Caves are natural openings in the earth that are large enough for human explorations. There are many caves in the world, but one has stood out as the largest natural wonder in the world.
Hangson Doong also known as Son Doong (meaning ‘Mountain River Cave’) is the largest cave in the world. This cave is located in Vietnam near the border with Laos, in the Quang Binh Province.
The cave is estimated to be three million years old. It has its climate, rivers, jungles, and clouds inside. This 9 kilometers length cave has the largest cross-section in the world and contains some of the tallest stalagmites in the world.
The cave is made up of about 150 individual caves, a dense jungle, and several underground rivers, wildlife including unique species of fishes, insects, birds, and monkeys. There are also plants and trees in the cave. A section of the cave has ancient fossils deposited in it.
The cave is about 650 feet tall and almost 500 feet wide. About 1.35 billion cubic feet and when officially connected with the Thung cave, it will add 1.6 million cubic meters in volume according to officials.
Son Doong was first discovered by accident in 1990 by a Vietnam man named Ho Khan while searching for food and wood. He later rediscovered the entrance to the cave in 2008 and in the year 2009, he led a team from the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) to explore the cave. The BCRA proclaimed it the largest cave in the world on April 114, 2009 after exploring and measuring this precious natural wonder.
The cave is now a UNESCO heritage site and also a part of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The cave has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in its 2013 publication.
It opened up to the public in 2013 and is accessible through Quang Binh-based Oxalis Adventure (an adventure tour company) which is the only licensed company to bring tourists and adventurers into the cave. The company packages the cave tour into a four-day event and adventure experience for the cave visitors. The cave tour is available from January to August with a maximum of 1000 travelers each year. After August the cave is inaccessible because of rising river levels owing to heavy rains.