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Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is situated in the core zone of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Headquarter Park of Quang Binh Province which is a new cave discovered by The British Cave Research Association (BCRA). The Son Doong Cave Vietnam was announced as the largest cave in the world in the period from 2009 to 2010 and has been put into operation in the form of adventure tourism since 2013.
Son Doong tourism activities have been exploited with a limited number of participants. At the moment, the number of people conquering Son Doong Cave is even much less than the number of people who have ever stood on Mount Everest.
Hang Son Doong Cave Discovery
The journey to find the largest cave in the world originated from a local man named Ho Khanh. Since he was a teenager, Ho Khanh has been known as a boy who often spent weeks and weeks deep in the forest of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Headquarter Park to trap wild animals and exploit wood with very low income.
In 1990, in a usual trip to the forest, Ho Khanh accidentally discovered a small cave gate peeking behind a cliff. While approaching, he found out much dense fog blowing out from the small cave entrance. From there, he could hear the sound of a swift-flowing stream raging from somewhere inside.
After feeling the cold gust of wind blowing out from the inside of the cave, Ho Khanh decided to return without having any check. When he got home, he forgot the exact position of the cave entrance. Additionally, he completely did not care about it as he believed that it is just like many other normal caves that he often sees on his every trip to the jungle.
At that point in time, Howard Limbert and Deb- two members of BCRA- are in Phong Nha and carrying out surveys of caves in the area. However, they were still unable to find the exact position of the Son Doong Cave entrance.
Once talking to Howard, Ho Khanh incidentally mentioned the cave entrance that he unintentionally caught sight of along with such strong winds, dense fog, and sounds coming from the cave. Howard and Deb were then very excited and urged Ho Khanh to start searching for this cave. After several unsuccessful attempts, everyone thought that this mysterious cave would never be found and it must never exist.
Everything seemed to end but it was Ho Khanh who kept silently searching for the mysterious cave for many years afterward. In 2008, on another hunting trip, Ho Khanh luckily found the location of the cave again that seemed to be forgotten. He cautiously wrote down the path in his head and tried to contact Howard. In 2009, Ho Khanh led Howard, Deb, and many other cave experts back to the cave entrance, opening up a further exploration later.
Along with the power of communications, Vietnam and the group of experts have officially announced Son Doong Cave in Vietnam to the world. Later announcements to the world about the world’s largest cave, Son Dong Cave size, and the unique ecosystem of Son Doong have made the whole world astonishing.
Geology and Size
Son Doong Cave Location
Son Doong Cave belongs to Phong Nha – Ke Bang, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Headquarter Park has the oldest limestone mountain system in Asia, formed 400 to 450 million years ago. Analyzing fossil sedimentary samples determined that the Son Doong Cave formed relatively young – with a date of 3 million years old.
Son Doong Cave was formed on a fault line of Truong Son Mountain and eroded by Rao Thuong River for millions of years that have formed a giant tunnel underneath the limestone mountain. Such cracks on the ceiling of the cave were corroded and subsided, forming large holes leading to the outside. Water droplets falling from the ceiling of the cave for millions of years have created numerous Son Doong Cave pearls with the size of a baseball ball. Inside that magnificent space, there is a totally separate world, a rare natural wonder that surprised people not only in Vietnam but also from all over the world who are interested in conquering the Hang Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh province Vietnam.
In the first survey, the expedition team of BCRA had to return due to being unable to cross the giant stalactite 90-meter wall near the end of Son Doong Cave– known as the Vietnam Wall.
Not until the second time with full specialized equipment in 2010 had they crossed the giant stalactite Son Doong Cave wall to get out of the cave. It was not until this point in time that the survey team could confidently claim to have found the largest cave in the world.
Son Doong Cave Map
Son Doong Cave Size
The length of Son Doong Cave is nearly 9km with the ceiling at some points is up to 200m in height and 160m in width. It is big enough to place a quarter in New York with 40-storey buildings. With an estimated volume of 38.5 million cubic meters, Son Doong Cave- Quang Binh Province Vietnam overcomes Deer Cave in Malaysia to become the largest natural cave in the world.
Such stalagmite columns with a height of up to 80m in the cave are also considered as the highest stalactites that experts have ever seen. To admire the panoramic view of Son Doong Cave, visitors are highly recommended to join Son Doong Cave Expedition to explore the entire length of the cave with Son Doong Photography Tour 5D4N offered by Phong Nha Locals Travel.
Doong Village on Son Doong Cave Trip
On every Son Doong Cave Tour to visit Son Doong Cave, you will stop by Doong Village – a small village of the Bru-Van Kieu people with about 40 people living remotely in the core area of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park Headquarter. The life of the locals here is still difficult as the topography is completely isolated from the outside world.
At present, the only way to reach Doong Village is by crossing forests. As located in the core area of the National Park Headquarter, planting and exploitation of economic trees are not allowed. Putting into operation the Son Doong Cave Tours and camping in Hang En Cave during the tour has opened up many development opportunities for Doong Village.
Additionally, the locals also get a chance to earn more income by helping the authority protect the ecosystem of the area, including not only Son Doong Cave animals but also Son Doong Cave plants. With the hospitable nature, the locals at Doong Village have given visitors numerous good impressions. It has also become one of the most memorable highlights throughout the trip. Doong Village is a typical example of completely preserving the cultural and spiritual values of ethnic minorities over many decades.