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Take a look inside the world’s largest cave

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Son Doong Cave in Vietnam – which is so big it contains a jungle and a river – is now open for public tours. But don’t expect it to become crowded: just 224 tourists will be permitted to visit this year

It’s so big you could fit a 40-storey skyscraper inside, but Son Doong cave remained undiscovered until a local man found it in 1991. Even then, no one explored beyond its vast entrance until British cavers visited in 2009. All photographs: Ran Deboodt

Ropes and harness are needed to get inside Son Doong, and any visitors will need to rappel 80 metres to reach the cave floor.

Pilot tours took place in August, but so far only 10 people have visited. Oxalis Adventures have been working closely with the government to ensure a sustainable future for the cave: this year they are able to take 224 tourists to Son Doong.

The first night of the six-day tour will see visitors camp near the Hand of Dog, a giant stalagmite said to resemble a dog paw.

Inside the cave is a huge river – but the source of it remains unknown. In March, a team from the British Cave Research Association, who first explored Son Doong, will return to try and shed more light on the cave’s many mysteries.

New species of plant have been discovered by scientists within the cave’s lush interior.

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Boating Underground

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One of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Beaches, boats, bats and caves – for an experience like no other, put the Puerto Princesa Underground River on your bucket list! The Underground River, as it is also known, or shortened even more to PPUR, was recently officially named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Where else can you combine tropical white sand and waves, outriggers and canoes, stalagmites and stalactites, monkeys and monitor lizards all in one experience? Oh, and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, besides!

The Underground River is located in the Philippines, on the island of Palawan. If you look at a map of the Philippines, Palawan is the long skinny island off by itself at the westernmost part. Palawan is known as the Last Frontier of the Philippines, as it is one of the least developed islands, with the most virgin forest still intact.

Our family is proud to call Palawan our adopted home. We first moved here about 30 years ago, in the early ’80s, so have seen the island grow and change. We really love Palawan. And we like to make sure our visitors fit in a trip to the Underground River when they come.

I personally think the entrance to the Underground River is one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.

Source Bucket List Publications Read a great story

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