Hang Son Doong is a gigantic cave with an underground river located in the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park of the Quang Binh province of Vietnam, close from the border with Laos. It’s main chamber is 5km long, 200m high and 150m wide, outranking the Malaysian Deer Cave as the largest cave in the world. Even a plane could fly in there!
The cave was discovered by a local man in 1991 but until 2009 it was unknown for the international community until the British Cave Research Association did a survey in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng. Finally it was in 2013 when they open the cave for visitors and can be visited from February to August.
Many years ago some parts of the cave collapsed, allowing the sun light to enter and vegetation was able to grow. But most of the parts have being kept covered and there we can see huge stalactites and stalagmites. During the rainy season, the river can be 300 feet deep, making it impossible to get into the cave by foot.
Here you can see and spectacular video filmed with a drone:
National Geographic made an animated video so we can realize how impressive is the structure of the cave:
How to get to Hang Son Doong: Probably going by yourself is not allowed but there are a few local agencies who organize visiting the cave and getting the needed permits. It’s quite pricey, around $3,000 but I’d say totally worth it.
Where to stay in Hang Son Doong: It is possible to camp inside the cave.
How to move around Hang Son Doong: You will need some caving skills or assistance by experts to move from chamber to chamber. In some point also need to cross the river and maybe swim too.
What to do in Hang Son Doong: caving, spelunking or just admire it from the entrance 😉
Credit: photos by Carsten Peter