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Vietnam to promote Son Doong Cave at SEA Games

Thursday, June 04, 2015, 15:52 GMT+7
Vietnam to promote Son Doong Cave at SEA Games
Son Doong Cave, the world's largest, which is secluded in the UNESCO-recognized Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, glitters in colored lights.

Vietnamese tourism officials and a British caving expert will introduce the resplendence of Son Doong Cave – the world’s largest – to other countries at the 28th Southeast Asian Games, which will open in Singapore on Friday.

>> An audio version of the story is available here

The 28th Southeast Asian Games, to run until June 16, will include the participation of over 7,000 athletes and officials from 11 regional countries.

The athletes will compete in 36 categories to win 402 sets of medals.

Vietnamese travel firms have launched several tours to Singapore which combine sightseeing with watching the games.

Singapore is expected to welcome many tourists from Southeast Asia and other countries during the Games, which presents a wondrous opportunity for Vietnamese tourism officials to promote Vietnam’s potential.

Vietnamese newswire Dan Tri cited Hoang Tuan Anh, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as announcing that apart from partaking in the Games, he will be in charge of a tourism promotion program which targets the Singaporean market.

He is poised to attend a working session with the Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry to discuss the two countries’ potential in tourism partnership, while the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and Vietnamese travel firms will promote scenic spots and tours and tourism cooperation opportunities.

One of the program’s major highlights involves Howard Limbert, a British caving expert, introducing the splendor of Son Doong Cave and the vast tourism potential held by the cavernous wonder to the Games participants.

Vượt sông suối, thác nước - Ảnh: Nguyễn Tâm

A tourist crosses a stream inside Son Doong Cave during an expedition. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The grotto is secluded in the UNESCO-recognized Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Binh.

Limbert will also discuss in detail a plan proposed by Channel 5 of MediaCorp to make a program on Son Doong, according to Vietnamese newswire VnExpress.

MediaCorp is a Singapore-based media company with the most complete range of platforms, spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital and out-of-home media, according to its website.

The company’s Channel 5 is a popular English mass entertainment and lifestyle channel for the entire family.

Limbert, 58, is the head of the British exploration team that has operated in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang area since 1990, with hundreds of exploration and research trips undertaken.

He and his colleagues have taken hundreds of thousands of beautiful photographs of the caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, drawing special attention from many major film companies throughout the world, such as BBC, NHK and National Geographic, as well as some of the world’s leading news agencies such as AP, AFP and Kyodo.

Son Doong, a solutional cave, was first discovered in 1991.

In 2009, Ho Khanh, a local, guided a British Cave Research Association team, led by Howard Limbert, to explore this beautiful cave and eventually introduce it to the world.

According to Limbert, Son Doong Cave is five times larger than Phong Nha Cave, which was once considered the biggest in Vietnam.

The largest chamber of Son Doong is more than five kilometers long, 200 meters high, and 150 meters wide.

With such large dimensions, Son Doong has overtaken Deer Cave in Malaysia to take the title of the world's largest cave.

Last month, the American Broadcasting Company aired live footage on the magnificent cave, while National Geographic Magazine published a photo essay featuring dizzying 360-degree images of the cavernous wonder.

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