Inside the Son Doong Cave (Photo: Ryan Deboodt)
Hanoi (VNA) – A total of 33 Vietnamese tourists visited Son Doong cave in the central province of Quang Binh in the first few months of 2016.

According to Director of Oxalis Adventure Tours Nguyen Chau A, the cave welcomed 95 visitors from the US, 33 from Vietnam and 23 from Australia in the period.

In all of 2015, Son Doong welcomed more than 500 visitors, including 67 Vietnamese. Vietnam ranked third in the number of visitors, after the US and Australia, he noted.

Son Doong Cave , in the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, is more than 200m wide, 150m high, and approximately 9km long.

It was believed to be formed 2-5 million years ago and discovered by a local resident in 1991.

In 2009, scientists from the British Cave Research Association prepared the cave for limited public access after surveying the area.

Within its caverns lie a jungle and a river, and the cave is large enough to fit a 40-storey skyscraper inside. The cave was named the largest cave in the world by the British Cave Research Association.

The American news website Huffingtonpost.com declared the cave as an absolute must-see. Son Doong cave was also listed among the "52 Places to Go in 2014" by The New York Times Travel.

The tour, arranged by the sole operator Oxalis Adventure Tours since early August, offers a five-day and four-night service at the cost of 66 million VND (roughly 3,000 USD) per person from January to August. A maximum of 500 visitors will be allowed in 2016.

Each tour requires more than 25 porters and cooks, a tour guide, two cave experts and two park rangers.-VNA