Saturday, September 14, 2013

HANG ĐỘNG SƠN ĐOÒNG-QUẢNG BÌNH

Tìm được hang động lớn nhất thế giới tại Việt Nam

Mia De Graaf

Couple from Bradford discover the world’s largest cave in Vietnam, which is 5.5miles long and could fit a 40-storey skyscraper in it

Son Doong, in Quang Binh, Vietnam, was discovered in 2009 by Howard and Deb Limbert from Bradford
They gave up jobs as biomedical scientists in the NHS to explore caves around the world

There is no record of humans visiting the underground forest
Tress up to 50 metres tall have flourished thanks to large entrances letting in sunlight

PUBLISHED: 07:42 EST, 12 September 2013 | UPDATED: 14:03 EST, 12 September 2013

This is the jaw-dropping hidden utopia that a Bradford couple chanced upon on holiday.
The underground cave is showered with sunlight that pours through two huge entrances, allowing trees up to 50 metres tall to flourish.
Tucked behind a mountain in Vietnam, Son Doong – meaning river mountain – has sat peacefully under the human radar for as long as records can show.

Caves are defined as ‘big enough for a human to fit inside’. Towering above its minuscule explorers, this cave has shocked nature experts.
Scroll down for video
Harold Limbert pictured at a massive entrance to the cave. Married couple Howard and Deb Limbert have opened up the amazing Son Doong cave, the largest cave in the world, to adventure tourists after discovering it in 2009

Harold Limbert pictured at a massive entrance to the cave. Married couple Howard and Deb Limbert have opened up the amazing Son Doong cave, the largest cave in the world, to adventure tourists after discovering it in 2009
The cave is an indoor jungle 
The cave is located in the mountains of in Vietnam. They heard about the cave from a local man, Ho Khanh, who had taken shelter from a storm in the entrance to Son Doong, in the mountains of Quang Binh 20 years ago

The couple heard about the cave from a local man who had taken shelter from a storm in the entrance to Son Doong, in the mountains of Quang Binh 20 years ago
The first public tour in August 2013 camps on the floor of the cave. Mr and Mrs Limbert were joined by six tourists, 16 porters, two UK guides, a Vietnamese English-speaking guide, two National Park rangers and a porter manager


The first public tour in August 2013 camps on the floor of the cave. Mr and Mrs Limbert were joined by six tourists, 16 porters, two UK guides, a Vietnamese English-speaking guide, two National Park rangers and a porter manager

Measuring 5.5 miles long, it is home to a lush green forest, cascading waterfalls, giant stalagmites and stalactites and a river. The cavern is so large, a 40-story skyscraper could fit within its walls.
The luscious underground forest is home to all sorts of cave-dwelling creatures from flying foxes to monkeys.


The cave was first explored in 2009 by Howard Limbert, 56, and his wife Deb, 53.
The couple, who met at a school caving club, took a gamble four years ago when they dropped their NHS jobs in Bradford to travel the world in search of new and exciting caves.

They heard about the cave from a local man, Ho Khanh, who had taken shelter from a storm in the entrance to Son Doong, in the mountains of Quang Binh in Vietnam 20 years ago.


Rare


Rare ‘cave pearls’, calcium formations, on the floor of the cave. Mr Limbert said: ‘Son Doong is unlike any other cave on the planet. We were so lucky to have the chance of being the first people to see this new wonder of the world.’

He heard the sounds of a powerful river and rushing wind, but was too afraid to venture further in.
Mr Khanh told the Limberts about his discovery when he led them as a guide through the Vietnamese mountains in 2009.

Mr Limbert said: ‘Son Doong is unlike any other cave on the planet.
‘We were so lucky to have the chance of being the first people to see this new wonder of the world.
‘It is always very exciting to explore somewhere where no one has ever visited, but to have the chance to explore Son Doong was very special indeed.‘ 
Howard and Deb Limbert, in the foreground, look on as a tourgroup member explores the cave in the distance

Howard and Deb Limbert, in the foreground, look on as a tourgroup member explores the cave in the distance. The couple have been overwhelmed by requests to join expeditions into the world’s largest cave and expect all 220 places on tours next year to be snapped up fast

Members of a tour party cross a river in the cave. The couple used to work for the NHS as biomedical scientists and spent most their holidays on caving expeditions



Members of a tour party cross a river in the cave. The couple used to work for the NHS as biomedical scientists and spent most their holidays on caving expeditions


The couple, married for 34 years, relocated to Vietnam permanently and set up a business leading tour groups to the heart of the cave.


There have now been 25 specialised expeditions into Son Doong since the cave was first discovered.
And last month, in a groundbreaking adventure, Mr and Mrs Limbert led the first public tour.


Six tourists went on the first trip, accompanied by 16 porters, two UK guides, a Vietnamese English-speaking guide, two National Park rangers and a porter manager.

To enter Son Doong the group of international tourists from Britain, Australia, the USA and Norway, had to abseil down through the thick forest under the caves entrance.
Mr Limbert said: ‘We have probably lived in the cave now for over four months in total.


‘The tour is incredibly popular and all clients taken so far say it is the greatest adventure on the planet.’
The couple have been overwhelmed by requests to join expeditions into the world’s largest cave and expect all 220 places on tours next year to be snapped up fast.
An expedition member in the cave. Records do not show any human activity in this underground world which could hold a 40-storey skyscraper

An expedition member in the cave. Records do not show any human activity in this underground world which could hold a 40-storey skyscraper

Harold Limbert pictured in one of the largest caverns in the cave.


Harold Limbert pictured in one of the largest caverns in the cave. It has many compartments and species that the couple, who met in a caving club at school, have yet to discover. They have moved permanently to Vietnam to continue their exploration
The couple used to work for the NHS as biomedical scientists and spent most their holidays on caving expeditions.


Mr Limbert said: ‘We have both been exploring caves for most of our adult life and it has enabled us to visit some wonderful places in the world and meet some fantastic people. We are lucky that we both have the same interest.
We explored the caves of the UK during our first few years of caving and still continue to explore the fascinating caves of Britain.


‘We caved in Europe and then later in Mexico, Borneo, Australia and New Zealand.
‘We first visited Vietnam on a caving expedition in 1990 and now we have explored over 200m of new unexplored caves during the last 23 years of our work in the country.’


The intrepid couple believe there may be a larger cave for them to discover yet.
Mr Limbert said: ‘We still believe that an even larger cave could be found in the remote mountains in central Vietnam.
‘We are leading an expedition of British cavers in March and April next year to continue our work in the area and hopefully find another cave larger than Son Doong if that is possible.
‘We have only explored around a quarter of the remote mountains and our guides have found many entrances for us to visit.

‘Hopefully early next year we will have the chance to explore more amazing caves in the area.’
Tourists explore the world’s largest cave in Vietnam
Tourists explore the world’s largest cave in Vietnam

Video: Oxalis
*****
Source:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2418621/Bradford-couple-discover-worlds-largest-cave-Vietnam.html



The Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam.

A British caver wades through Vietnam's Son Doong cave, Earth's largest known cave passage, according to a survey team.
Photograph by Barcroft/Fame Pictures
James Owen
Updated January 3, 2011 (Published July 24, 2009)
UPDATE: See more pictures of the cave, plus full coverage and an interactive map in the January 2011 National Geographic magazine.
A massive cave recently uncovered in a remote Vietnamese jungle is the largest single cave passage yet found, a new survey shows.
At 262-by-262 feet (80-by-80 meters) in most places, the Son Doong cave beats out the previous world-record holder, Deer Cave in the Malaysian section of the island of Borneo.
Deer Cave is no less than 300-by-300 feet (91-by-91 meters), but it's only about a mile (1.6 kilometers) long.
By contrast, explorers walked 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) into Son Doong, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, before being blocked by seasonal floodwaters—and they think that the passage is even longer.
In addition, for a couple of miles Son Doong reaches more than 460-by-460 feet (140-by-140 meters), said Adam Spillane, a member of the British Cave Research Association expedition that explored the massive cavern.
Spillane was in the first of two groups to enter the cave. His team followed the passage as far as a 46-foot-high (14-meter-high) wall.
"The second team that went in got flooded out," he said. "We're going back next year to climb that wall and explore the cave further."
(See photographs of the Son Doong cave.)
Laser Precision
A local farmer, who had found the entrance to the Son Doong cave several years ago, led the joint British-Vietnamese expedition team to the cavern in April.
The team found an underground river running through the first 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) of the limestone cavern, as well as giant stalagmites more than 230 feet (70 meters) high.
(See pictures of giant crystal formations in a Mexico cave.)
The explorers surveyed Son Doong's size using laser-based measuring devices.
Such modern technology allows caves to be measured to the nearest millimeter, said Andy Eavis, president of the International Union of Speleology, the world caving authority, based in France.
"With these laser-measuring devices, the cave sizes are dead accurate," he said. "It tends to make the caves smaller, because years ago we were estimating, and we tended to overestimate."
Eavis, who wasn't involved in the survey, agreed that the new findings confirm Son Doong's record status—despite the fact that he had discovered Borneo's now demoted Deer Cave.
"This one in Vietnam is bigger," Eavis conceded.
However the British caver can still claim the discovery of the world's largest cave chamber, Sarawak Chamber, also in Borneo.
"That is so large it may not actually be beaten," he said. "It's three times the size of Wembley Stadium" in London.
Noisy and Intimidating
Son Doong had somehow escaped detection during previous British caving expeditions to the region, which is rich in limestone grottos.
"The terrain in that area of Vietnam is very difficult," said expedition team member Spillane.
"The cave is very far out of the way. It's totally covered in jungle, and you can't see anything on Google Earth," he added, referring to the free 3-D globe software.
(Related: "Google Earth, Satellite Maps Boost Armchair Archaeology.")
"You've got to be very close to the cave to find it," Spillane said. "Certainly, on previous expeditions, people have passed within a few hundred meters of the entrance without finding it."
The team was told that local people had known of the cave but were too scared to delve inside.
"It has a very loud draft and you can hear the river from the cave entrance, so it is very noisy and intimidating," Spillane said.
Bigger Caves Waiting?
Of more concern to the caving team were the poisonous centipedes that live in Son Doong.
The explorers also spotted monkeys entering through the roof of the cave to feed on snails, according to Spillane.
"There are a couple of skylights about 300 meters [985 feet] above," he said. "The monkeys are obviously able to climb in and out."
A biologist will accompany the team on its return visit next year to survey the cave's subterranean wildlife.
Eavis, of the International Union of Speleology, added that there are almost certainly bigger cave passages awaiting discovery around the world.
"That's the fantastic thing about caving," he said.
Satellite images hint, for example, that caves even larger than Son Doong lie deep in the Amazon rain forest, he said.

 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090724-biggest-cave-vietnam/


No comments: