Much like Mt. Everest, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef, Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh province, central coast of Vietnam is now considered as one of the world’s great natural wonders. Let’s discover the ten reasons as listed below.
There are a number of ways that you can quantify the size of a cave, but measuring the cross-section of the largest chamber tends to be the most popular way to do it.
By this measure, Son Doong Cave is bigger than any other cave on the planet. To help put things into perspective, some of the chambers in the cave are taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo.
Son Doong currently measures a total of 38.5 million cubic meters (about 1.35 billion cubic feet). When it's officially connected with Thung Cave, it will add 1.6 million cubic meters in volume.
According to the cave expert, Howard Limbert, the cave would be like someone found a lump on top of Mount Everest, making it another 1,000 meters higher.
A subterranean lake
Toward the cave’s exit sits a gigantic lake. The lake is so big and so deep that you’ll glide across it on small row boats.
Son Doong Cave is nine kilometers long, and yet it’s rarely pitch-black. That’s because it’s punctuated by two huge ceiling collapses that invite light to pour into the cave.
Beneath these vast holes in the ceiling lie underground jungles. As the microclimate of the cave is different to that on the surface, the jungles are also different from flora species that you won’t find outside the cave.
Son Doong Cave’s towering stalagmites are nothing short of extraordinary. Some stalagmites are taller than the Arc de Triomphe, and others form outlandish and mesmerizing shapes.
The cave’s tallest stalagmite measures 70 meters high.
Vietnam’s great wall
Son Doong Cave has its own ecosystem, and in some ways that’s true. You may come across an array of wildlife while inside the cave, including howling monkeys near the collapsed, translucent cave insects, squeaking bats and blind fish.
With various underground rivers and pools in Hang Son Doong, expeditions to the cave overflow with wading, paddling and swimming opportunities.
Sunbeams and cloud whisps
Son Doong cave is so big that it has its own weather, evident by the sunbeams that shoot down from the cave collapses and the mist that floats through the chambers.
* Son Doong is located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district. Formed between two and five million years ago, the cave is more than 200m high, 150m wide and approximately five to 6.5 km long.
* The cave was found in 1991 and became internationally known as the biggest cave in the world in 2009.
* Son Doong Cave has been recognized the largest of its kind in the world by three international organizations, including Guinness (based in the UK), the Association World Record (based in Hong Kong) and WorldKings (based in the US and India).
* The Smithsonian, a US magazine used to rank Hang Son Doong as top among “25 great places to see in the 21st century” and described that the cave is big enough to “accommodate the Washington Monument” and “fit a pair of Boeing 747s side by side”.