A group of 10 ambassadors are scheduled to take an excursion into Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest natural grotto in May this year.
The upcoming trip was approved by Viet Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Commission for UNESCO, and is planned for May 11 to 17.
Up until now, seven ambassadors from the U.S., Australia, the UK, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Argentina have officially registered for the trip, and will be joined by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski.
According to Nguyen Chau A, CEO of Oxalis Ltd., the operator of Son Doong exploration tours,the delegates are expected to go through a series of medical tests for condition and experience in trekking and adventure travel, as well as several days of training in advance.
Deputy Director Nguyen Van Ky of Quang Binh’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism expressed his hope that the tourism industries of Viet Nam and Quang Binh will be boosted after the ambassadors’ visit.
Son Doong cave is a part of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in Bo Trach District. The cave was discovered in 1991, but only became internationally known in 2009 as the world’s largest natural cave after a group of scientists from the British Cave Research Association conducted a survey in the area.The cave is 200 meters high, 150 meters wide, and runs for approximately 9 kilometers. There are two sinkholes along the ceiling of the cave, which allow sunlight to enter and have resulted in the growth of an entire rainforest inside. Son Doong is a jackpot of rare cave pearls. The pearls form over hundreds of years as water drips down, dries up and leaves layers of calcite crystals on grains of sand. Scientists have discovered never-before-seen plant species around Son Doong's waterfalls. Oh, and there's a whole river in there, too.