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Written by Buvaneshwari Gopinath on May 21, 2020 Share on

Hang Sơn Đoòng – Enchanting cave in Vietnam

Vietnam is never the first place that comes to one’s mind while choosing a destination to travel, probably because it is one of the underrated places. But it has a lot more to it than what meets the eyes. With local being soo friendly, you’ll forget you are a tourist, visit the beautiful rice terraces, landscapes, go on food trips, and caves. One such cave to visit is the Hang Sơn Đoòng.

Vietnam
Image Source: Unsplash

In 1990, Ho Khahn set out to find Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park for food when he saw an opening in a limestone cliff and noticed clouds swirling out of it. He didn’t think much of it and returned home. Later in 2009, he led Deb, Howard, and a team of other caving professionals to the opening. The team concluded that the cave had the largest cross-section of any cave on earth.  Howard and Deb Limbert of the British Cave Research Association (BRCA), was conducting exploratory caving expeditions in the area. The cave was named Son Doong.

What kind of experience you will be getting?

  • Inside this biodiversity hotspot, you will have to swim, crawl, abseil, and mount up just like animals to witness and explore this cave. 
  • It’s a once in a lifetime experience that you do not want to miss!

Some wonders about the cave

  • With two large dolines lighting up the place, it gives you a view out of a Disney movie.
  • With enchanting phytokarst, towering stalagmites and caves pearls the size of baseballs this place is a therapy for eyes.
  • It comprises a 90m high calcite barrier which was jokingly nicknamed as “the great wall of Vietnam” when the first team of explorers couldn’t go beyond it.
  • The cave is so huge, such that it has its own localized weather system with rain clouds forming inside. Truly a place untouched!
  • More people have stood at the top of Mount Everest than inside this cave. It’s a UNESCO protected cave.
  • Son doong is relatively new, roughly about two to five million years old.
Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park
Image source: Unsplash

Amazing flora and fauna in the cave

With a dense forest inside, you can spot a variety of birds, snakes, and monkeys in places where the glistening sunlight falls. In the closed-off part of the cave, indigenous species that don’t have pigments and hence don’t need sunlight thrives. Since its discovery, Anette Becher, a German caver and biologist has been the sole person to explore the unlit part of the cave. Who knows what else this enigmatic cave holds! It’s a treat for those who dig the serial killer vibe!

How to get there?

To reach this cave, you need to pass through a village with a population of 40. This isolated and impoverished village is now doing better because of a new wave of tourism. Interacting with the Ban Doong ethnic minorities is an experience in itself. After a trek through the jungle via the village, you need to cross untamed rivers to reach the entrance. Some level of fitness is prerequisite.

Want to find magic in travelling, log onto www.pickyourtrail.com, and choose from hundreds of Vietnam tour packages available at Pickyourtrail!

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