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Vietnam: Sublime images of the biggest cave in the world

Credits: Vimeo screenshot/ Ryan Deboodt

What does the cave look like

The Hang Soon Dong cave is part of the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng national park located in the centre of Vietnam, close to the border with Laos.  According to measurements made with a telemeter laser, the cave is 9 km long.  Moreover, it also comprises a uninterrupted gallery which reaches a height of 200 metres for 100 metres long.  In this impressive gallery you could fit an entire neighbourhood of buildings forty stories high. (See the video at the end of this article.)

Even better than that, the Hang Soon Dong is sealed off by a luscious jungle with pools.  It’s immense gallery would have been dug out by an underground river between 2 and 5 million years ago.  It should also be noted that the site is part of a network of about 150 caves belonging to the Annamite Cordillera.  This is mountain range separating Vietnam from Laos. The highest point on this mountain range is Phou Bia (2,819 m).

Map of Hang Soon Dong cave Credits : Official website for the cave http://www.sondoongcave.org/

Can you visit the cave?  Possible, but complicated…

Since 2016 Hang Soon Dong cave is thought to be the biggest underground cave ever discovered so it is naturally attracting some curiosity.  Although the cave was discovered in 1991 it was only indexed in 2010. However the gallery of this cave is not easy to access. In fact, to gain access into the cave there is nothing other than a crevasse that you need to abseil down for 80 meters.

Oxalis Adventure Tours is the only authorised company that can take visitors into this cave.  However very few tourists can visit this site as their numbers or very limited.  Only 200 to 250 people visit this cave every year.  However  2000 pounds for just one adventurer to visit this cave during a 7 day trek could put people off.  Those people that want to embark on this adventure and have the money to do it will get to do some impressive hiking, caving and under ground camping!

The photographer Ryan Deboodt – and cave specialist – has captured the Hang Soon Dong cave in an impressive video using a drone.  The video was published in 2015 :

Sources : France Info – Futura Sciences – Generation Voyage

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