Son Doong cave located in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam and in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Only a few people have seen it, so become one of the lucky once who joined us on this ethereal expedition and a life changing exploring experience. Imagine trekking into the depths of the cave that is so gigantic that a boing 747 could fly in it. Enormous stalagmites, foreign landscapes, hanging stalactites, jungles emerging from inside, misty clouds due to cave’s own ecosystem, etc. are very peculiar that you have to experience them to believe them. The cave is as magical as you approach it, you feel cool winds whispering through your ears and giving you a message that something extraordinary mesmerizing is waiting for you inside.
Mr. Ho Khanh a local resident discovered this majestic cave in 1991 while collecting firewood in PhongNha Bang National Park. He was lost and came across the cave where he explained he saw a river, giant ceiling holes, a jungle and a lot of strange things within the cave. Later, in April 2009, Mr. HowartLimbart of a caving exploration team from the UK requested Mr. Ho Khanh to instruct and guide them to find the cave again.
Why the cave named Son Doong?
Naming the cave was controversial as tour operators were not sure how to introduce the name of the Son Doong cave to the tourist. In the beginning, it was named“Ho Khanh” after his explorer but later it was changed to “Son Doong” because of a river running in the cave and its location behind the mountains of Doong village.
Things of Interest
Son Doong is loaded with the points of interest. The cave is nearly 200 meters high and at parts, nearly 175 meters wide, that leaves stunning effects on your mind and you feel like a tiny ant in a huge 40-story building. In Son Doong, you can see the dolines that are named as “Garden of Edam” and “Watch out for Dinosaurs.” They allow sunlight into the cave and that’s what makes it special and allows natural habitat to grow inside the cave including jungles. It also lightens up the cave and adds to its magnificence. A separate ecosystem is formed inside the cave due to the sunlight from those ceiling holes and even clouds. Son Doong have spectacular views, you feel like lost in ancient times or somewhere unknown not of this world. Stalagmites of around 80m high are scattered throughout the cave that gives a feel of standing baseball bats. It has a river, jungles, sand and numerous natural attractions available together. It’s worth of a place to visit, a true pleasure, adventure and a value for money.
Visiting Son Doong
Visiting Son Doong is not as easy as the other tours are. It is more of a challenge and an extreme adventure that not every ordinary person can digest. You have to first register with Vietnam tour agent and wait for your turn. But that’s not it, every adventure tourist has to undergo two severe practice and theory tests, tourists cannot join the tour to Son Doong if they do not qualify. It is basically for the safety of the tourists because there is around 50km trekking to reach Son Doong through rough routes, jungle trails, steep surfaces, stone blocks and across theriver. No luxury of life will be available and you will be sleeping in a tent and taking a wild bath and will be traveling like a nomad facing the true challenges of adventure and wildlife exploration.
Things to keep in mind if you are planning to visit Son Doong
Son Doong is not an ordinary planned tour, you are strictly advised to follow the tour operator’s guideline and abide by the rules and regulation of the country and PhongNha Bang National Park to avoid serious hazards that may occur during the travel.
Ideal Time to visit
It is best to visit Son Doong between Februarys to August. Always pre-plan your tour before time runs out andthe empty slots fill up. The weather conditions of the area are mostly rainy rest of the year, which is not feasible to travel. The perfect months to discover the cave are from February to April, although, nights are cold but you can enjoy abonfire. From May to August, theweather is hot and humid, so always maintain a good health before traveling. Adventure tours require body efforts that’s whytourists should workout a bitand learn tactics to deal with such conditions before traveling.
Booking a tour
Always pre-register and book your tour before the booking is closed as it quickly fills up and you have to wait for the whole year. It is better to consult a tour operator who will make sure your entry is smooth. Just by going there without booking or permission is not allowed by the authorities and you could drag yourself in trouble.
Special Instruction while traveling
When you are traveling to Son Doong cave, you must know the local laws and any instructions from the government. It is the quality of an international and professional traveler that they follow rules of the country they visit so that people will remember them and their country in a positive way. Therefore, when you are at Son Doong, you are strictly not allowed to take anything home from there. Unlike any other destination, do not litter, defoliate leaves, break or bend trees, graffiti or do anything that could hurt the natural environment. It is prohibited in the cave to not to touch anything because stalactites are still in the process of formation and just a single touch could halt the stalactites development process. Always brought your stuff out which you took inside including any waste products. Touching the surfaces within the cave could be dangerous to health because you don’t know if they are harmful chemical formation.