Vietnam is rich in geographical splendour. From the scenic wonder of Ha Long Bay and Sapa in the north, to the amazing Mekong Delta in the south, everywhere you turn, there is something to see. Throughout the country there are spectacular waterfalls and other features which make this an especially exciting country to visit. One feature of which Vietnam has an abundance, is caves. In Ha Long Bay the famous Sung Sot or Surprise Cave draws thousands of visitors daily. In the Central Vietnamese province of Quang Binh, you can find the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
This UNESCO recognised park is home to the Tien Son Cave, widely accepted as the most attractive destination in the province. Some ten thousand visitors per month are currently coming here to marvel at its beauty. There are many caves within the park, including of course the recently discovered, Son Doong Cave, which is the largest in the world. Archaeological work is still continuing there making it both difficult and expensive to visit. The Tien Son however, is the big draw at the moment.
The park covers 475 square miles and since being inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has become both popular with tourists and easier to explore. The caves systems here are epic and Tien Son is a marvellous example of nature’s work. Tasteful footpaths and artificial lighting make it easy to explore. Magnificent features like the millions of years old stalagmites and stalactites, looming into view at every turn.
The National Park is also home to many important species of flora and fauna. Tigers, Asian elephant, Asiatic black bear, Asian wild dog, and giant muntjac are all indigenous to the area. A forest dwelling bovine creature the Sao La was recently discovered here. It is one of the world’s rarest mammals.
The cave was discovered in 1935 and is part of a system that includes nine caves of various sizes. It is considered by many to be the most spectacular in the country. It is nine hundred and eighty metres long and is packed full of geological features. It was cut by an ancient river that flowed through it, millions of years ago. As the erosion increased so parts collapsed forming the huge chambers that are present today. All of these changes took place millions of years ago. The cave is now dry and safe for visitors to explore.
It is astonishing that these caves are still being discovered. In addition to the massive Son Doong cave discovered a couple of years ago, another one has recently been found. A group of local people in the province, claim to have discovered a new cave, adding to the province’s already enormous network of caves. The group, on a wood working trip, said the entrance to the cave is covered by trees. Initial accounts, report the cave to be on the same grand scale as the famous Thien Dong or Paradise Cave. It is said to be very long and has an inner stream.