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New Caves Open to Tourists at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Tourism officials in Quang Binh province have opened two new caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to visitors.

Authorities recently gave adventure tour outfit Oxalis, the sole company permitted to operate tours to Son Doong Cave, permission to organize excursions into Hang Va and Nuoc Nut, two more caves within the Son Doong system, reports Thanh Nien. Though these are not physically connected to Son Doong Cave itself, they are part of the network surrounding the world's largest subterranean chamber.

The two-day, one-night trip takes participants on a 10-kilometer jungle hike in which they travel over mountains and across rivers. According to the tour operator's website: “Some explorers commented that the stalactites and stalagmites in Va Cave are even more beautiful and extraordinary than Son Doong Cave.”

British caving expert Howard Limbert, who works with the travel outfit, told Zing that Hang Va and Son Doong may have once been connected, however a stone wall now stands between them. The caving expert also pointed out the uniqueness of Hang Va's thousand-odd stalagmites, which are “very delicate and one-of-a-kind in the world”, he told the online news outlet. 

In order to ensure the protection of these formations, a wooden bridge is now being built so that tourists may explore the cave without harming its landscapes.

Tours run from February to August and cost VND9 million per person.

[Photo via Oxalis]

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