In 1991, a farmer by the name of Ho Khanh was taking a walk in a Vietnamese national park when the ground suddenly crumbled beneath him. Unwittingly, he'd discovered the largest cave in the world, now known as Hang Son Doong.
When we say that Hang Son Doong is the largest cave in the world, we aren't exaggerating. Although there are areas that have not yet been explored, it's believed to be at least five miles long, 500 feet wide, and 650 feet tall. As you'll see, it's unlike any cave you've ever seen before.
Although the entrance to the epic cave was discovered in 1991, it was too steep to enter casually. In 2009, explorers finally ventured inside.
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Once inside, they were shocked to find that Hang Son Doong has its own rainforest, river, and even climate.
To fully explore the cave, one must first climb over the 200-foot "Great Wall of Vietnam." It's a harrowing feat, but the view on the other side is worth it!
There's all sorts of untouched jungle just waiting to be explored.
Not to mention breathtaking walkways that water's carved into rock over the course of centuries.
Of course, there are plenty of stalactites and stalagmites.
And an unforgettable reflection pool. Don't let looks fool you, though -- ponds in the cave can reach depths of over 300 feet.
Hang Son Doong is also home to the largest collection of cave pearls in the world. The spherical formations of calcium salts are just as beautiful as their name suggests.
If you travel down the river, you'll find something truly magical.
A spot to camp on this cave beach! Seriously, can you imagine spending the night in a place like this?
With so much to see and explore, I definitely wouldn't be able to sleep.
As of now, exploring the cave is no easy feat. It takes over a day of traveling in the jungle to reach the entrance, not to mention the grueling physical challenges that wait inside.
For around $3,000, you can hire a guide to take you on a two-day journey through the cave. However, in 2015, only 500 permits were issued. Vietnam is anxious to preserve this national treasure.
I don't know about you, but this place is at the top of my bucket list! Even if I never get to visit in person, seeing the breathtaking pictures is a journey unto itself.
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Be sure to SHARE these images with your adventurous friends and family! And if you've been lucky enough to visit, let us know all about your trip in the comments below.