THE CAVE OF THE MOUNTAIN RIVER AND ALL ITS TREASURES
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
Vietnam is not only known among people worldwide as the tiny land that has challenged American military strength and political concepts but also as the natural pearl. It is hidden among rich natural parks, beautiful landscapes, mystical rain forests with millennial old trees, breathtaking beaches and protected wildlife. Once you are there, you feel all the vibes of the wildness and you think you have always been there, in harmony with the world that is awaking up slowly, for thousand years. The alluring texture of the country is mesmerising, shy but intensive. The love you have for Vietnam is one that will burn your heart for eternity.
The discovery of the world largest cave the Son Doong in Vietnam has inspired many people to keep dreaming about the unknown universe of natural beauty, suddenly offered by scientists. The cave has been found back in 1991 by one local explorer, Ho Khanh. In 2009, a British expedition lead by Howard Limbert got into the cave’s interior, giving the first impressions about the size of the new cave. Not long after, the scientists concluded that the Son Doong is 9 km long, 200 m in width and about 150 in height. That was enough to put her on the top and the Malaysia’s Deer Cave on the second place. According to scientific writing, the cave has its own unique ecosystem:“It is home to a river, jungles, and entire cave ecosystems. Only slightly less remarkable is the fact that, until 2009, we did not even know how grandiose and impressive Son Doong (or Mountain River) Cave really is.The water and limestone that carved it over millions of slow, patient years have created spectacular and unique formations. Occasional collapses in the roof have allowed underground jungle ecosystems to form, and with them, all-new species that have never been seen anywhere else. Rare cave pearls, ancient fossils, and towering stalactites form around a river running through the caves, which are so large that they form their own clouds.”
There are some mysteries about this marvellous cave. First of all, it has been hidden for so many decades and peasant Ho Khanh ,who has been searching once a shelter from the rain, stumbled on the great jaws of the wild and angry nature. The tale about Son Doong has been born. Some geologists have claimed that the mentioned cave has been formed for about 2 – 5 millions years and that the permanent erosion and water influence have shaped the perfect tunnel. Just to imagine its glory, we should think that it has been called THE Great Wall OF VIETNAM and THE GARDEN OF EDEN. It is not only about its untouched and rare harmony but about the fact that biodiversity in this cave is one of a kind. It could be probably because the human race has been out of this paradise on the Earth and could have not ruined the natural order as it is for centuries.
The cave’s jewels are also very authentic and there are some evidences that cave pearls are as big as baseball. The whole new world has been unveiled und unavailable for human race for such a long period of time and now it is opened, naked and endangered to be sent into the commercial jeopardy and total destruction because of the greedy corporations, uneducated local tribes and tourists without basic respect for natural miracles. If we keep in mind that skilled British guiders organise the visit for everyone who has to pay about USD $3,000, it is not difficult to suppose where the Mountain River Cave will end up in some years from now. It is actually a crime against our Planet and its ecosystem. The people themselves are so ignorant and interest oriented that they will do all what is possible to turn stones into gold and cave jewels into millions of dollars. It is only about profit and Vietnam grotto will be just one more victim on the Altair of human bestiality.
I am afraid even to think about so many visitors over there, who are tracing the lost treasures of the Son Doong cave, turning their cheap values into the unforgetable experience that will distract the texture of the nature over there and will leave the footprints of human superiority. Unfortunately, there are not many of those who have money and high awareness at the same time, majority of rich and spoiled human beings will behave in this cave like gladiators in antique arena. They will take it, conquer it and forget it as soon as the credit card doesn’t note anymore missing USD $3,000.
It makes me sad, as any of us who are deep in wildlife conservation, that every time the scenario is the same. The science makes progress and lights on the diamonds of the nature but mass is trying to turn it into everyday menu, to unveil it and digest for a fun. It is not depth in such approach but only corrosive ego that ruins all what could be ruined and as soon as it possible.
The travel portals list this destination as one of the hottest, that has to be on everyone’s Bucket list. This further means that this cave, north of Hoi An, is expected to draw 1.35 million tourists by 2030. It is very ambitious plan that requires a lot of logistic support and operational background. There have been some suggestions to build a cable car network that has caused a lot of arguments and disagreements and it has been stopped for now. The environmentalists do not give up to condemn the mass tourism and its malign impact on the vulnerability of the mammoth cave systems found in the jungles of Vietnam. The project of infrastructure and potential construction of cable car transport within the cave could bring the new 2.000 jobs to the poor community but it would damage the fragile cave interior design and dynamic of wildlife. It would be like we have let the Hell into the Heaven without taking any responsibility.
My point is not about banning tourism in this region but about keeping it under rational control and balance. The tourism should not be a terrorism against the Earth. We have only one Planet and we are continually destroying it and sucking its energy, blood and hope. If we don’t stop, we will be gone like dust in the wind, in one second, as the species that has never understood the life circle, the symbiosis.
SAVE THE SON DOONG BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!