|Stunning: The Manjanggul Lava cave in Jeju in South Korea. Experts say the newly found cavern system in Dak Kong Province matches the Jeju cave in magnificence. — Photo amazingplanet.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese and Japanese scientists have discovered a volcanic cavern system in the Central Highlands that they say is as beautiful as the Manjanggul Lava cave, a UNESCO heritage site in Jeju island in South Korea.
A cave in the system, located in Choah Village in Krong No District, Dak Nong Province, could be the longest vocalnic grotto in Southeast Asia, they say.
According to General Department of Geology and Minerals, its scientists and partners from the Japan Caving Association found an entrance to one of the caves in 2007.
"We have spent almost eight years investigating three of 12 caves in the system," department's director Nguyen Van Thuan told a local newspaper.
"The cavern area covers thousands of square metres and one of the measured caves is 1,055m long," Thuan said.
"The remaining nine caves have not been explored and measured yet," he added.
The scientists believe that volcanoes were active in the region millions years ago and curving lava flows created the cavern system.
Inside the caves, the scientists have found evidence of reptile species as well as human existence.
Thuan said a global announcement of the findings would be made after the entire cavern area has been investigated. He said he believes that this is a rare geological phenomenon.
The department also plans to profile the area and have it recognised as a geological park in the future, he added.
Experts and local authorities expect the cavern system will attract a lot of visitors, boosting tourism in the province.
"Thank to the rareness and uniqueness of volcanic caves, tourist will flock to the place in the near future," Thuan said.
"I have visited Jeju's Manjanggul already and found that the view here is more magnificent."
The head of the province's Culture, Sports and Tourism department, Le Khac Ghi, said the caves were located along the Serepok River, so travelling to the site would be very convenient.
He also said that the proximity of the caverns to the Dray Sap Waterfall will also help draw more visitors for adventure and exploration tours.
A press briefing to introduce the findings will be organised in Ha Noi in the next couple of days, he added. — VNS