Best Hang Son Doong photos from Oxalis Adventure

Hang Son Doong (or Son Doong Cave) is not only the largest cave in the world but also one of the most beautiful. It has everything a great cave has: an enormous size, spectacular geomorphology, geology, and a unique ecosystem.

Here are some of the best Hang Son Doong photos by photographers Tran Tuan Viet, Ryan Deboodt, Jason Speth, and Oxalis Adventure. These incredible photos have appeared in leading newspapers and attracted many tourists who wish to explore Son Doong Cave.

Best Hang Son Doong photos

The space inside Son Doong cave is so vast, with some reaching over 200m high and over 150m wide. The majestic grandeur of these underground spaces is so astonishing that it creates a sense of awe for those who walk along these corridors.

Hand of Dog is a giant stalagmite about 60m tall located between the Hope and Vision Passage and Doline 1 (the first sinkhole inside Son Doong), about 2 km from the cave entrance and 1 km from Doline 1. Source: Tran Tuan Viet.

There is an all-natural, large circular hole in the rock inside Son Doong. Many tourists refer to it as the “James Bond hole” in reference to a classic Hollywood movie, and it has amazed many explorers. Source: Ryan Deboodt.

Hang Son Doong has some of the most impressive stalagmites and stalactites in the world. Source: Tran Tuan Viet.

These rock formations were created by trillions of calcium-rich water drops over millions of years. This creates complex rock formations of impressive height, rising from the cave floor (stalagmites) and cave ceiling (stalactite). Some stalagmites rise from the cave floor like giant pillars, up to 70m tall, while stalactites hang down from the cave ceiling like massive chandeliers.

A stalactite formed from the cave ceiling not far from the location of Doline 2 behind (the second sinkhole inside Hang Son Doong). Source: Ryan Deboodt.

Hang Son Doong has many areas containing cave pearls. These are round balls of various sizes scattered on the cave floor, the result of calcite particles sticking together over the years. Source: Ryan Deboodt.

Doline 1, also known as Watch Out For Dinosaur, is one of the two sinkholes inside Son Doong. This was formed as a section of the cave ceiling collapsed about 3 km from the cave entrance. Source: Jason Speth.

Doline 1 is an iconic spot in Son Doong Cave because natural light shines through at a perfect angle during the day, creating a magical scene.

The name “Watch Out For Dinosaur” used for Doline 1 derives from the bizarre feeling of looking up high in a quiet space with light shining through. This feels as if going back in time to the era of dinosaurs. Source: Jason Speth.

Under Doline 1, there is a giant stalagmite called the Wedding Cake. Source: Ryan Deboodt.

This unique rock formation was formed by waterfalls pouring down from the cave ceiling over millions of years. Erosion creates a flat surface that spirals down in many layers like a wedding cake. Some people actually stood here once to propose. Since then, many tourists have called this rock formation the Wedding Cake.

Doline 2, about 1 km from Doline 1, is a unique sinkhole with a pristine jungle underneath, known as the Garden of Edam.

The formation of Doline 2, with a height of up to 250 m and a width of about 175m, allows light to penetrate into the cave. This creates lush vegetation and a small primeval jungle, an endemic ecosystem that can survive for millions of years due to sunlight.

Going deep into the ancient jungle underneath Doline 2, you can see million-year-old trees up to 40-50 m tall. The hazy mist makes you feel lost in the thousands of trees in the Garden of Edam.

A drone view above Doline 2 and the Garden of Edam right below. Source: Oxalis Adventure.

The scene at Doline 2 at night is even more magical than during the day. The night sky is dotted with thousands of stars, and the whole vast space is absolute silence. Source: Ryan Deboodt.

The Great Wall of Vietnam in Hang Son Doong is a massive rock formation about 500m from the exit. It has a total height of 90m, of which 25m is vertical, and 65m is inclined at 45 degrees.

The attractiveness of the Great Wall of Vietnam is its towering stature. It also blocks all exits from Hang Son Doong, making conquering it the only way to complete the journey since returning to the starting point more than 6 km away is not a good choice. Source: Ryan Deboodt.

However, conquering the Great Wall of Vietnam isn’t easy, if not the biggest challenge for anyone. Source: Ryan Deboodt.

The surface of this rock wall is slippery and uneven and is usually wet due to the humid air in the cave. This makes climbing up extremely difficult. Every step you take to conquer this is a whole challenge.

Therefore, specialized equipment has been assembled on this wall to ensure safety. Source: Jason Speth.

This includes an 18-meter-high stainless steel ladder installed at the wall’s lowest and vertical point. Safety ropes are also mounted on the inclined slope in the last 65m.

The Passchendaele Passage in Hang Son Doong Cave is a chamber about 400m long towards the end of the cave, located right under the Great Wall of Vietnam.

The unique thing about Passchendaele is the seasonal appearance of a long river about the length of the chamber. This river is only visible during the rainy season when water rises inside the cave. It’s up to 25m deep, submerging a part of the Great Wall of Vietnam above. The water of this river is a beautiful emerald color. Explorers can experience the spectacular feeling of floating on a raft before reaching the final challenge inside Son Doong Cave.

How to take great Hang Son Doong photos

To recapture the Hang Son Doong photos in the most beautiful way, you need suitable photography equipment and experience in choosing camera angles. Here are some of the best cave photography tips that Oxalis has for you:

  • Time: Choosing the right time of year is one of the important factors in getting the best Hang Son Doong Cave photos. The ideal time to explore Son Doong is from January to August. During this time, the weather in the cave is relatively dry, making it convenient to move around and choose better angles. Some rainy months during this period also allow the underground river system of Son Doong to be more active, producing more spectacular river photos.
  • Composition: Choosing the right composition is also very important to take the best cave photos. Cave photography compositions should focus on the structures inside the cave, such as stalactites and stalagmites, instead of focusing on the human subject. However, that doesn’t mean Son Doong cave pictures don’t include human subjects. When the structures inside the cave are arranged next to people, it will highlight the ratio of human size to the massiveness of Son Doong cave. To choose the best layout for taking Son Doong photos, you can ask for assistance from Oxalis tour guides.
  • Shooting angle: To capture the majestic scenery of Son Doong, use a camera with a wide-angle lens. The cave is up to 150m in width, so capturing the entire space in the cave results in breathtaking photos.
  • Lighting: Ensuring good lighting conditions in the dark environment inside Son Doong is very important. To have good lighting quality, tour guides, and safety assistants always carry high-quality headlamps. Therefore, you don’t need to bring your own lighting equipment.
  • Clothing: Tourists participating in cave exploration tours with Oxalis are advised to wear colorful trekking outfits to appear more beautiful and stand out in photos. Meanwhile, dark clothes will make the subject in the photo dim away in the dark, creating unflattering pictures.
  • Equipment protection: Son Doong has many sections with an underground river, so protecting photography equipment from water is very important. Oxalis equips each visitor with a waterproof box to preserve small-sized photography equipment.

In addition to exploring Son Doong, Oxalis offers many options for exploring other caves hidden in the heart of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Check out all Oxalis tours, choose a cave exploration journey, and capture moments of a lifetime!

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