Son Doong Cave
Son Doong is the largest cave on the planet and also the most majestic cave in Vietnam. Son Doong Cave was discovered in 2009-2010 by cave experts from the British Cave Research Association (BCRA). The Son Doong cave exploration program has been put into operation in adventure tourism since 2013.
What makes Son Doong cave the most majestic cave in Vietnam is its incredible size. Son Doong Cave has a length of up to 5km, the largest chambers of the cave are up to 200m high and 150m wide, Son Doong cave is so large that it can accommodate a 40-story skyscraper in New York City. With a measured volume of up to 38.5 million cubic meters, Son Doong cave completely surpassed Deer Cave in Malaysia – the largest cave in the world at that time. Surveys of Son Doong cave also show that the stalactites in Son Doong cave are the tallest in the world with a height of up to 80m. Therefore, the program to explore Hang Son Doong – the largest cave in Vietnam and the whole world is always on the list of must-visit adventure destinations of adventure enthusiasts around the world.
About the name
According to the tradition of cave explorers, the person who discovered the cave would have the right to name the cave he found. After the expedition ended in April 2009, Mr. Ho Khanh was asked to name the cave, many people suggested that the name Ho Khanh should be given to this giant cave to register the person who discovered it. However, Ho Khanh and the members of the expedition discussed and named the cave Hang Son Doong (A combination of two words: Son means mountain, Doong is the name of the valley where Rao Thuong stream flows through, or also means cave in the mountain (limestone), and has underground river flowing through).
The unique features of Son Doong cave
Inside the world’s largest cave, there is an underground river flowing from Hang En and Hang Khe Ry (the cave has water from Laos). From the mouth of the cave, before entering the Hand of Dog area, you have to cross 2 streams at a depth of about knee height. When the water level is higher, there is an elevated walkway by ladder. When the stream flows into the cave, it creates many waterfalls with a height of 5-10m, the waterfalls create echoes of the cave dome and create a lot of steam and sometimes fog covers the whole cave. This underground river disappeared near sinkhole 1 and about 4.5km from the mouth of the cave.
The great wall of Vietnam
In April 2009, after nearly 10 days of surveying and measuring, the expedition encountered a large stalactite block blocking all the paths, due to the grandeur and seemingly endless height of this stalactite block, the The expert explorer was unpredictable and the equipment they brought was not enough to conquer.. All the members were forced to go back to the old way, the moment they came back out of the cave. With pictures taken inside the cave along with measured parameters, the expedition together with National Geographic magazine announced Son Doong as the largest natural cave in the world. At this time, no one knows what and how far behind that big stone block, the expedition team decided to name the rock “The Great Wall of Vietnam” Wall of Vietnam to show its majesty.
Sinkhole 1: Watch out for dinosaurs
This is an area where the cave arch has collapsed to form an area of skylights leading to the outside. With the lowest point of 450m, each crater sinks to the bottom of the cave. This is also the location where the underground river disappears.
On sunny days, the sinkhole area receives a lot of sunlight shining into the cave from about 11 am to nearly 13 pm, especially from January to March every year, the sun rays shine deep inside the cave. illuminating the vast dome of the cave. The rays of sunlight and the mist created by the waterfall create a unique magical scene like no other.
Sinkhole 2: Garden of Edam
Sinkhole 2 is located about 1km from Ho Sut 1, where there is a primeval forest 200m deep inside the cave and below the limestone mountains. When you come out of Ho Sut 1 area, you will see a slope of earth from the inside of the cave towards the forest, this is an area where the light from the sinkhole shines in so there are many species of ferns growing along the path. make the path look like the path into a fairy garden. The forest has many tall tall trees, you have to walk for more than 30 minutes to cross this forest to enter the Ho Sut 2 camping area.
Discovery journey and memorable milestones
- Early December 1990: Mr. Ho Khanh in a forest trip and discovered the cave door later known as Hang Son Doong.
- April 7, 2009: Ho Khanh led the British-Vietnamese cave expedition led by Mr. Howard Limbert to survey and measure the cave. Mr. Peter MacNab was the first person to step inside the cave.
- April 14, 2009: The cave was named and announced as the largest natural cave in the world. The cave was announced by National Geographic magazine as the largest natural cave in the world.
- March 17, 2010: The expedition climbed the wall of Vietnam out of the cave, completed the survey and measurement of the entire Son Doong Cave with a length of nearly 9 km and a volume of 38.5 million m3. The cave was announced by National Geographic TV as the largest natural cave in the world.
- In 2013, Hang Son Doong was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest natural cave in the world.
- March 31, 2019: Mr. Howard Limbert and a group of world-famous cave diving experts such as Martin Holroyd, Rick Stanton, Jason Mallinson, Chris Jewell made a diving expedition into the underground river inside the large cave. world, where the expedition is suspected to connect to Hang Thung with 600m diving sites. Results after nearly a week of surveying, the expedition discovered an underground passage at a depth of 90m, but because there was no diving equipment at too great a depth, the expedition stopped. In case this underground cave connects to Hang Thung, the volume of Hang Son Doong will increase by 1.6 million m3. Further expeditions will be carried out in the near future.
World record and communication about Son Doong
Right from the completion of the survey, National Geographic Magazine (2009) and National Geographic TV (2010) announced that Hang Son Doong is the largest cave in the world with a volume of 38.5 million m3, far exceeding the largest cave in the world. The previous largest cave in the world was Deer Cave in Malaysia with a volume of 9.5 million m3.
- Son Doong was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest natural cave in 2013. In 2015, this cave continued to be recognized by Guinness as the world’s largest cave in terms of volume (38). ,5 million m3).
- In 2014, the cave was voted by The New York Times as one of the 52 most attractive tourist destinations in the world.
- In 2015, the world’s largest cave was filmed and broadcast live from the cave for the first time on ABC News’ Good Morning America program.
- In the same year 2015, National Geographic magazine published a set of 360 photos taken very clearly with sound inside Son Doong cave.
- In 2019, DJ Alan Walker made a music video called Alone P.II filmed in Hang Son Doong and released on youtube on December 27, 2019. By October 2022, this MV had reached 275 million views worldwide.
- In 2020, the cave was honored by Business Insider as one of the 20 natural wonders that broke natural records.
- In 2021, the Son Doong 360 photo series on National Geographic will become a virtual reality tour and cause a fever in the world during the recent pandemic.
- On April 14, 2022, on the occasion of Son Doong’s day was announced as the largest cave in the world. Google Doodle has honored Hang Son Doong on the homepage of google’s search page in 18 countries around the world, including: Vietnam, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Republic of Guatemala , Republic of Honduras, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, US Virgin Islands, United Kingdom and Brazil.
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