As one of the countries with the largest proportion of limestone area in its territory, Vietnam possesses diverse and fascinating karst landscapes (a characteristic phenomenon of limestone mountains eroded by flowing water). In these regions, besides the breathtaking karst landscapes on the surface, there is also an abundant underground karst system, known as karst caves, which adds a unique and alluring aspect to Vietnam’s karst beauty.
Inside Na Cave – Ha Giang (Image: Chu Viet Bac)
Currently, nearly 1,000 karst caves have been discovered and studied in Vietnam, but the majority of them have not been fully utilized for tourism. There is a noticeable difference in the density and scale of caves in various limestone regions. High cave density is found in two World Heritage Sites: Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and Trang An Landscape Complex. On the other hand, in the UNESCO Global Geopark of Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang province, cave tourism has not been fully developed to its potential.
Dinosaur Cave – Ha Giang (Image: Chu Viet Bac)
For instance, the stalactite and stalagmite system in Seo Ho Cave grows alongside a mysterious underground river, flowing from its source before merging with the Nho Que River. This “pseudo-stalactite” system takes the shape of shark teeth, projecting from the ceiling of Pai Lung Cave (Meo Vac), which is composed of rocks dating back 300 million years. The cave system on the karst plateau holds many enigmatic and fascinating aspects that should be researched and explored for various types of tourism, from discovery tourism to adventure tourism.
Ha Giang (Image: Vietnam Expeditions)
Cave tourism nowadays is being diversified into various forms: cave tours combined with adventure, experiential, eco-tourism, etc., allowing tourists to truly immerse themselves in nature, as if they can feel the breath and hear the voice of nature.