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Hang Son Doong cave A trek inside the largest cave in the world found in Vietnam

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The cave is so large that it can house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers.

play A trek inside the largest cave in the world found in Vietnam (Vietnamworldheritages.)

At more than 200m high, 150m wide and 5km long, the Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam is the largest cave in the world.

So big is Hang Son Doong cave that it has its own river, jungle and climate.

Even more dumbfounding is the fact that the cave is so large that it can house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers.

play So big is Hang Son Doong cave that it has its own river, jungle and climate. (CNN)

 

Here is a peek inside the world’s largest cave.

It is located in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Binh province of Central Vietnam, Hang Son Doong cave and was unknown to the world until 2013 when it was first opened to the public.

play hang son doong cave (BBC)

 

In 2009, local man Ho Khanh who had first discovered the entrance of the cave in 1990 but forgot its exact location and never thought more of it led two members of the British Cave Research Association (BCRA), Howard and Deb Limbert and a team of professionals back to the cave for the first expedition to enter what would later become known as Hang Son Doong, or ‘Mountain River Cave’.

play At more than 200m high, 150m wide and 5km long, the Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam is the largest cave in the world. (livingnomads)

A year before after close to three decade while out on another food gathering trip, Ho Khanh found the mysterious opening again and studiously took note of the path on how to get there.

Since then hundreds of adventure tourists go on a trekking expedition of their lives annually.

play As you approach the jungle just outside the entrance, the rush of cool wind that cascades out brings to life everything inside of you. (Huffington Post)

 

As you approach the jungle just outside the entrance, the rush of cool wind that cascades out brings to life everything inside of you. Hazy, cold and exhilarating, it is apparent that there’s something magical waiting just beyond the opening to the cave.

play An Aerial Tour of 'Hang Son Soong' (Colossal)

Once inside, you will be forgiven for mistaking that you have walked straight into Hollywood background scene .

One gets to see foreign landscapes found nowhere else in the whole world, enormous stalagmites rising from the ground and statuesque stalactites hanging from the ceiling like an alien species.

play One gets to see foreign landscapes found nowhere else in the whole world, enormous stalagmites rising from the ground and statuesque stalactites hanging from the ceiling like an alien species. (Vietnam Online)

 

Jungles emerge from inside the cave itself, a scene so surreal that you have to see it to believe it.

Misty clouds envelop the whole scene, a result of the cave’s own localised weather system.

play Son Doong Cave (Asia Travel & Leisure)

 

Passages adorned with ancient fossils offer evidence of the millions of years that have passed on this Earth.

Less people have seen the inside of Hang Son Doong than have stood on the summit of Mount Everest.

play Passages adorned with ancient fossils offer evidence of the millions of years that have passed on this Earth. (Oriental Sky Travel)

To reach Hang Son Doong, adventurers must first pass through the Ban Doong ethnic minority village. The only village located inside the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, less than 40 people makes up the population of Ban Doong.

Access is only possible by foot, and the dense jungles surrounding Ban Doong prohibit the cultivation of most crops and the community depends on expeditions to earn an extra income.

play Ban Doong ethnic minority village. (Vietnam AirTravel)

 

For many people, being able to visit Ban Doong and meet its welcoming villagers is equally humbling and the highlight of the whole trip since Ban Doong village offers a view of way of life that has been unchanged for centuries.