Son Doong and Hang En Caves Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park - review by Rusty Compass
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Son Doong and Hang En Caves Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

| 21 Jun 2018


Son Doong and Hang En Caves Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province


Price guide: $3000USD

21 Jun 2018

Son Doong is the largest cave in the world - and by many accounts the most beautiful. It’s $3000US to see it so we haven’t been yet.... One company, Oxalis, has the exclusive license to operate in the world’s largest cave and they offer a 4 day 3 night tour that explores Son Doong, Hang En and the beauty of the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. There are 900 tour places offered each year as of 2018. You’ll find Oxalis online.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

The existence of Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, has only been known to the world for a relatively short time. The cave was discovered by a local logger in 1991. He knew it was vast but wasn’t able to measure it.

After numerous attempts at finding the cave, The British Cavers Association successfully explored Son Doong in 2009 and declared it the largest in the world. With underground waterways, forest and chambers large enough to fit a skyscraper, it sounds amazing.

Access to the cave is restricted - that’s probably a good thing. So there are only 900 spaces offered each year (as at 2018) and these sell for $3000US on a 4 day 3 night tour that includes trekking as well as cave exploration. Weather conditions mean that the tours only operate between February and August.

We’ve not been to Son Doong or Hang En. If you’d like to check out the Son Doong tour, click here for the Oxalis website.

While Son Doong gets all the attention, there are other magnificent caves in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park and the park is also stunningly beautiful. You don’t need to visit Son Doong to have a wonderful time at Phong Nha.

Check out our other recommendations of things to do at Phong Nha here.

There are controversial plans to build a cable car to Son Doong Cave - a development that would turn the present careful management of the cave environment on its head. There is significant environmental opposition to the proposal both in Vietnam and internationally. We hope that both Son Doong and the wider fragile environmental treasures of the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park are treated with the care they deserve. If other precious environments in Vietnam are an indication however, there is cause for concern.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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