Son Doong is one of the caves that are in the heart of the Phong Nha in Quang Binh Province of central Vietnam. It is World’s largest cave and found by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991 and was recently discovered in 2009 by British cavers, led by Howard Limbert. The eco-system inside Hang Son Doong is as unique as it is large, and it even has its own localized weather system. Thus, the cave has continuously been the best trekking experience in the world. If you are planning to visit Vietnam soon, make a point of including the cave`s visit in your diary and experience one of the best trekking experience.
Take a look at some of the things you need to know before you visit the place.
The Vietnamese Government awarded the rights to visit the cave in the year 2013. Since then, people have been visiting the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park with the aim of professionally trekking through the cave. The security of the area has been beefed up to increase tourists as well as local`s confidence as they travel through the cave. Trekking organization and planning happens in the Son Doong Cave Expedition Availability Calendar. Therefore, before you visit the place, make a point of checking the trekking dates and fix them in your diary. It is also advisable to confirm your availability by making a call in the National Park and book a place as well. The adventure tour company Oxalis running the exclusive five-day expedition. Limiting the tour to only one operator has protected the cave from mass development. Only 10 customers per departure are permitted. Tours run once per week between February to August per year.
Difficulties Of The Cave Trek
The cave is at level 6 in the list of Oxalis adventure level. Thus, it is the tree with the highest level of difficulty. The journey to Hang Son Doong is not for the faint-hearted. Involving two days of intense jungle trekking and river crossings to reach the entrance, nights are spent camping inside the cave and the nearby Hang En, now known to be the third largest cave in the world. Once inside hikers are expected to abseil, climb, crawl and swim through underground rivers to arrive at the end of the cave. It’s an adventure like no other.However, if you keep a regular fitness routine at home, you should be able to complete the trek as it is more of a mental challenge that requires more stamina and determination. Also, if you tire and get a bit slower than the rest of the team, you don’t have to be worried as there is a whole safety team that guides and assists visitors throughout the journey.
Even if you are not physically fit or you don’t do exercises on a daily or weekly basis, you don’t have to be worried. It is not an arduous trek where you can lose your breath. However, if you can climb a wall of the height of your waist, you don’t have to be worried. Thus, don’t get scared and avoid the trek. In good weather, you can do the trek even if you don`t have the stamina as per se. However, the trek is more difficult in August as the environment tend to be muddy.
If your time and budget allow you, make a point of visiting the cave and experience one of the most enjoyable and tiring treks. The Oxalis Adventure Tours operates the cave. The Vietnam Government awarded the organization the permit to conduct the cave for security reasons. Thus, as you prepare for the tour, don’t be alarmed or be scared of anything. However, be assured of your safety as you trek via the cave. There are security guards as well as tourists guides that will offer the best guidance ever. The cave is ever guarded by security officers that are availed by the government of Vietnam. The organization ensures that all the visitors are safe and fit after the trek. Even if you get tired along the way, the security guards can’t leave you alone. Thus, be confident as you plan for the trip.