discovered plant species, and many awe-inspiring cave formations, such as gigantic stalagmites and stalactites. This is going to be the adventure of your lifetime!