22/05/2020 09:41 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

The experience of being 7km deep in Paradise cave

Most visitors who have been to Paradise cave, located in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, are only allowed to explore just the first 1km into this cave along a wooden staircase and boardwalk under bright lights. Very few, however, know that there is the unique experience of going 7km deeper into the cave for adventurous cavers.
Before starting the journey, a tour guide provided each caver with basic information about the trip, a personal forehead flashlight and a pair of sandals. After finishing the first 1km into the cave, we started to go down and had to turn on our flashlights to explore the next 7km.

After about 500m, we saw water evaporating into the air, making the spectacle more fanciful through the glimmer of steam. Under our feet were stalagmites in different shapes. Going deeper into the cave, we encountered colorful stalactites.

We met a group of foreign tourists on their way out. They happily greeted us and said: "Keep going, there are many interesting things inside". Thanks to their encouragement, we continued to wriggle through narrow paths. Sometimes, we even had to crawl through.

A tour guide provides tourists with basic information about the trip. Photo: Ba Ngoc

Each caver is provided with a personal forehead flashlight. Photo: Tat Son

Tourists admire the beauty of the Paradise cave. Photo: Tat Son

Droplets of water fall from the ceiling. Photo: Tat Son 

Going deeper into the cave, tourists see more diverse and unique stalactites. Photo: Tat Son 

Tourists explore the Paradise cave. Photo: Tat Son

Beautiful space inside the cave. Photo: Tat Son

A small stream inside the cave. Photo: Thanh Giang

A small stream of clear water inside the cave. Photo: Tat Son

The stalactites are as big as sand dunes in the desert. Photo: Tat Son

Massive stalactites inside the cave. Photo: Thanh Giang 

Tourists take photos of stalactities. Photo: Tat Son

Skylight - the final stop of the 7km deep trail in Paradise cave. Photo: Ba Ngoc 

The temperature of the cave was only about 18 degrees Celsius so we felt a little cold, especially when droplets of water from the ceiling fell down on us. Thanks to the flashlights, we admired stalactites that could be imagined as pyramids, terraces or banners of silk.

We then wove through small openings, clung to the rock and struggled down a slippery road to reach the underground stream. Normally, visitors choose to explore the 7km trek in the dry season. In the rainy season, water reaching the ceiling of the cave forces adventurers to return after the first 4km.

We had to put things in plastic bags and roll up our pants to wade through the stream. There were some parts where water was up to our necks so we had to carry everything on our heads. Passing through the 100-meter-long stream, we eventually saw the cave arch which is said to reach the highest point in the cave. Feeling the breeze blowing, we knew that the journey had almost come to an end.

The final stop of the journey was a place called skylight. At this time, afternoon sunshine through the skylight made the natural wonder even more beautiful.

We finished the journey at dusk. Despite being a bit tiring, this 7km trek made us realize how nature can be so close but still hide mysterious treasures. This adventurous trek is an unforgettable memory in the journey to discover the land known as "The cave capital of Vietnam"./.

Story: Ngan Ha - Photos: Tat Son,
Thanh Giang & Ba Ngoc