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Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave stars in British nature documentary series Planet Earth

Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave stars in British nature documentary series Planet Earth

Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 19:46 GMT+7
Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave stars in British nature documentary series Planet Earth
Nature experts and film crew members are pictured at Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest cave, in Vietnam. Photo: Oxalis

Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest known cave, and Hang Va (Va Cave) in Quang Binh Province, north-central Vietnam are featured in the popular British nature documentary series Planet Earth, commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The two stunning caves imposingly appear in an episode, named 'Extremes,' of Planet Earth III, which is set to be premiered in the United States, Canada, and many other countries worldwide in early December, Nguyen Chau A, CEO at Oxalis Adventure Tours, which organizes tours to Son Doong Cave, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Son Doong Cave is featured in Planet Earth. Video: Oxalis

The episode was aired on BBC One on November 26.

Oxalis was in charge of all relevant preparations to smooth the path for the BBC film crew.

After the episode debuted on BBC One, Chau A was so touched to see the beautiful images of Son Doong and Va Caves featured in Planet Earth for the first time, he recounted.

Some filming groups had previously used low-resolution cameras or drones to film the landscapes, so the charming corners of the caves had yet to be spotted, he said.

The Planet Earth film crew used two drones equipped with a light and a camcorder to capture the caves’ eye-catching and spectacular landscapes that other film crews failed to capture, Chau A said.

The BBC crew included six members led by producer Theo Webb.

They worked hard from January 27 to February 19 last year, while spending 18 consecutive days shooting scenes in the dark.

The film crew made a huge investment in the episode shot in the caves, with the cost surpassing the funds for American morning television program Good Morning America or Alan Walker’s music video Alone Pt.III, which was filmed in the caves.

The BBC film crew brought over one metric ton of equipment and machines to the caves to film Vietnam’s natural beauty, Chau A unveiled.

“I expect the nature documentary to contribute to spurring Vietnam’s tourism,” said the Oxalis representative.

Speaking of Planet Earth III, David Attenborough, a 97-year-old British broadcaster, biologist, and natural historian, said that in this fast-changing world, “they are the earth’s greatest natural wonders that you will never see again.”

Attenborough also unveiled the extraordinary survival from fights between wild animals that are featured in the hit documentary.

The deepest place of Son Doong Cave is also one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, he said, adding that white blind fish were found alive in some puddles there.

The Planet Earth film crew brings over one metric ton of equipment to Quang Binh Province, north-central Vietnam to shoot Son Doong Cave. Photo: Oxalis

The Planet Earth film crew brings over one metric ton of equipment to Quang Binh Province, north-central Vietnam to shoot Son Doong Cave. Photo: Oxalis

After entering Son Doong Cave, associate producer Georgina shouted out, “Unbelievably, it is too dark here.”

“We just knew that we were standing near a river and had to cross the first river to travel deeper into the cave. After we lit it up with lights, we were really surprised by its bigness,” he said.

“The vastness of the cave was unimaginable, so filming it was surely a challenge,” Theo Webb said.

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Tieu Bac - Dau Dung / Tuoi Tre News

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