Barren gorges alternate with densely overgrown rainforests. Low-hanging clouds give the shots a mystical look. We are looking at the Son Doong Cave (Pronounced: Son Dohn) in Vietnam. Discovered in 1991, opened up in 2010 and from 2014 accessible to 30 visitors a year. One of them is Malte Clavin (50) from Kreuzberg.
The Berliner found paradise in the deepest hole on earth!
In the BZ, the adventurer and photographer shows his holiday pictures.
At 11,000 kilometres from Berlin, in Phong Nha Ka Bang National Park, lies the largest cave in the world. The length of the TV tower fits in there 22 times. Son Doong is up to 200 metres high. “It makes you feel minuscule,” says Malte Clavin.
The entrance to the mega-cave is 50 kilometres north of the provincial capital Dong Hoi. To reach it, Clavin’s travel group, including 20 local porters, treks through the jungle for an entire day. They sleep in tents. The expedition underground lasts five nights in total.
“It’s physically and mentally challenging,” says Clavin.
“Right at the beginning we had to abseil down 80 metres. Then we crossed slippery rocks down to a river. By the time we had waded through it, my legs were full of leeches.”
“The photos are true treasures that will forever remind me of this paradise.”
Seven different animal species, including scorpions and bats, live in the cave system. It even has its own ecosystem with two rainforests.
Malte Clavin’s tour leads past surreal-looking rock formations, crystal-clear lakes and through narrow cave passages. “Some were so small that I had to take off my photo equipment to fit through,” he says. “But despite that exertion: I would do this trip again anytime.” If only it wouldn’t be so costly… 3,500 Euros!
Clavin’s conclusion: “The photos are true treasures that will forever remind me of this paradise.”
Photos: Malte Clavin | Text: Esther Keller
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Son Doong in Vietnam
To the center of the earth! The most spectacular trip I’ve ever done: the Son Doong cave expedition in Vietnam. First, it’s through leech-infested jungle. Then, abseiling down into the cave, over sharp rocks, through underground lakes, gigantic shafts. Absolutely breathtaking!
Son Doong Cave Expedition
I can’t say it any other way: this was the most awesome thing I’ve ever done: The five-day expedition through one of the largest caves in the world in Vietnam. I couldn’t forget the amazement and sweating.