Tourists, especially those who love cave adventure, to the north-central Vietnamese province of Quang Binh, home to the world-renowned Son Doong Cave, now have more to explore as two local caverns have been officially opened to visitors.
Oxalis, the exclusive operator of tours to explore Son Doong, the world’s biggest cave, has been allowed to take tourists to the Va and Nuoc Nut caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park during a pilot scheme.
The new expedition tour, “Different Experiences,” is available from July to the end of August 2018, the Quang Binh administration announced on July 4.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang is one of the world's largest karst regions with 300 caves and grottoes, spanning a total length of about 70 km.
The Vietnamese national park is also home to Asia’s oldest karst mountains, forming about 400 million years ago.
Besides Son Doong, visitors to Phong Nha - Ke Bang can also explore other famous caves including Hang En, Hang Tien, Hang Tu Lan, Hang Toi, and Hang Thien Duong.
The two new destinations, Va and Nuoc Nut, located deep in the core of the national park, were discovered by the British Caving Association and made known to the world in 2000.
Both caverns boast several extraordinary features, particularly their beautiful and one-of-a-kind stalactites and lakes.
Howard Limbert, a British expert who spent 25 years exploring caves in Quang Binh, hailed Va as the most distinctive place in the world thanks to its enchanting system of more than 1,000 stalactites with size uniformity.
|A marvelous scene inside Va Cave in Quang Binh, Vietnam. Photo: Oxalis|
In the two-day new expedition tour, tourists will trek through a jungle to the entrance of Nuoc Nut, where they will have a picnic lunch before putting on their safety gear to start exploring the cave, Oxalis said on its website.
During the two-kilometer trek inside Nuoc Nut, the adventurers will be able to enjoy the beautiful formations, enormous passage and underground rivers with excellent photographic opportunities.
Upon leaving Nuoc Nut, tourists will embark on a short trekking trail with tough terrain to reach a campsite located at the base of huge cliffs next to the entrance of Hang Va, where they will spend the night.
The next day, tourists will have to climb down the steep entrance of Hang Va, swim in a downstream pool inside the cave before heading upstream. They will then have to walk most of the time in water flowing through the river passage, climb up and down, and squeeze between the rocks.
“The water level of the river passage can be as high as chest level, so be ready to be wet for about four hours,” Oxalis said on their website.
“Tourists will be amazed by this high level area because of its stunning formations.”
Quang Binh authorities have requested that Oxalis place direction signs at difficult spots along the new route, and ensure safety for tourists when they have to cross a 50m deep stream inside Nuoc Nut.