Explore Son Doong Cave – the largest cave in the world

by Lam Pham

If you are passionate about traveling to explore and experience, Son Doong cave, Quang Binh is the ideal place that you should visit at least once in your life. Son Doong Cave opens up a majestic natural scenery and unique beauty that overwhelms you when visiting. To make the journey to explore Son Doong cave more complete and meaningful, Karst Plateau will share with you some experiences when exploring Son Doong cave.

1. Introduction to Son Doon Cave

1.1 Where is Son Doong Cave

Son Doong Cave belongs to Quang Ninh province

Son Doong Cave is in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, in Son Trach Commune, Cha Trach District, Quang Binh Province. It is also part of an underground system connected to more than 150 other caves in Vietnam near the border with Laos.

1.2 Formation history and records

This cave was formed about 2-5 million years ago

On December 10, 1990, the cave was discovered for the first time by a local farmer named Ho Khanh during a jungle trip but lost its location. After several search attempts with British cave experts. Finally, in 2009, Son Doong Cave was announced by the Vietnamese-British cave survey expedition team as the largest natural cave in the world.

Son Doong Cave was formed about 2-5 million years ago when river water flowed through limestone that had been buried along a fault line. The current erodes and creates a huge tunnel in the ground under the mountain range. In places of soft rock, the ceiling collapses to form sinkholes, which for a long time form huge cave arches. The cave has a width of 150 meters, is more than 200 meters high, and has a length of nearly 9km. The estimated capacity of Son Doong Cave is 38.5 million cubic meters. Son Doong Quang Binh Cave was recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2003. By 2013, the cave was recognized by Guinness as the largest natural cave in the world.

2. When is the most beautiful time to go to Son Doong Cave?

The best time to go to Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh is from January to August. However, at different times, Son Doong Cave takes on a unique charm.

2.1 From January to March

Admire the majestic beauty when sunlight penetrates straight into the cave, illuminating the entire space

In the early spring days, waves of sunlight shine through the sinkhole deep into the cave, brightening up a large space. You will have the opportunity to capture the splendid beauty of the stalactites sparkling like diamonds, the pristine beauty of the plants, and the majesty of the rocks at Son Doong Cave. This is considered the best time to go to Son Doong Cave Quang Binh because this is the time when Phong Nha mountains and trees sprout, and you can own artistic landscape photos.

2.2 From April to May

Start your exploration journey with a trekking trip through deep green forests

This is exactly the best time to go to Son Doong Cave, Quang Binh. At this time, Phong Nha is in the changing seasons, the air is mild, and there is no harsh sun or frequent rain. The bed of Son Doong Cave is no longer illuminated but instead has an area with a “wedding cake” shaped rock. Therefore, if you want to experience trekking activities, this time is the best because you do not need to worry about the weather. On the trekking route, you can also encounter butterflies flying and countless fancy forest flowers blooming to adorn the scenery of the Phong Nha mountains, and forests even more beautiful.

2.3 From June to August

The underground rivers inside Son Doong Cave are as clear as mirrors, stimulating the curiosity of visitors to explore

If you are a lover of exploring and want to experience outdoor activities, this is the best time to go to Son Doong Cave, Quang Binh. The temperature in Phong Nha is always high because it is summer. However, you will feel cool immediately when entering the cave because the temperature inside only remains between 18 and 23 degrees, as if you are standing under a giant air conditioner. Coming to Son Doong Cave at this time, you will be able to participate in interesting activities such as sitting on a boat to enjoy the scenery of mountains and forests, conquering the Wall of Vietnam, or immersing yourself in the cool water when swimming in the underground river or wading streams on the trekking route.

Note: The tour to explore Son Doong cave is both affected by the weather of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Forest and the private weather in the cave. Therefore, Oxalis Adventure only opens tours from January to August, with an average of 13-15 tours/month, limited to 10 guests/tour.

3. The most unique places of Son Doong cave

3.1 En Cave

This is the 3rd largest cave in the world

This is the 3rd largest cave in the world, the only entrance to conquer Son Doong cave. The mouth of the cave is huge, allowing sunlight to pour into the cave like a giant lamp, illuminating the very fanciful clear turquoise lake that will surely make you cheer excitedly. In 2015, En Cave was brought to the big screen in the blockbuster film “Pan” starring many Hollywood stars.

3.2 Stone block “Dog’s paw”

Dog paws are a massive natural stalactite in Son Doong cave

“Dog’s paws” are giant, tall stalactites towering in the heart of Son Doong cave. The Dogs’ paws are tall, a magnificent sight of the world’s largest cave. Standing from this position, you can zoom out into the distance, and admire the whole majestic beauty of Son Doong Cave. From dog paws to the Son Doong sinkhole, you have to go through 1km of giant caves.

3.3 Son Doong sinkhole

The formation of sinkholes allows light to creep into the cave and create a small forest

Son Doong’s two sinkholes are the place with the most beautiful images because this has a lot of light out. Sinkhole 1 aka Dinosaur Echo. Here, there is a large layered stalactite block named “Wedding Cake” visitors. Sinkhole 2 is also known as the “Garden of Eden”. The formation of sinkholes allows light to creep into the cave and create a small forest. The endemic Son Doong cave ecosystem was able to survive thanks to sunlight. To get to this location, visitors will have to climb a rocky hill with natural steps rising, which look like stairs leading to the Garden of Eden.

3.4 Wall of Vietnam 

The 90m high stalactite mountain at the end of the cave is called the Vietnam Wall

Vietnam Wall is the name of the tallest stalactite wall located at the end of Son Doong. The ceiling of the highest Vietnamese wall is about 200 meters. To reach the Vietnamese wall, it is necessary to overcome a rather muddy cave. The entire process of climbing this 90m high Wall of Vietnam requires the use of protective equipment and is ensured by Oxalis’ professional safety team. When you reach the top of the Vietnamese wall, you will see the exit of the cave.

3.5 Ngoc Dong Field

Pearl cave with thousands of flat, spherical or egg-shaped stones

Over millions of years, saturated rainwater flowed down from the cave ceiling, eroded, and crystallized to form a pearl cave with thousands of flattened, spherical, or egg-shaped stones. Normally, these stones are only 1cm in diameter, but the “dynamic jade” in Son Doong cave is as big as baseballs, arranged in stone compartments that look like very strange stairs.

3.6 Camp overnight in a cave

This is a wonderful experience not to be missed when coming to Son Doong cave

When conquering Son Doong cave, if you stay overnight in Son Doong cave, it will be a great experience for you. Son Doong camping ground is very beautiful and majestic, a very attractive experience that cannot be found anywhere else. The two campsites 1 and 2 in the cave have sinkhole views and are located on the cave floor covered with white sand. This is also considered the campsite with the most beautiful view in the world, tourists always express their love for the impressive scenery of this campsite.

Son Doong is the largest cave in the world with a spectacular shape and fanciful beauty that you must admire. Imagine standing among giant rocks and underground rivers, admiring every sight and sound. Above is the information that Karst Plateau wants to share with you. Hopefully, you will have a memorable trip to Explore Son Doong cave. In addition, do not forget to explore and experience interesting activities in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

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