Son Doong cave

Son Doong caveSon Doong grotto is located in Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district of Quang Binh province. This is the biggest natural grotto.

Son Doong is in the complex of Phong Nha – Ke Bang (world natural heritage). It is a part of the underground system, which connects with 150 other grottoes and caves in Vietnam’s part, which is near Laos’s border.

Limestone mountain range near Laos-Vietnam border has many grottoes and cave like well-known Phong Nha cave, however, Son Doong grotto was just discovered in 1991by Mr. Ho Khanh – a local person coming to the entrance gate by accident when he sheltered from rain.

However, it is neglected for quite a while until 2006, when there was a discovery group of British Caving Association (BCA) coming here to survey, and Mr. Khanh told them about the grotto.

It was hard for him to locate the position of the entrance gate, which is so deep in the jungle and rough topography. It is far from the main road and could not be seen on Google Earth. Under his instruction, they came deeply into the grotto to take pictures, measure and collect the scientific information. They also let the honoring of giving name to Mr. Ho Khanh.

In 22 April 2009, the group of BCA announced to discovering the grotto and supposed that Son Doong’s scale is biggest in the world.

In January 2010, some explorers came back to find out more about this grotto system. Son Doong grotto was created 2.5 million years ago. When the river flew through the limestone area, it was buried in the Fault line. The water line eroded the land and clean out a giant tunnel underground. In the area of soft rocks, the ceiling collapsed to create the holes and they became vast ceiling of grotto after the long time.

The grotto is about 200m wide, 150m high, 6.5km long at least. Its length could be much more but due to the shortage of technology condition, the explorer of BCA could not go through the length of the grotto to measure how long it is.

With its dimension, Son Doong grotto has overtaken the first rank of Deer grotto in Gunung Mulu national park of Malaysia (100m high, 90m wide, and 2km long) for being the biggest natural grotto in the world.

Otherwise, in many parts of Son Doong grotto, the dimension could be 140m x 140m with the stalactites pillars of 14m high. A splendid picture taken by Carsten Peter in May 2010 shows that the grotto is about 91.44m wide, the ceiling is nearly 243.84m which could hold the whole 40-storey building in New York city.

Explorer also found out the underground river, which is 2.5km long, and some stalactites of 70m high.

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