January 10, 2023
HÀ NỘI — Sơn Đoòng Cave in the central province of Quảng Bình has made it to the list of 10 ‘most incredible caves in the world’ compiled by Canadian magazine The Travel.
“Being 200m high and 175m wide as well as 9.4km in length, this cave is estimated to fit a 40-story New York skyscraper,” it said.
Sơn Đoòng, located in the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, has captured the international spotlight since it was opened to tourists in 2013.
“The most fascinating elements are a thick forest mushrooming in the cave for years as well as towering stalagmites, phytokarst, cave pearls, as well as cave roof, collapses,” the magazine noted.
“Also, it requires two days of intense jungle trekking and river crossings to reach the entrance of Sơn Đoòng Cave.”
Oxalis Adventure operates the tour, with a four-day-three-night expedition to the cave costing VNĐ69.8 million (around US$3,000).
Only 1,000 visitors are allowed to explore the cave a year for environmental reasons, and the tour is available only between January and August.
Trekkers accompanied by a specialist guide go through unique underground rainforests, kayak in rivers both above and below ground and climb a 90-metre-high wall dubbed “The Great Wall of Vietnam” with ropes and ladders.
Originally discovered in 1991 by a Vietnamese man called Hồ Khanh, Sơn Đoòng Cave was recognised as a world natural heritage by UNESCO twice, in 2003 and 2015.
It was surveyed by the British Royal Cave Research Association (BRCA) in 2009. Measuring a total of 38.5 million cubic metres, Sơn Đoòng Cave is currently the largest natural cave in the world, recognised by Guinness in 2013.
The cave has become the backdrop for many internationally famous programmes like Good Morning America of US channel ABC in 2015, or MV Alone Pt II by British-born Norwegian DJ Alan Walker in 2019, which has promoted it as a new symbol of Việt Nam’s tourism sector.
Sơn Đoòng also topped the list of 10 most magnificent natural caves in the world, nominated by US website Wonderslist, last July.
The other caves in The Travel’s list of ten of the most incredible caves in the world include Vatnajokull Glacier Cave of Iceland, Naica Mine Cave of Mexico, Krubera Cave of Georgia, Glowworms Cave of New Zealand, Batu Cave of Malaysia, Marble Caves of Chile, Tham Lod Cave of Thailand, Reed Flute Cave of China, and Škocjan Cave of Slovenia. VNS