A group of foreign diplomats on May 16 completed a 5-day tour to explore the world’s largest cave of Son Doong. All of them were very healthy after the tour.
Son Doong Cave’s beauty is surreal: ambassadors
The tour had the participation of the ambassadors of Argentina, Sweden, Italy, the UK, Australia and Czech Republic the representative of Unesco, and the US Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski.
The tour commenced on May 11. The foreign diplomats covered the cost for this trip. Before the trip, experts from Oxalis and Terra Verde Travel, the organizers of the tour, trained the ambassadors in terms of health, knowledge on adventure tourism and experiencesof living in the forest.
Australian Ambassador talks about the trip
The tour is expected to help further promote the image of Son Doong cave in particular and Vietnam tourism in general.
The tour is a cultural diplomatic activity, which was co-held by the Foreign Ministry, the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and provincial authorities.
Son Doong cave, hidden in the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, is more than 200m wide, 150m high, and approximately 9km long.
Within its caverns lie a jungle and a river, and the cave is large enough to fit a 40-storey skyscraper inside. The cave was classified as the largest cave in the world by the British Cave Research Association.
The American news website Huffingtonpost.com declared the cave as an absolute must-see. Son Doong cave was also listed among the “52 Places to Go in 2014” by The New York Times Travel.
The usual tour, operated by Oxalis Adventure Tours since early August, offers five-day and four-night service at the cost of 66 million VND (roughly $3,000 USD) per person during the January–August period.
US Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski talks about the tour
To preserve Son Doong, the maximum number of visitors for each tour is only ten. They will be served by 30 assistants, including two cave experts from England, 1 tour guide, 2 safety assistants, 2 cooks, 2 rangers, 20 porters carrying 600kg of safety, camping equipment, and food and a leader of the porter group.
This year, Son Doong welcomed over 500 visitors.
The Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Huge Douglas Borrowman, told Dan Tri online newswire that the beauty of Son Doong cave is beyond his imagination, and he was very excited about the trip.
US Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said that he visited a lot of places in the world but this was the most amazing trip.
On May 16 evening, the diplomats met with local officials and talked with the press. The Quang Binh provincial People’s Committee also awarded the Son Doong conquering badge to them.