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!