The cave was first found by a local man named Khanh in 2008, in the central province of Quang Binh. However, it was not explored and assessed by experts until a group of explorers from the UK made a survey in Phong Nha-Ke Bang from April 10-14, 2009. The cave is five times larger than the current Phong Nha cave, the biggest cave in Vietnam, and even bigger than Malaysia’s Deer, the greatest cave in the world (2km length, 100m height, and 90m width). The Son Doong Cave, therefore, has been proclaimed the largest in the world (over 5km length, 200m height, 150m width).
Crystal cave in Mexico, which was discovered in 2000. (photo: National Geographic)
Waitomo fire-fly cave in New Zealand, the home to millions of Arachnocampa fire-flies. (photo: Waitomo Glowworm Cave)
Cave of thousands of Buddhas in China. This is the largest “warehouse” of Buddhist sculptural art in China, with 2,000 sculptural and painting works.
The cave in Colorado. In the 13th century, Anasazi peple built 120 rooms and eightceremonial rooms in the cave, which is 66m long and 27m deep. (photo: Courtesy of NPS)
Great caves in Vietnam
Son Doong cave, the destination of explorers.
A 40-story building can be built inside the cave, the largest in the world.
The cave is large but explorers cannot see it until they stand at the cave door.
Light darts stone blocks in Son Doong Cave.
The wall of 60m in Son Doong is called “The Great Wall of Vietnam”. It hindered explorers in 2009.
Two swam in Ken Cave, one of 20 caves discovered in Vietnam last year. Explorers can enter this cave in the dry season only.
An explorer in Loong Con cave.
Explorers in En cave. In the rainy season, water may rise to 100m high in the cave.
Photo: National Graphics