The largest cave in the world, Sơn Đoòng

Sơn Đoòng is the largest cave in the world

Sơn Đoòng is the largest cave in the world.

The name of the cave Sơn Đoòng means “mountain river” in Vietnamese. It is located near the border between Laos and Vietnam and is currently the largest cave in the world. This natural landmark is so large that inside it there is a huge, fast-flowing underground river, which used to scare the natives with its noise.

The Shondong Cave was discovered not long ago by a local named Ho-Han. It happened in 1991. But only four years ago – in 2009 – the place became public. This happened after a team of scientists from the British Association for the Study of the caves, led by Howard and Deb Limbert (Howard and Deb Limbert), conducted a study in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng, which ended in April 2009. Their work was stopped by a huge wall of calcite.


The Limberts reported that it was five times larger than Phong Nha (Phong Nha) Cave, which was previously thought to be the largest in Vietnam. Phongdong stretches more than five kilometers in length, 200 meters in height and reaches 150 meters in width.


With such dimensions, Shondong exceeds the Deer Cave in Malaysia, which was thought to be the largest cave in the world. Exploration inside is still in its infancy; the cave’s exit was discovered in 2010. A team that climbed the cave’s 200-meter wall found pearls the size of baseballs. They are abnormally large by any standard.


Fortunately, Shondong Cave is open for tours, of course, if you’re willing to make the one-and-a-half day trip to get to it and then rappel down the cliff. And that’s just the beginning.






The cave was formed about 2,000 to 5,000,000 years ago by river water eroding the limestone under the mountain. Getting to the cave entrance is a feat in itself. Shondong consists of a labyrinth and no fewer than 150 individual caves.

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The river flowing through here has its own lakes, and even a jungle. The incredible cave has been made available to the general public for a fee through the tour company Oxalis. The company offers a six-day trip for visitors, but it is certainly not for timid tourists. The hike into the cave takes a day and a half through dense jungle thickets. Then there is a 260-foot descent down to the entrance. It’s a trip that adventurers will enjoy.


This is also a post from the category of well-known objects, but for some reason is absent from my blog. So do not swear, who has seen all this, but I hope to find these friends, who were not quite aware of the subject. Anyway, now we have this post and this information that we can always find here.

In the past few years, twenty new caves have been discovered in Vietnam, including the giant Han Son Dung Cave (the name can be translated as “Mountain River Cave”). In fact, local tribes living in the jungle had long known about this cave, but they were afraid of it because of the whistling sounds made by the underground river flowing in this cave. The world became aware of this natural wonder only in 2009 when a group of British researchers from the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) examined this cave. The research was conducted from April 10 to 14, 2009.

This is Han Son Dung Cave and it claims to be the largest cave. A veritable underground kingdom was discovered in the heart of the jungle. A huge network of caves, located in the forests of Vietnam, was so great that scientists now speak of the largest discovery in the history of world speleology. Passage to the Cave of the mountain river, which runs right in the middle of the National Park, whose name Phong Nha-Ke Bang, was discovered in 2009 by British cave explorers. Then speleologists thought that this cave is only 150 meters in length and 60 meters wide. But, as recent research has shown, the true extent of the cave is much larger.

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The cave was discovered and explored in April 2009. A local farmer led a British expedition through the cave in April. The research team was told that the locals knew about the cave before, but were afraid to enter it. They discovered this cave by the wind, which is good enough to find voids in the rocks. A team of speleologists, feeling the wind, decided to explore the cave.

The entrance to the cave is quite narrow – 10 m high and 30 m wide. Through it there is a strong stream of air. There is always a noise from the underground river in the cave, which continues its work of washing out the rock. British researchers believe that this wind at the entrance and the noise of the river inside the cave may have deterred locals from exploring it in detail in earlier times, especially in the absence of strong light sources. “It’s a very large cavity and you can hear the noise of the river as you enter. It’s that noise that produces some deterrent effect,” explained speleologist Adam Spillane, a member of the British Speleological Research Association.

As they began their survey, they were amazed at the size of the open cave! A team of British explorers, led by Howard Limbert, spent four days wandering the halls of this natural wonder. They concluded that it is the largest cave in Vietnam. They said Han Son Dung is at least five times bigger than Phong Nha Cave, considered the largest cave in Vietnam.

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After a closer inspection, speleologists reported that the cave could be flown in an airplane and a hot air balloon! So far, only 6,500 meters of this cave have been explored. As we explore, speleologists discovered that the cave expands to 80 meters in width and up to 200 meters in height. These numbers are what make this cave the largest cave on earth! Since the discovery of this amazing passage in 2009, the attention to the cave has been tremendous. Two expeditions, which followed the opening of the passage itself, opened the doors to a network of underground labyrinths, whose indescribable beauty can not be expressed in words – all this splendor must be seen. The underground kingdom will not leave indifferent even very distant from speleology people.

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Surprisingly, some parts of the underground realm are so vast that they are entirely overgrown with impenetrable forests and jungles. In the cave itself, the air masses are so different that clouds form inside. The stalagmites of the Vietnamese cave reach a height of 70 meters. Streams of water carved a fantastic ornament on the rocks. There is a lake and a real jungle with different inhabitants. And live here, insects, rodents, snakes, birds and even monkeys.

Today only part of the cave kingdom is open. Moreover, the width of underground corridors is about 100 meters, while they reach a height of 250 meters. Renowned artist Carsten Peter, who spent nearly two weeks underground photographing the incredible cave landscapes, was so amazed by what he saw that he could not describe it in words for long. There are much longer and deeper caves in the world, but by the above parameters, the cave in Vietnam is the largest.

In general, it is difficult to imagine such a huge and large cave. It is even harder to imagine how this cave was formed. An underground river up to 200 meters deep is generally difficult to imagine. However, this cave exists! Incredibly beautiful landscapes leave no one indifferent, who at least one eye could enjoy the wonderful underground beauty. And although we do not know how much more amazing and beautiful hides from us our wonderful and full of mysteries planet, but those corners that she opens to us, never cease to delight and amaze.

Munich photographer Carsten Peter, who spent almost two weeks underground on a British-German expedition to the Mountain River Cave, called this time “a real challenge” to his professionalism, which required maximum preparation.

“I’ve been doing photography and speleological research for the past 35 years and have visited so many caves that I’ve lost count,” says 52-year-old Peter. – But this is by far the most unique and unusual cave I’ve ever seen. To see a cave so huge that an entire forest could fit inside it was amazing!”

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Two and a half million years ago, the underground river carrying its waters beneath the mountain took to furnishing its own personal “chambers.” The weak limestone held on as long as it could, but it couldn’t resist… The river got its luxurious apartments with huge “windows” overlooking the heavens. This is how the world’s largest and surely one of the most beautiful caves, Hang Son Doong, was formed.

And in the small cells in the limestone you can find a unique cave pearls. It grows in the pools of moisture by itself, and though it does not shimmer with the noble pearl, it is extremely precious: it is very rare.

Due to the mixing of air masses of different temperatures, clouds form even under the ground. Over the centuries, the Rao Tuong River has created tunnels in the solid rock. During the dry months, the river turns into a small stream. But when the seasonal flooding begins, the river becomes huge again. In some places the underground river comes to the surface of the earth.

Where enough light gets into the cave, the limestone ledges are covered with a continuous carpet of delicate greenery. Small depressions in the limestone are filled with cave pearls. This rare type of pearl grows by itself in puddles of lime water. Its composition is not much different from the pearls produced by mollusks, but it does not have a beautiful pearlescent sheen. Nevertheless, it is a rare natural phenomenon that attracts speleologists.

Not only insects and snakes, but even monkeys and birds follow the plants down into the cave. The caves are connected to each other in a giant network. During the rainy season, these caves fill with water, making them inaccessible to explorers.

Cactus Garden – giant stalagmites, in the rays of light look like stone cacti. A group of British researchers led by Howard Limbert for four days wandered the halls of this natural wonder. They concluded that this cave is the largest in Vietnam.

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