Discover Son Doong Cave, Quang Binh - The Most Beautiful Cave On The Planet
Vietnam has many famous tourist destinations. But if a foreigner asks "What makes Vietnam such a beautiful country?", My first answer will definitely be the beauty of Son Doong Cave. Let's explore the largest natural cave in the world - Son Doong Cave, to gain exciting experiences as well as knowlege on this wonder. Son Doong Cave is the largest natural cave in Vietnam, and although it was discovered not long ago, this cave is very famous in the world travel magazines and is a favorite destination for foreign tourists whenever coming to Vietnam and is known as one of the mostos spectacular caves on the planet.
Where is Son Doong cave located?
Located in the caves complex in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, but because of the rugged terrain and surrounded by dense trees of primeval forest, it was discovered in 1991 but this cave was later forgotten for 15 years and only until recently that Son Doong Cave was officially discovered. The legend of Son Doong cave is also very interesting. The largest cave in the world was found by chance by a jungler named Ho Khanh while avoiding flash floods in search of shelter. The shelter was the Son Doong cave, but after that, Ho Khanh also forgot the presence of this cave until it was in 2006 that he brought this story to tell to the expedition team of the British Royal Society.
Son Doong cave was formed about 2 - 5 million years ago, having a huge size, is the largest cave in the world, with a length of about 5 km which has the capacity to accommodate 68 helicopters, or can "fit" a 40-storey buildings.
Through surveys and measurements, the size of the cave has surprised many people. It is 150m wide, 200m high and 6.5 km long and tt is considered to be five times larger than Phong Nha cave (ranked 2nd in Vietnam). The interesting and unbelievable nature of Son Doong cave is what makes all those who have the opportunity to admire it must be overwhelmed. It was discovered that the "pearls" in the Son Doong cave (the jade surrounding a seed like a pearl in the sea) are about the size of a baseball, which normally are only the size of a marble.
The beauty of this magical cave is what makes people most surprised. With glistening stalactites with many strange shapes hanging from the top, smooth stalagmites strewn out like sword blades, and a flourishing, vibrant ecosystem of plants in the cave bed, Son Doong cave deserves every effort of human discovery.
Pristine ecology in Son Doong cave is very diverse and abundant. The vegetation here is still primitive, completely unaffected by humans, and there are many rare and precious animals and plants preserved intactly by nature over millions of years with majestic and impressive scenery. Therefore, this place is also favored by explorers as " Garden of Eden". In November 2013, Son Doong cave surpassed other candidates to enter the Top 27 tourist destinations that must be visited once in a lifetime of Buzzfeed.
The best time to explore Son Doong cave is from February to April, when the climate is warm, the weather is cool, and the "airy ventilation" is very suitable for climbing, as well as exploring the scenery. You should not come here in May to August because the weather is very hot, humid and rainy, unfavorable and quite dangerous.
What is special about Son Doong cave?
1. Son Doong cave was discovered because of the rain
In 1991, a farmer named Ho Khanh went to take shelter in the rain while searching for aquilaria and discovered Son Doong cave.
2. Son Doong cave used to be forgotten for 15 years
At that time, Ho Khanh did not know that he had discovered a priceless treasure, he forgot it and quit looking to work in the field. It was not until 2006, 15 years later, when an expedition of the Royal Society of England came looking for a new cave in Phong Nha - Ke Bang, Mr. Khanh brought his story to tell them. That is when the journey to find the old cave began.
3. Son Doong Cave is not displayed on Google Earth
However, the trip to find the cave in the past was not completely successful. All what in Khanh's memory is a large cave with strong winds blowing 24/24. Even with the help of state-of-the-art scientific equipments and Google Earth software, the expedition could not manage to find Son Doong cave. It was not until 2009 that Mr. Ho Khanh officially rediscovered the old cave.
4. Son Doong Cave has an area so large that it can become an aircraft park
The size of the Son Doong cave is very large with at least 5km in length, equivalent to the capacity of about 68 Boeing 777 aircraft. This figure may be even greater because according to scientists, the most modern means today have not yet discovered the full length of this cave.
5. Son Doong Cave is called the "Great Wall of Vietnam"
Some sections of the cave have a width of 91.44m and a high arch of nearly 243.84m - completely "stuffed" into a 40-storey building in New York.
National Geographic even compared that cave as tall as stacking 25 double-decker buses to stay comfortable. The grandeur of the landscape of the Son Doong cave makes it world-renowned "The Great Wall of Vietnam", which can be compared to "The Great Wall of China".
6. In Son Doong cave, visitors can find their own "garden of paradise"
In Son Doong cave, the explorers discover an entire primeval forest with abundant vegetation. There is no trace of human. Experts have even called the forest in this cave a "garden of Eden" in honor of this stunning and spectacular beauty.
7. Son Doong cave possesses a "pearl" as big as a baseball
Another special feature of Son Doong cave is the stalactite system and giant "pearl" cave. Over millions of years under the influence of external forces, Son Doong owns stalagmite columns as high as 70m. In addition, people also discovered the "pearl" cave. Normally, these pearls only have a diameter of about 1cm but in Son Doong, they are as big as a baseball.
8. Son Doong Cave even attracts supermodels to conquer it
Not only attracts Vietnamese tourists but also the world's tourists must be "amazed" by this stunning beauty. Among them, there are families all three generations have conquered this cave, or even supermodels like Jasmina Mala (Czech) and Crown Prince Ahmed Hamdan (from Abu Dhabi) have also explored the world's largest cave in Vietnam.
Experience to conquer Son Doong Cave:
- Because of the dangerous position, if you want to explore Son Doong cave, you cannot go on your own. You must work with licensed travel Oxalis Company, the only tour organizer in Phong Nha commune, Son Trach village, Bo Trach, Quang Binh province.
- Tour price of Son Doong cave 7 days 6 nights is not cheap, at about 3,000 USD, equivalent to nearly 65 million Vietnam Dong. Son Doong Cave Expedition is only for visitors who are passionate about conquering challenges, passionate about adventure with very dangerous journeys.
- In addition, you may encounter unexpected events such as natural disasters, forest floods, dangerous animals, So you need to equip with nencessary survival knowledge and extensive experience on forest, climbing, etc.
- Before exploring Son Doong cave you must practice walking at least 10 km / day, lasting from 3-6 months to prepare the best health for yourself.
- The most ideal time to explore Son Dong cave is from February to August every year, this time the climate and weather are quite mild.
- When conquering the largest cave in the world, you should wear climbing or sports shoes for easy maneuvering and climbing.
- No need to bring any luggage with you at all because there will be people carrying goods who will help you.
- You must only take a small path that the guide has gone, not another way in order to protect the pristine appearance of the cave.
- If you appear to meet a snake, you must absolutely keep silent, be quiet and do not shout, poke or chase the snake because the snakes here are all extreme poisonous.
- To ensure the safety of visitors and preserve the beauty of the cave, you should not touch the stalagmites or stalactites that are in the process of formation.
Other places to visit when visiting Son Doong cave
Quang Binh has many special dishes
Traveling to Quang Binh, besides conquering Son Doong - the largest cave in the world, you can also visit Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, also a famous tourist destination.
Besides, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a world natural heritage and a pristine beauty spot that nature has bestowed on Vietnam.
This landscape is a complex including: primeval forest, Son river, dry cave with water cave creating a ink captivating painting.
By Quynh Nhi