A British travel blog Globalgrasshopper included Ha Long Bay and Son Doong Cave on its 2015 list of the most beautiful places to visit on Earth.
Ha Long came in third on the list of “breathtaking” places and Son Doong seventh.
Ha Long is a UNESCO heritage site in the northern province of Quang Ninh, around 165 kilometers from Hanoi.
The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and islets of varying sizes and shapes along with myriad caves and grottos.
The blog also praised Son Doong, the five-kilometer-long cave system that contains at least 150 individual grottos, a dense subterranean jungle, and several underground rivers. Being 150 meters high and 200 meters wide, it assumed the status of the world’s largest from Deer Cave in Malaysia, which is 148 meters high and 142 meters wide at the widest part.
“The caves are so large that humans exploring them look like ants,” the blog said.
An explorer inside Son Doong Cave. Photo credit: Oxalis
Son Doong was first discovered in 1991 by local resident Ho Khanh, but attained world fame in 2009 after being explored by members of the British Cave Research Association with Khanh’s help.
Both Ha Long and Son Doong are popular tourism destination in Vietnam, so popular that human intervention, has always been a concern.
Authorities in Quang Ninh are considering bids from two major private business groups, Bitexco and Tuan Chau, who are offering to clean up water pollution and eliminate tourism scams.
GlobalGrasshoper is created and managed by UK-based duo Becky and Gray as a resource for independent travelers.
Their top-ten list also includes the Grand Canyon and Midway Islands and Salar de Uyuni (the world’s largest salt flat) in Bolivia.