Sơn Đoòng Cave

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Sơn Đoòng Cave
Hang Sơn Đòng (Mountain River Cave)
Map showing the location of Sơn Đoòng Cave
Map showing the location of Sơn Đoòng Cave
Location Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam
Coordinates 17°27′25″N 106°17′15″E / 17.45694°N 106.28750°E / 17.45694; 106.28750Coordinates: 17°27′25″N 106°17′15″E / 17.45694°N 106.28750°E / 17.45694; 106.28750
Depth Max 150m / 490ft
Length Approx 9,000m / 30,000ft
Discovery 1991 [AD] by Hồ-Khanh
Geology Limestone
Entrances Approx 2
Difficulty 6 (Advanced)
Hazards Underground river
Cave survey 2009 British/Vietnamese

Sơn Đoòng Cave (hang Sơn Đoòng, "Mountain River cave" in Vietnamese)[1] is a solutional cave in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Bố Trạch District, Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam. As of 2009 it is the biggest known cave in the world,[2][3] and is located near the LaosVietnam border. Inside is a large, fast-flowing underground river. It is formed in Carboniferous / Permian limestone.[4]

Discovery[edit]

Sơn Đoòng Cave was found by a local man named Hồ-Khanh in 1991. The whistling sound of wind and roar of fiery stream in the cave heard through the entrance as well as the steep descent prevented the local people to enter the cave. Only in 2009 did the cave become internationally known after a group of scientists from the British Cave Research Association, led by Howard and Deb Limbert, conducted a survey in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng from 10 to 14 April, 2009.[1] Their progress was stopped by a large, 60 metres (200 ft) high calcite wall,[1] which was named The Great Wall of Vietnam. It was traversed in 2010 when the group reached the end of cave passage.

Description[edit]

According to the Limberts, the cave is five times larger than the Phong Nha Cave, previously considered the biggest cave in Vietnam. The biggest chamber of Sơn Đoòng is more than five kilometres long, 200 metres high and 150 metres wide. With these dimensions, Sơn Đoòng overtakes Deer Cave in Malaysia to take the title of the world's largest cave.[5][6] The cave contains some of the tallest known stalagmites in the world, which are up to 70 m tall.[7] Behind the Great Wall of Vietnam were found cave pearls the size of baseballs, an abnormally large size.[8]

Tourist activities[edit]

In early August 2013, the first tourist group explored the cave on a guided tour at a cost of US$3,000 each.[9][10] Future exploration trips are planned.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]