Worlds largest cave turns out to be even bigger
Thanks to discoveries made during a recent expedition in Vietnam, it appears the world’s largest cave, Son Doong, is even bigger than previously thought.
Last month, a trio of British divers, the same divers who aided in the rescue of the trapped soccer team in Thailand in 2018 ventured to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, in the jungle-filled Quang Binh Province of central Vietnam, to explore the cave’s waterways.
During the groundbreaking dive, they discovered a new underwater tunnel that connects Son Doong (meaning “Mountain River Cave”) with another enormous cave called Hang Thung.
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 an additional 1.6 million cubic meters in volume.
The cave has been open for tourists since 2013, the three-million-year-old river cave is easily one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
From river crossings to jungle treks and a harnessed ascent up the 80-meter-high “Great Wall of Vietnam” to nightly campsites, the four-day experience traverses 25 kilometres (about 15.5 miles) of jungle trails and nine kilometres inside the caves.
It’s certainly physically challenging, but the trek is accessible to anyone who is reasonably fit and doesn’t mind getting muddy. And you will get muddy.
You can access the cave through a guided tour during the period January to August, the US$2,990 tours are limited to just 10 people at a time, with a maximum of 1,000 travellers each year. Accompanying each group is a 27-person strong support team, including porters, cooks, safety assistance, BCRA-trained guides and caving experts.