Deeper underground: Vietnam opens up more of mystical cave kingdom

Update: 12:32 | 11/01/2018

Adventurers can now explore the world’s fourth largest cave, but it's not for the faint-hearted.

Deeper underground, Vietnam, opens up, mystical cave kingdom, largest cave, Pygmy Cave, international attention, bird’s nests

Tours to Pygmy Cave deep have been opened to visitors.

The entrance to Pygmy Cave, currently the fourth largest in the world as ranked by the British Cave Research Association, is about 100 meters in height and width. 

Sunlight penetrates the depths of the cave allowing ferns to grow. Pygmy Cave is a neighbor of Son Doong and En, the world’s biggest and third biggest caves that have received lots of international attention in recent years.

Deeper underground, Vietnam, opens up, mystical cave kingdom, largest cave, Pygmy Cave, international attention, bird’s nests

Water trickles down from the roof of the cave which visitors can take advantage of.

At the back of the cave, tourists can see the ropes and ladders that locals used to climb to collect bird’s nests and honey. This has now been prohibited under new forest protection regulations. Local people discovered Pygmy Cave in 1997 before it was properly explored by the British Cave Research Association.

Last November, Quang Binh gave the go-ahead for a local firm to launch pilot tours into Dai Ai, Over and Pygmy caves. The three-day/two-night tour to Pygmy Cave also takes visitors to Over Cave, as seen in this photo, and another cave in the system called Ho (Tiger) Cave.

Deeper underground, Vietnam, opens up, mystical cave kingdom, largest cave, Pygmy Cave, international attention, bird’s nests

The three-day/two-night tour to Pygmy Cave also takes visitors to Over Cave and another cave in the system called Ho (Tiger) Cave.

Over Cave, 90 meters high and 3.2 kilometers long, boasts a rich system of stalactites and terraced emerald lakes. Each tour caters for a maximum of 14 guests. Before you register for a tour, make sure you're healthy enough to trek through the forest, wade across streams and swim inside the caves.

The first day of the tour is a descent into Ho Cave. Keep in mind that you will have to trek 8 kilometers (4.2 miles) to get here. The second day takes in Over and Pygmy.

Deeper underground, Vietnam, opens up, mystical cave kingdom, largest cave, Pygmy Cave, international attention, bird’s nests

The first day of the tour is a descent into Ho Cave, 8 kilometers (4.2 miles) trekking.

Belts and safety ropes are needed through a section inside Over Cave, where tourists have to traverse a high stalactite block. Ending the tour, you will have to trek another 7.2 kilometers to get back to the main road.

As a UNESCO Heritage Site, Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is home to over 300 caves and grottoes that date back 400 million years. Around 30 caves are now open to visitors, which has created a tourism boom and helped the poor, war-torn province. 

Source: VnExpress

 
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