Son Doong Cave Information
Posted Date: 6/5/20148:10 AM
Son Doong cave, the world's largest cave, is located in Son Trach, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Son Doong cave means “Mountain River cave” (Son means Mountain, Doong means river in the local language), the name not only carries the friendliness to the villagers but also brings the explored temptation toward the travelers, is one of the most wanted places for adventure tours in Vietnam as well as around the world.
Son Doong cave has been first found out by a local man – Mr. Ho Khanh in 1991 when he wanted to find a large place enough to hide from the storm, after that time, he unfortunately forgot the way to enter the marvelous cave. Just recently, in 2009, together with Mr. Khanh, the cave has been discovered again by British Cave Research Associations (BCRA), led by Mr. Howard Limber.
According to the researches, Son Doong cave was created 2 – 5 million years ago, when the pure aquifer groundwater eroded the limestone mountains. Where the limestone was weak, the ceiling collapsed creating huge skylights in the mountains. The stream of sunlight coming through the cave mouth blend beautiful colors of nature. The map of Son Doong cave system
The cave is more than 200 meter width, around 150m height and approximately 9km in length, the cavern is big enough to fit a 40 – story building in it. Son Doong cave was classified as the largest cave in the world by BCRA (British Cave Research Association) and selected as one of the most beautiful in the world by the BBC news.
Son Doong cave was deeply hidden in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park (the park is approximately 86,000 ha wide, bordered with Laos PDR, belongs to the large mountainous system contain 300 caves and grottos, many of which not surveyed, hidden inside The Annamite Mountains).
The Cave Discovery Expedition
On the first attempt of BCRA, the team has trekked 2.5 miles in Son Doong cave then a huge mudded calcite wall approximately 200 foot height stopped them getting further. They named it The Great Wall of Vietnam. The myth behind the wall still in “sleeping” as there is no way to climb over it. One year later, they have come back with the scientists and the professional climbers to conquer the cave, behind the wall, the team has discovered the second entrance into Son Doong… The more they explore the cave, the more they see the mysterious but spectacular beauty inside.
Inside Son Doong cave - photo by Carsten Peter
Still famous by the name, Son Doong cave as well as the whole system of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park has been continuously preserved by the government to protect its natural environment. Hopefully, more trekking and hiking trails to Son Doong will be open up in the future so the whole world could admire its beauty.
Recently, ActiveTravel Vietnam has opened the trek tour to Hang En cave - the cave right in front of Son Doong cave. Hang En cave (or Swallow cave) is the second largest of area and third largest cave of the world (after Son Doong and Deer Cave in Malaysia). The hiking trail is the same to Son Doong cave. Trekkers also can reach to Son doong with one day extra. This is the place making the best photo of March 2011 by Carsten Peter on NatGeo. Even though Hang En is smaller than Son Doong but the spectacular inside can blow your mind.
Camping Inside Son Doong or Hang En cave
Skylight Photo by Ryan Deboodt
Read more: Hang En cave Likely to be the Location of Blockbuster Hollywood "Peter Pan" Movie