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Vietnam Delays Son Doong Cave Cable Car Plans Until 2030

When plans for a US$212 million cable car through some of Vietnam’s most spectacular caves were made public last November, they were met with fierce resistance.

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After backtracking by local officials and a digital grassroots protest in the form of an online petition with over 70,000 signatories, all had been quiet on the cable car front until last week when the Vietnamese government announced that it would suspend all construction activities in and around the Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave system until at least 2030, reports Thanh Nien.

Officials from the country’s Construction Ministry declared the moratorium at a meeting in the central province of Quang Binh on June 10. They added that the UNESCO recognized caves would remain undisturbed for the next 15 years.

Nguyen Huu Hoai, mayor of the province, said that small-scale tours would continue but that neither roads nor shelters would be built through the caverns in order to keep it a “real treasure.”

British-owned tour operator, Oxalis, is the only company allowed to organize tours to Son Doong. Even with a price tag of $3,000 per person for a 7-day excursion, slots fill up quickly, likely due to the huge amount of internal press the cave has received over past few years. 

[Image via John Spies]

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