Phong Nha Cave
Phong Nha Cave was first “discovered” in 1899 and has had many purposes since then.
During the Vietnam / American war the cave was used as a hospital to store and hide equipment. The Phong Nha cave is not the only cave in the area that was used for military purposes. Many other caves were used as hide-outs, weapons arsenals and bomb shelters!
In 1992 a group of British scientists joined the Hanoi University on an expedition inside the cave, with the mission to fully explore the cave and document it.
Between the 18th of march and the 18th of April several expeditions were organised and the group had successfully discovered 7,729 meters of cave with a maximum height of 50 meters and a maximum depth of 83 meters. The Phong Nha cave is the longest wet cave (or river cave) in the world. The extremely large subterranean river system is running through the entire cave, however, there are some large dry chambers in the cave which the water doesn’t reach anymore. The cave is divided in to three different sections, each section is home to different animal species and there is a big difference in temperature.
This expedition and documentation was the reason for opening it up for tourism in 1995.
Not long after the opening of the Phong Nha Cave to the public a artificial lighting system was installed in 1998. However, in 2012 the current president of the company changed the lighting which helped reduce the damage to the cave and create incredibly beautiful ambiance.