I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

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The Hang Son Doong cave complex in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, located in Son Trach, Bo Trach district in the Quang Binh province of Vietnam is one of the largest natural caves ever found in the world. It was first discovered by a peasant named Ho Khanh. In 1991, he happened to take shelter in this cave while looking deep into the forest.

For anyone who loves wanderlust or loves to get lost in nature, Son Doong cave is a dream destination and a milestone that you might want to experience at least once. Ever since the Son Doong cave became accessible to tourists and grew famous all over the world, I have always dreamed about going on this journey.

More than 10 years since the day I put the words “Son Doong” on my bucket list, I finally got the opportunity to turn that dream into reality. The $3,000 ticket price is not small, and the waiting period from 1-3 years might be a very long time for pretty much anyone. Besides, the exploration schedule is very demanding in terms of one’s health, spirit, as well as respect for nature. Also, I was the youngest in a group of 10 guests on this trip to Son Doong 51 in 2022.

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The weather in May is so nice. It’s very beautiful and perfect to travel

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

As we go towards the cave, there’s a rock in a small stream, with a natural big hole inside

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

We made a joke that anyone passing through must throw the pebbles into the hole – it’s considered “buying a ticket” to cross the stream.

After some hours of trekking in the forest, we could see the entrance to Hang Én

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

You will wake up to welcome the new day with the sound of birds chirping. The journey to discover the En Cave right after contained stalactites that were aged up to millions of years. These stalactites are formed in the cave by water droplets flowing down from the cave’s dome.

These tiny towers were created by nature, mainly just water and sand

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

“Sandy towers” are formed from water droplets falling from the ceiling of the cave, and drifting sand. The parts that are blocked by pebbles and stones are still standing.

Inside Hang Én, we could see a “small beach” with a sandbank and green water.

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

We can see a natural sandbar divided into two separate sides of the green lake. One side of the water is warm and there are some massage-fish under the water, the other is extremely cold.

The first doline where the sun can shine through. On a foggy day, every rock sparkles

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World
I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

The sunbeams make everything look like heaven

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

More landscape in the cave at the second part of the doline

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

From the other side of the mentioned doline, we can see the sun heating the fog inside

This is the exit of Hang Én. It is 120m high and 140m wide

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

I took a long exposure picture with the “Sơn Đoòng” letters in the middle of the night inside the cave

I Explored And Documented The Sơn Đoòng Cave In Vietnam, The Largest Cave In The World

Honestly, what Son Doong gave me was very wonderful. The journey to explore the cave was not too burdensome and risky, but it required endurance, flexibility, and a little bit of strength. In the dark caves and sacred forests, there were many things I had never seen before such as leeches, poisonous leaves, itchy leaves, mud, bees, spiders, slippery rocks, wading through the mud… I accepted these things as part of the wildlife. No panic, no suspense, and no fancy expectations.

After 4 days of climbing, and trekking, I realized that it was my personal fear that prevented my progress, not the sharp, steep cliffs or the rushing water. I used to be someone who was afraid of a leg injury, afraid of losing money, afraid of losing a job, and afraid of people judging me… Perhaps, this is an opportunity for me to listen to myself and strengthen my connection with nature and the homeland of heaven…

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