Son Doong Cave listed among best virtual tours of world's natural wonders hinh anh 1Sunlight makes Son Doong Cave more sparkling and fanciful (Source: Oxalis Adventures)

Hanoi (VNA) - Son Doong Cave in the central province of Quang Binh has been named among 10 of the best virtual tours of the world's natural wonders by British newspaper The Guardian.

Via a National Geographic project titled “Son Doong 360” aiming to preserve the cave in digital form, hodophiles are able to explore the world’s largest natural cave with their computers or smartphones.

A trek, created from 360-degree images and atmospheric sound effects, heads through light-filled caverns, passing a 70 metre-tall stalagmite, and huge sinkhole jungles.

Viewers are advised to “take advantage of the high definition images to zoom into details of the cave’s geology, flora and fauna”, said the newspaper.

Son Doong Cave is located in the heart of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Quang Binh. The cave is believed to be formed between 2 and 5 million years ago.

With the measure of more than 200m high, 150m wide and approximately 9km long, the cave surpassed Deer Cave in Malaysa’s Gunung Mulu National Park (100m high, 90m wide and 2km long) to become the largest natural cave of the world.

It was named on the list of the seven new wonders of the world for 2020 by prestigious travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler.

The scale of the site’s interior is so large that it could fit an entire 40-storey block from New York City inside or have a Boeing 747 comfortably fly through without the wings being in any danger.

Each year, only a handful of tourists are permitted to enter, with groups going into the cave as part of a five-day expedition that involves two nights of camping inside of Son Doong Cave.

The US magazine also mentioned that the cave is so massive, that it even has its own weather system. Clouds gather around colossal natural skylights, 300-feet across, which pour beams of light into the abyss inside.

Son Doong Cave listed among best virtual tours of world's natural wonders hinh anh 2Starry night sky seen from Son Doong cave (Source: Oxalis Adventures)

The cave is also home to a troop of monkeys, the only ones on the planet to make their home underground, rather than in the trees.

According to National Geographic, the cave claims the title of the largest cave passage cross-section in the world.

The images of Son Doong Cave were featured at the latest MV “Alone Pt.II” of Alan Walker, a British-born Norwegian DJ and record producer.

In 2015, it was chosen as the backdrop for the American fantasy film 'Pan' starring Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Levi Miller, and Amanda Seyfried.

The cave, which has a large, fast-flowing underground river inside, was discovered by local resident Ho Khanh in 1991.

Khanh’s discovery made world news in April 2009 after a group of British scientists from the British Cave Research Association, led by Howard and Deb Limbert, conducted a geographical survey of Phong Nha-Ke Bang.

Son Doong Cave has since drawn international attention and become a staple on adventure bucket lists for travellers from around the world.

At present, Oxalis Adventure Tours is granted exclusive rights to accompany adventure seekers to Son Doong for up to 10 years.

Oxalis is the only private company licensed to explore Son Doong. Quang Binh province’s authorities approved tours from now till 2030. Earlier, the licence was only given annually.

The province requires the tour operator to achieve economic efficiency and ensure tourist safety while promoting Son Doong, a fast-emerging tourist destination.

Due to limited space, registration for Son Doong tours must be made well in advance. A four-day expedition costs 3,000 USD.

Quang Binh authorities recently increased the number of tourists allowed to visit the cave over a one-year period from 640 to 900./.

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