Lonely Planet Writer

Vietnam opens amazing new caves which are so big the tour takes two days

Vietnam is opening up new caves for visitors. The two new underground outlets are something of a caving paradise as a tour through them takes two days and one night to complete.

Vietnam's cavernous Son Doong cave are world famous and two new caves. the x and y
Vietnam’s cavernous Son Doong cave are world famous and two new caves. the Va and Nuoc. Image by Nguyen Tan Tin / CC BY 2.0

Expedition organisers Oxalis have been given the green light by authorities in Quang Binh province to launch tours to Va and Nuoc caves.  The Thanh Nien News reports that the caves are part of the famous cavern system known as Phong Nha- Ke Bang. They were discovered by locals many years ago and were explored by British Cave Research Association members 16 years ago. The organisers say that part of the caves’ tour includes a trek through 10km of jungle and mountain, while tourists will also have to wade for three kilometres through a river. Although the two caves are not directly connected to the world’s largest cave named Son Doong, they are part of the same cave system.

Vietnam restricts the numbers of tourists who can explore the caves, resulting in overbooking and long delays to get in to see them
Vietnam restricts the numbers of tourists who can explore the caves, resulting in overbooking and long delays to get in to see them Image by Hector Garcia / CC BY-SA 2.0

According to Oxalis, explorers who have visited the Va Cave say the stalagmites and stalactites are even more beautiful than the Son Doong Cave.  As Vietnamese officials prefer to limit numbers of explorers to the site, it means trips are booked months in advance.