Son Doong cave is the World’s largest grotto which was discovered in 2009. Right after being found, the marvelous beauty of this masterpiece mazes lots of explorers in the world. This cave is considered as “ the underground paradise” as well as the ideal destination of adventurers. However, a Son Doong cave tour is quite different from the one to normal destinations. It’s not a relaxing tour; in contrast, it’s tough and difficult. So, if you are thinking about taking a tour at Son Doong cave, don’t skip the useful information below.
General information about Son Doong cave
Son Dong cave is found in Bo Trach community, Quang Binh province, Vietnam. It’s the largest natural cave in the world which was ranked by the New York Times as one of the most popular landmarks in 2014.
This cave was discovered in 2009 by Ho Khanh – a local resident. He had been to the cave before in 1991, but he didn’t know the value of this cave at that time. After that, he hadn’t come back and the cave remained unknown till 2009 when the British Cave Research Association had the first expedition into the cave.
En cave exit (Source: Google)
With a height of 200m and a width of 150m, Son Doong cave can contain an entire New York City blocks with 40 stories. And, with this size, Son Doong cave even owns a unique ecosystem and weather.
The tour for exploring Son Doong cave is exclusively owned by Oxalis. And, the number of tourists each year is also limited. This is because to organize a Son Doong cave requires lots of human resources. To serve a group of 10 people, the support staff can reach to 30 people including guide, porters, cleaners, experts on caves, etc. Moreover, the price for one tour is not cheap at all. In general, a cost for a tour of 7 days and 6 nights to Son Doong is about $3000.
Exploring Son Doong cave is different from enjoying a beautiful beach in Vietnam. Besides preparing your budget for a tour. There are a few things you should pay attention to.
Most important factor – physical preparation
For any trip you take, packing the personal belongings is indispensable part. However, with Son Doong cave tour, you also need to improve your physical strength. Exploring Son Doong is a risky journey which requires you to deal with various tricky terrains. So, to complete a tour, you need to follow strict physical regulations guided by experts.
Before going on the tour, you have to meet up with medical experts. They will ask you some questions about your health. You should answer those questions honestly to make sure that your trip will be safe.
An expedition in Son Doong cave (Source: Google)
3 – 6 months before the tour, you should increase your stamina by going to the gym or doing some special workout. If you go to the gym, you should do it more often. Instead of only lifting weights, you also should do other workouts which help to improve your stamina such as cardio, HIIT, etc. If you prefer outdoor activities, you should try to walk about 10km a day or you can practice by climbing up a hill. Moreover, a healthy diet also helps to strengthen your muscles. You might think that it’s quite ridiculous because you are going to explore a cave not join in a competition. But, if you have a strong body and mind, your adventure in Son Doong cave which contains lots of dangerous terrains and unknown corners will safer.
2 days before the tour, the experts will guide you with some essential skills for yours and your partners’ safety. You should pay attention and remember all of them.
You should bring comfortable clothes which allow you to move easily. And, the most important item is your shoes. You should spend some for a proper pair of climbing shoes. This kind of shoes is light, airy. They can help you to climb easily and don’t cause the pain for your feet.
The car of your travel company will take you to kilometer 39, Ho Chi Minh road. From here, you will walk down to Doong valley. When you reach the village of Van Kieu ethnic people, you will take a break and have lunch. After that, you will follow the Rao Thuong stream to enter En cave. Normally, you will stop at En cave to have dinner and stay overnight. This is also the time for you to get to know more about the caves and culture here.
In the next morning, after breakfast, you will start exploring Son Doong cave – the most interesting experience. You can choose to explore the cave in 5 days 4 nights or 7 days 6 nights.
Camping site in Son Doong cave (Source: Google)
Right after you enter the cave, you can admire lots of beautiful stalactites and an unspoiled, primeval forest, with vegetation of a variety of unknown and valuable plants. The most special thing inside the cave is that it’s always covered by fog, which separates climate conditions between inside and outside the cave.
When you explore deeper inside the cave, you will be able to admire the magnificence of nature. There are lots of fossil corridors formed here, which demonstrates that Son Doong cave has existed for millions of years.
Moreover, you also have a chance to see many stone pillars which are nearly 70m of height. And, if you are strong enough, you can conquer “the Great Wall of Vietnam”, which is the wall of 60m in Son Doong. Also, there is an underground river with 2.5km of length inside.
There are still more interesting and amazing things inside Son Doong cave. And, the best way to find out is having a tour there. You might not be able to do it now, but be prepare yourself to take a Son Doong tour in a near future.
For more Vietnam adventures:
- Pu Luong Nature Reserve – Epitome of Tranquility, Rusticity, and Tenderness
- Guide to Ziplining in Vietnam for Adventure Seekers
- Discover Northern Vietnam