Vietnam cave to offer zipline, race event

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The famous cave system Phong Nha-Ke Bang in Quang Binh Province will add a zipline by the end of this month and host a hiking race in March.

Site managers said Tuesday that the zipline will run above the Chay River into Toi (Dark) Cave, allowing tourists to slide into the cave or release themselves for a river bath.

The race will be developed into an annual event to make use of the natural advantages of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which won UNESCO heritage recognition in 2003 thanks to its 300 different caves and grottos with unique limestone structures and the oldest karst formation in Asia, dating back some 400 million years.

Site managers said the park attracted more than 3,500 tourists during the first four days of Tet (Vietnam’s New Year) starting last Friday, up 30 percent over Tet 2013. Foreign visitors increased by 25 percent.

Only some of the caves are accessible to the public, including Tien Son that was reopened January 1 after ten-month hiatus for a VND15 billion (US$713,000) installation of floors and lights, the world’s largest cave Son Doong, and Paradise, which was named the most beautiful cave in the world and the longest dry cave in Asia by a British Cave Research Association team who came following discoveries by local man Ho Khanh.

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