April, 04 2014 09:10:00

Son Doong Cave: how can we balance between exploring and preserving the cave's natural beauty?

Son Doong Cave. — Photo quangbinhtourism

Son Doong Cave – the world's largest cave located in the central province of Quang Binh, has been named on a list of "28 incredibly beautiful places you won't believe actually exist" by Buzzfeed – a New York-based social news and entertainment website.

The entrance to the cave was first discovered by a local man in 1991, and was further explored by a group of cavers from the British Cave Research Association in 2009.

The cave, which is believed to have been created 2-5 million years ago by river water eroding limestone underneath a mountain, has been opened to tourists. It costs about US$3,000 per person, and the tours are already fully booked until 2015. Only 220 permits have been issued this year for tourists to explore the cave.

Although the demand from tourists to explore the cave is increasing, a tour can only cater for groups of two to eight people. This is aimed at ensuring their safety because the tour includes adventurous hikes; as well as preserving the natural beauty of the cave.

Do you plan to explore the world's largest cave? Please share with us experiences from your countries on how to balance between exploring natural sites and preserving their beauty?

Please reply by email to: opinion@vnsmail.com, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, April 10, 2014. — VNS

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