World’s largest cave discovered in world heritage site
Update: Apr 23, 2009
The Quang Binh administration has revealed that an English potholing team has discovered a cave believed to be the biggest in the world, in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang world natural heritage site.

A representative from the central province said that the English cavers told the provincial authorities at a meeting on April 22 that the cave, called Son Doong, is approximately 200m high, 140-150m wide and over 6km long. The find is located in an area that is extremely difficult to access, about 6 hours walk from the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The Son Doong Cave has replaced the Deer Cave in Malaysia to take pole position as the world’s largest cave.

The local authorities say that the local people knew of the caves existence several years ago but have always been unable to access it.

During their one month trip, the English explorers discovered another 20 caves, bringing the total number in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to 150.

During their meeting, the English mission handed over all the information on their discoveries to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and promised to return in the future to carry out for further exploration with more advanced technology.

Deputy Director of Quang Binh’s Foreign Affairs Service Vu Ngoc Quy said that the English explorers have returned to Phong Nha-Ke Bang several times since they first arrived in 1995 and their research has contributed considerably to the conservation of the world natural heritage site.

When describing the newly-discovered cave, the team’s spokesman Haward Limbirt said that it was a thing of overwhelming beauty and grandeur. He also warned the local administration against using the cave to attract tourists and recommended reserving it for scientific research.