Hang Son Doong, The World's Biggest Cave ( part 1)

In 2009, Hang Son Doong was officially surveyed and measured by the The British -Vietnam Cave Expedition


6/19/20232 phút đọc

Son Doong is considered to be the largest cave in the world, based on volume and also the biggest cave in Vietnam, found by Ho Khanh – a Phong Nha jungle man in 1990. In 2009, Hang Son Doong was officially surveyed and measured by the The British -Vietnam Cave Expedition Team led by Howard Limbert. The Expedition team then announced it as the world's largest natural cave with a volume of 38.5 million m3. The measurements were then accepted by a number of world's senior karst geologists including Dr. Tony Waltham. This team along with National Geographic magazine had announced Son Doong Cave as the largest natural limestone cave on the planet in the same year. In 2013, the Guinness World Records Organisation recorded it as the world's largest natural cave.

Many people mistook Son Doong Cave - the largest cave in the world with Mammoth Cave - the world's longest-known cave system, located in Mammoth Cave National Park ( an American national park in west-central Kentucky) and that Son Doong is the largest cave passage. However, this article will clarify the misunderstanding as well as give you a better acknowledgement of Son Doong Cave and its exploration.

Origin of the name Son Doong

Traditionally, those who found the cave will name it. Therefore, Ho Khanh and the expert team discussed and decided to call the cave Son Doong (a combination of 2 words: Son means mountain, Doong is the name of the valley where the ethnic minority Bru Van Kieu lives, and the Thuong river coming from, or also means the cave in the limestone mountain with an underground river flowing through).

Unique features of Son Doong Cave

The Son Doong Cave has a total length of nearly 9 km long and the volume is up to 38.5 million cubic metres, which makes this cave the largest natural cave on the planet. With this volume, Hang Son Doong is 5 times larger than Deer cave in Malaysia, which was said to be the largest natural cave ( before Hang Son Doong was discovered) with 9.5 million cubic metres of volume. However, what makes Son Doong special, recognized and well-known by the world is the unique hidden underground world inside the cave itself. It has many complex and giant stalactites (over 80m high), primaeval rain forests growing inside the cave, its own ecosystem, weather or a mysterious underground river that no explorer has yet discovered to the end of it. Many visitors admitted that the Hang Son Doong Cave is like another world, Ginger Zee from ABC News's - Good Morning America exclaimed that the sceneries in Son Doong were like those in the Avatar movie.

This amazing cave also houses an impressive ecosystem, inside the largest cave passage in the world. This huge and intricate cave system was created by the underground river, and filled with formations from the water that percolated down from a rainforest above. More of the highlights only found in this cave are:


There is one of the largest sections of Son Doong; from the beginning of this passage, you can see the light from Doline 1, 1.5km away. Estimated by cave experts that a 40-storey skyscraper can easily fit in this passage and it is large enough for a Boeing 747 to fly through. Moreover, the world's tallest stalagmite, about 80m tall, is also located in this passage.