The National Geographic is one of the biggest nonprofit and educational institutions, which cares about the planet’s geography, environment, and archeology and so on. The Traveler Photo Contest is an annual program of the National Geographic. In 2014, the 26th National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest includes 4 items: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. In week 11 of the 26th National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, this website posted a photograph of Son Doong Cave taken by Chris Miller with a title “An Alien World” in “Sense of Place” item. According to Chris Miller’s description: “This photo shows some members of our party beginning the climb up one of the two collapsed roof sections or dolines that are prominent features in the cave. The vegetation that can be seen is entirely inside the cave, with the real jungle floor some 150m further above. Two-way radios and a laser pointer were used to get people in position and to ensure their headlamps provided just the right amount of illumination”. With the spectacular landscapes, Son Doong Cave will become one of the beautiful attractions in Quang Binh.
Located in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh province, Son Doong Cave (Mountain River Cave in Vietnamese) is in the core area of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Son Doong was firstly found by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991. Later on, in 2009, an expedition of the British Royal Cave Research Association and Vietnam spelunkers followed a local resident to make a survey about Son Doong Cave. According to Howard Limbert, a leader of the British Royal Cave Research Association, Son Doong Cave is five times larger than Phong Nha Cave. Son Doong is also bigger than Deer Cave (in Malaysia) which is previously considered as the largest cave in the world. As estimated, Son Doong was created about 2 – 5 million years ago with 200 meters in length, over 150 meters in height and 5 kilometer in length.
In recent days, although a great number of tourists want to discover the world’s largest cave, there are only 160 tourists having chance to visit Son Doong in the first six months of 2014. With the price of 3,000 dollars, tourists will have a wonderful experience to explore Son Doong in 7 days and six nights. According to Mr. Nguyen Van Ky, the Deputy Director of Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Quang Binh province, Son Dong Cave tour is in the testing period, therefore, travel agencies are only allowed to hold 4 tours with 8 people each tour visiting the Cave. It is expected in August, 2014, Quang Binh will reassess the testing period to provide the best choice to exploit and organize these unique tours to meet the demand of both local and foreign tourists.