The San Doong cave discovered in Vietnam is currently the largest known cave in the world. For some, this would be enough to get excited. For us, what sets San Doong apart is the incredible jungle that thrives within its underground caverns. Having grown up with images from Journey to the Center of the Earth, this cave is like a fantasy come true.
Getting there is anything but easy. According to www.songdoongcave.org, it takes “6 hours of walking through a 10 kilometer long forest path from Truong Son Highway to reach the mouth of Son Dong cave.” Currently, there is only one tour company, Oxalis, taking tourists through the cave on adventure tours. On their website, they describe San Doong beautifully:
“Son Doong cave is unlike any other caves on the planet. Inside this giant cave are two huge daylight windows which allows the light to enter many parts of the cave. At the base of these windows are large jungles which use the available light and so trees up to 30m tall are present.
But Son Doong is not only about its immense size, the cave has amazing examples of some of the best speleothems in the world. Giant stalagmites up to 80m high and enormous rimstone pools are present throughout the cave. There are also excellent examples of giant cave pearls and a newly discovered side passage is full of large fossils over 300 million years old… as well as rare species of plants in the cave a number of new species of animals have recently been discovered.
Monkeys, hornbills and flying foxes have all been seen in the jungle section of the caves.”
Video from National Geographic on San Doong