Vietnam government okays cable car for Son Doong Cave

The prime-minister of Vietnam has confirmed the legendary Son Doong Cave will be getting a cable car. However, Nguyen Xuan Phuc notes contractors who build the cableway through Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park must ensure the natural environment is preserved for future generations.

The five-kilometre long cableway will lead from a station near the park’s visitor centre to the cavernous En Cave. This cave is the gateway to Hang Son Doong.

Only discovered a quarter of a century ago, Son Doong stretches for almost two kilometres underground and is believed to be the longest continuous underground cavern in the world. Stalagmites in the cave are up to 70 metres high.

Currently, access to the cave is restricted to an elite number of 800 visitors a year. These budding cavers have to join organised expeditions and pay top dollar for their unique underground safaris. While Hang Son Doong caving is by invitation only, 30 other caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang are open to the general public.

12GO ASIA notes that a cableway will make Hang Son Doong less exclusive. However, environmentalists oppose construction as they claim it will have a negative impact on the local environment. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is located in Quang Binh Province and just over 50kms from Dong Hoi Airport.

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