This January I was once again presented with the amazing opportunity to do some more photography work in Son Doong cave thanks to Oxalis. (Photos from my previous trip to Son Doong.) Oxalis needed to prepare some things for the upcoming tours and I was able to tag along with Howard, Deb, Watto, Adam, Bamboo, Thanh, and the brilliant porters from Phong Nha on their trip into Hang Son Doong. I have to say that these photos wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous help from everyone.
Unfortunately we were in some tight time constraints as we only had one full day in the cave and it was a long 10 hour day taking photographs. This trip I was better prepared with flash bulbs from Meggaflash and homemade bulb firers that could be triggered wirelessly. This made photographing the cave/daylight points much easier and I’m incredibly happy with how they turned out.
It’s incredibly difficult to put into words how amazing Hang Son Doong really is. From the shear size of the cave to the two doline where plant life has started growing inside the cave. It is truly otherworldly and something that probably can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world.
We also were incredibly lucky to witness sunbeams in Hang En the last morning we were there. At first we didn’t think it was going to happen as with was cloudy and foggy outside. Everyone decided to call it and head back towards civilization, but I wanted to stay and Thanh was kind enough to stay back with me. When the clouds broke and sunbeam started forming my breath was taken away. It was an absolutely incredible sight.
I will leave you with the rest of the photos from the trip. I hope you enjoy!
Last August I was given the fantastic opportunity to photograph the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong, for Oxalis. Trekking deep in the jungle of Phong Nha Ke Bang to explore this enormous cave is one of the most incredible experiences I have had.
I have to begin by saying that these photos wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous help of the others that were on this trip with me, Howard, Deb, Phuong, Sam, Tessa, Akiko, and Rick as well as the superb porters from Phong Nha led by Ho Khanh. This epic trip began with an hour long car ride to the start of the trek. The trek was as you would expect any jungle trek to be, muddy and lots of leeches. After several hours we reached Doong village, which is a village of around 30 people living inside Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.
After a short break at Doong village, we continued on to what would be our camping spot for the night, Hang En. Hang En is a spectacular cave as well. It isn’t very long but inside it is massive and looking out the exit of the cave is absolutely stunning. If you aren’t able to make it to Son Doong, I highly recommend a trip to Hang En.
After overnighting in Hang En, we wake up early the next day to continue on to Hang Son Doong. The trek follows a stunning river valley until going up, and up, to a very unassuming cave entrance. It is incredible just how small the cave entrance to Son Doong is and it is no wonder that stayed unknown to the world for so long (discovered in 1991 by Ho Khanh, explored in 2009 by the BCRA). After a 60 meter descent into the cave, we were finally there, inside the world’s largest cave. We would cross underground rivers, see what are probably the largest stalagmites in the world (80 meters high), see 300 million year old fossils embedded in the limestone, and witness some of the greatest and most unique views on this planet. I will leave you with the photos I took inside Hang Son Doong. Enjoy!