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Son Doong Cave tours among world's greatest adventures

Released at: 11:55, 17/08/2019

Son Doong Cave tours among world's greatest adventures

Photo: Oxalis Adventure

World's largest cave one of the greatest adventure experiences to be found, according to British TV channel Dave.

by Le Diem

Tours to Son Doong Cave in the central province of Quang Binh rank among the greatest adventures in the world, as recently revealed by British television channel Dave.

The new research was specially commissioned by the channel to mark the launch of their new series “Expedition with Steve Backshall”, airing Sunday nights at 8pm. A panel of travel experts, together with celebrity explorer Steve Backshall and his Expedition team, created a shortlist of the greatest adventures around the world and across the UK, which was then put to a public vote of 2,000 British adults aged 40 and under. The research reveals that over eight in ten (84 per cent) Brits say they prefer to seek out adventurous experiences rather than the traditional “fly and flop’” pool or beach holiday, especially when they travel abroad.

Son Doong was ranked at the fifth in the top 20, with 24 per cent of voters saying they want to explore the cave, behind Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Grand Canyon in the US, and Thrihnukagigur Volcano in Iceland.

Son Doong is the world’s largest natural cave and promises unforgettable memories for visitors, according to the channel. Due to its rugged terrain, visitors are required to register for a tour in advance, and it’s necessary to go with an experienced team with specialized equipment.

Other places on the list are dog sledding to witness the aurora borealis in Norway, kayaking in Arctic fjords in Denmark, climbing to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, cruising the Antarctic, and cage diving with sharks in South Africa.

Son Doong was discovered by a local resident in 1991. It was first explored in 2009 by the British Cave Research Association and has been open to the public since 2013. It has been recognized as the largest of its kind in the world by three international record-keeping organizations - Guinness, the Association World, and WorldKings.

It opened to tourists in 2013 and the five kilometer-long network, which is 150 meters high and 200 meters wide, contains at least 150 individual caves, a dense subterranean jungle, and several underground rivers. Due to limited space, registrations for Son Doong tours must be made well in advance. According to Oxalis, the exclusive tour operator of the cave, only 300 slots are available this year and tours are booked out until 2021.

Tours are growing in popularity, and with Son Doong getting prominent coverage from National Geographic, CNN, and Good Morning America, its home, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, has become the go-to destination in Vietnam for adventurous travelers. Earlier this year, it was named on the worldwide bucket-list for trips in 2019 by Lonely Planet.

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