An English potholing team has discovered a cave believed to be the biggest in the world, in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang World Natural Heritage site, according to officials of central Quang Binh province.
The English explorers told the provincial authorities at a meeting on April 22 that the cave, called Son Doong, is some 200m high, 140-150m wide and over 5km long, located in an area extremely difficult to access, about 6 hours’ walk from the Ho Chi Minh trail, an official was quoted as saying.
Son Doong has replaced the Deer cave in Malaysia to become the world’s largest cave.
The local people knew of its existence several years ago but have been unable to access it.
During their one-month trip, the English explorers discovered another 20 caves, raising the total number in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to 150.
The English mission handed over all the information on their discoveries to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and promised to return in the future for further exploration with more advanced technology.
The Deputy Director of Quang Binh’s Foreign Affairs Department, Vu Ngoc Quy, said that the English explorers have returned to Phong Nha-Ke Bang several times since their first arrival in 1995. Their research has considerably contributed to preserving the World Natural Heritage site.
The teams spokesman Haward Limbirt described the newly-discovered cave as having overwhelming beauty and grandeur and warned that the local administration should not exploit the cave to attract tourists but reserve it for scientific research.