Son Doong Cave | SonDoong Cave in Vietnam

Son Doong Cave

This cave was formed in Carboniferous/Permian limestone

Son Doong Cave (“Mountain River cave” in Vietnamese) is a solutional cave in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Bố Trạch District, Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam. It has the largest known cave passage cross-section in the world and is located near the Laos–Vietnam border. Inside is a large, fast-flowing subterranean river. It was formed in Carboniferous/Permian limestone.

This cave was formed in Carboniferous/Permian limestone

This cave was formed in Carboniferous/Permian limestone

It is found by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991 and was recently discovered in 2009 by British cavers, led by Howard Limbert. It had lain undetected beneath the Annamite Mountains in a remote part of central Vietnam for millions of years until one day in 1991 when a local farmer stumbled across it and sought shelter there from a storm. Indochina travel

The name “Son Doong cave” means “mountain river cave”. It was created 2-5 million years ago by river water eroding away the limestone underneath the mountain. Where the limestone was weak, the ceiling collapsed creating huge skylights.

The pearls form over hundreds of years as water drips down, dries up and leaves layers of calcite crystals on grains of sand

The pearls form over hundreds of years as water drips down, dries up and leaves layers of calcite crystals on grains of sand

Imagine trekking straight into the depths of the world’s largest cave on an expedition unlike any other. This cave is so massive that a 747 Boeing could fly through its largest cavern. The space is so mesmerizing that it forces you to question whether you are still on this planet at all. Once rested, visitors can admire the wonders of Son Doong, including the Hand of Dog, a huge stalagmite that looks like a dog’s paw.  While sink holes provide rare glimpses of light from the jungle above, and raging rivers flow in complete darkness. Centre Vietnam tours

Foreign landscapes found nowhere else, enormous stalagmites rising from the ground and statuesque stalactites hanging from the ceiling like an alien species. Jungles emerge from inside the cave itself, a scene so surreal that you have to see it to believe it.

The beauty inside this cave

The beauty inside this cave

It is over 5.5 miles long, has a jungle and river, and could fit a 40-story skyscraper within its walls. The roof of the cave collapsed centuries ago, allowing a lush jungle to take root. Monkeys and flying foxes live in what explorers named the Garden of Edam. Son Doong is a jackpot of rare cave pearls. The pearls form over hundreds of years as water drips down, dries up and leaves layers of calcite crystals on grains of sand.

Now the mythical cave has been opened up to the general public by tour company Oxalis, who are running six-day trips for visitors, but it is not for the faint-hearted, as the journey to the cave takes a day and a half through dense uninhabited jungle, before you abseil 260ft down to its entrance. Do not expect it to become crowded: just 224 tourists will be permitted to visit this year.

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