Largest Cave in the World – Vietnam’s Hang Son Doong is Incredible!

Pic courtesy of NatGeo

Located in the Quang Binh province, Vietnam, near the Laos/Vietnam border, Hang Son Doong was originally found by a local man in 1991, but the over-200 foot decent into the cave didn’t allow him to enter.

It was only more recently discovered and thus became internationally known in 2009 by a group of cavers from the British Cave Research Association.

Pic courtesy of NatGeo
Pic courtesy of NatGeo

The name “Son Doong” cave means “mountain river cave”.

It was created 2-5 million years ago by river water eroding away the limestone underneath the mountain.

It is more than 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long, 200 metres (660 ft) high and 150 metres (490 ft) wide, and has a cross-section believed to be at least twice that of its nearest rival, the Deer cave on the island of Sarawak in Malaysia.

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It’s big – really REALLY big!

The cave contains some of the earth’s tallest stalagmites, up to 230 feet tall, and some of its caverns are large enough to hold a 40-story skyscraper.

Pic courtesy of NatGeo
Pic courtesy of NatGeo

The cave runs for approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) and is punctuated by 2 large dolines or skylights, which are areas where the ceiling of the cave has collapsed. The dolines allow sunlight to enter sections of the cave and has resulted in the growth of trees as well as other vegetation, creating its own ecosystem.

Son Doong has it's own climate - Pic courtesy of totallycoolpix
Son Doong has it’s own climate – Pic courtesy of totallycoolpix
Pic courtesy of Hugh Derr - Flickr
Pic courtesy of Hugh Derr – Flickr

With it’s own river, jungle and climate, Son Doong is now one of the world’s premier caving experiences but it’s not cheap!

In early August 2013, the first tourist group explored the cave on a guided tour at a cost of US$3,000 each.

Son Doong camping - Pic supplier nknown
Son Doong camping – Pic supplier unknown

Permits are required to access the cave and are made available on a limited basis. Only 500 permits were issued for the 2015 season, which runs from February to August.

After August, heavy rains cause river levels to rise and make the cave largely inaccessible.

Oxalis Adventure is the only operator allowed to take tourists to Son Doong.

Below is a Drone video taken inside of Hang Son Doong.

It is truly an incredible place and on my wishlist for sure!

Take an otherworldly journey through Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, by both ground and air.

Filmed near the entrance and the first and second dolines (skylights) which are 2.5 and 3.5 km inside the cave respectively.

Gear
Canon 6D
Canon 16-35mm f4
DJI Phantom 2
GoPro Hero 4 Black

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Music: A Glow – Dan Phillipson

Permissions and logistics arranged by Oxalis Adventure

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