Thursday, October 18, 2012

Paradise (Thiên Đường ) Cave

Thiên Đường cave is situated the forestry sub-region of ecological recovery and the limestone core region of the World Natural Heritage of Phong Nha - Kẻ Bàng, Bố Trạch district, Quảng Bình province. This is among caves which do not have underground rivers and was discovered by explorers of the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) and geographical professors of the Hà Nội University in 2005.

Thiên Đường cave - Photo: Quang  Huy

Thiên Đường cave is some 7km from the Western branch of Hồ Chí Minh Road. Nature forms special features for the cave from the entrance gate to holds inside. Lying in the middle of the mountain side, the cave is surrounded by well-off old and wild forests. Despite being a 4km part of the cave being discovered, Thiên Đường shows the value of a karst structure which appeared millions of years ago, creating a mysterious beauty of pillars of stalactites.

The gate is small and is enough for a person to come in. It lies under a stone mountain of more than one hundreds of meters high. A 15m slope running to the cave foundation has a sophisticated shape with a countless number of big and round stalactites. The two sides of the slope have many traces of collapse and pillars of stalactite lying in disorder in different shapes.  The cave ceiling is over 100m high and over 200m wide.

The cave arch lies high hundreds of meters surprisingly with lots of block and pillar stalactites. A plain of tens of stalactite heaps of between 30 and 60cm high lies on the cave foundation looks like statues of Buddha and shapes of tigers, elephants and fish. A number of stalactite heaps look like gold lame if under the lamplight. The cave’s temperature stands at 20 – 210C. 

Stalactites inside the cave look very strange with the silver white color and big and round pieces like tidily-arranged metal coins. The ranges of stalactites are around 60cm high and at right angles to one another, creating tanks with limpid water.

The tour to Thiên Đường cave is scheduled to open on occasion of April 30 and May 5, using bikes and horse-drawn carriages to mitigate environmental impacts and also to help visitors to see Phong Nha – Kẻ Bàng primeval forest. 

Vietnam Tourism Review 5/2010

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