Son Doong – the world’s largest natural cave

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son Doong cave is a cave located in the core region of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park (Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district, province) Quang Binh). Son Doong can British Royal Cave Research Association discovered and recognized as The largest natural cave in the world in the year 2009-2010. The cave has been put into operation for adventure tourism since 2013, but the number of visitors is limited. The current number of people conquering Son Doong is even less than the number of people who have conquered it Everest.

Discovering Son Doong Cave

The discovery of Son Doong cave started with a local named Ho Khanh. Since he was a teenager, Ho Khanh has become a mountain as the locals call it. He often spends weeks in the deep forest in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park to trap wild animals and harvest timber.

Enter 1990On a trip to the forest as usual, he accidentally discovered a small cave door behind a rocky cliff when looking for a place to hide from the rain. As he approached, he saw thick mists blowing from the mouth of the small cave, and from there the sound of a rushing stream could be heard coming from the cave.

When feeling the cold wind from the cave, Ho Khanh decided to return without further consideration. After returning home, Ho Khanh forgot the exact location of the cave entrance. He also didn’t pay much attention to it because he thought it was like many other normal caves that he often encountered in his jungle trips.

At this point, Howard Limbert and Deb (2 members of British Royal Cave Association – BCRA) is in Phong Nha and is conducting a survey of caves in the area. In a conversation with Howard, Ho Khanh accidentally mentioned the cave door that he had seen with strong winds, dense fog, and sounds coming from the cave. Howard and Deb were excited about this discovery and urged Ho Khanh to search for the cave. Many searches have been conducted but all have failed. People assume that it doesn’t exist in the world.

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Everything seemed to be over, but Ho Khanh still silently searched for many years later. In 2008, during a trip to the forest as usual, Ho Khanh was lucky to find the location of the cave door that seemed to have fallen into oblivion. He carefully jotted down the route in his head and tried to contact Howard.

Arrive 2009Ho Khanh led Howard, Deb and a number of other cave experts back to the cave, opening the way for more detailed surveys later.

With the power of the media, Vietnam and a group of experts have announced Son Doong cave to the world. Announcements such as the largest cave in the world, the size of the cave, the unique ecosystem in the cave have surprised the whole world about Son Doong cave. Many major newspapers like Daily Mail, Telegraph, The Sun… have simultaneously posted about this information. The expedition took the honor of naming this cave for Ho Khanh. Finding Son Doong Cave is likened to finding Mount Everest underground.

After being put into operation adventure tourism from 2013Son Doong cave has always proved attractive to the domestic and international tourism community with its majestic beauty.

The formation of Son Doong cave

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park has the oldest limestone system in Asia, formed 400 to 450 million years ago. The analysis of fossil sediment samples has determined that Son Doong cave was formed 3 million years ago and is relatively young.

Son Doong Cave was formed on a fault of the mountain range Truong Son and was corroded by the water of the Rao Thuong River over millions of years. It forms a giant tunnel beneath the limestone. In places where the rock is soft, the ceiling collapses, creating holes, which eventually become a giant cave arch. Cracks in the ceiling of the cave were corroded and subsided, forming large sinkholes that opened to the outside. Drops of water fall from the ceiling of the cave over millions of years creating cave pearls the size of baseballs. Inside that majestic space is like a separate world with a unique natural ecosystem. There is a point containing the primeval forest growing in the cave. The cave is part of an underground system that connects with more than 150 other caves located near the border with Laos. Scientists consider this to be The most amazing cave in the world.

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The length of Son Doong cave is nearly 9km. In some locations the ceiling height is up to 200mwide to 160m. It’s big enough to accommodate a New York neighborhood with 40-story buildings. The widest place of Son Doong cave was presented by Howard that 3 large planes can fly comfortably in the third row. With an estimated measured volume of 38.5 million cubic metersSon Doong has surpassed Deer Cave in Malaysia to become the world’s largest natural cave. The stalagmite columns up to 80m high in the cave are also considered the tallest stalactite columns that experts have ever seen. To admire the whole Son Doong cave, visitors will have to go through an expedition in 4 days and 3 nights.

Explore Son Doong Cave

During the first survey, the British Royal cave team had to return because it could not overcome the giant 90m high stalactite wall near the end of Son Doong cave. This is called Vietnam Wall.

Vietnam wall in Son Doong cave
Giant stalactite wall in Son Doong cave

It was not until the second survey in 2010 with full specialized equipment that the team was able to overcome the stalactite wall to get out of the cave. It was not until now that the team confidently claimed to have found it world’s largest cave.

Every journey to explore Son Doong must go through Ban Doong. Currently, the only way to get to Ban Doong is by trekking. From Ban Doong, continue to go deep into the forest of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park to arrive Hang En3rd largest cave in the world and is also the only entrance to Son Doong.

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Pictures of Son Doong cave

Fossil corridor

This is where there are cave walls that contain many coral fossils dating back to 300 million years old.Fossil corridor in Son Doong cave

Dog Paws Block

This is a huge stalactite block in Son Doong cave. From a distance you can see how magnificent the Dog’s Paws are. Standing on this rock, you can admire most of the panorama in the cave.

The Dog's Foot Block in Son Doong Cave

Dinosaur Hope

Son Doong Cave is often associated with the fanciful beauty of this place – Vong Dinosaur (also known as Sinkhole 1). It got its name because it was formed when part of the cave’s ceiling collapsed thousands of years ago. As a result, sunlight shines in, making the plants in the cave grow lush. The sun shining into the cave creates a unique magical scene. This is the right place to capture rare moments.

Dinosaur hope in Son Doong cave


This is also a sinkhole, so sunlight can shine into the cave, helping the vegetation here grow lush. To reach this location, visitors must climb natural stone steps that gradually rise, like the ones leading to the Garden of Eden.

Garden of Eden in Son Doong Cave

And here are the ribs, a perfect sculpture of nature

Cheap ribs in Son Doong cave

These are natural pearls in Son Doong cave. Over tens of thousands of years, calcium crystals have encased sand grains to form rare pearls. This site is located near the Garden of Eden.

Pearl Cave in Son Doong Cave

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