Vietnam’s pre-eminent caveman

11:29 | 21/04/2017 Travel

(VEN) - The “Quang Binh in the heart of Hanoi” program (introducing Quang Binh Province’s tourist potential and offerings to Hanoians) took place from March 25-27 in Hanoi. British explorer Howard Limbert, who discovered the Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh Province, talked about a quarter-century of discovering caves in Vietnam at the program’s March 26 talk in Hanoi.  

Howard Limbert has explored a large number of caves all over the world and had for years wanted to work in Vietnam. He sent a letter to the National University, Hanoi expressing his desire. He was warmly welcomed and helped in organizing expeditions to Vietnam.

Over 25 years in Vietnam, he has placed his footprint throughout this S-shape country, but most of his time has been spent in Quang Binh Province. “Phong Nha was the first cave we explored. It has now attracted a large number of tourists. However, there have been so far three people, including me, putting footprint at the far end of the cave,” Limbert said.

Howard Limbert said his team has explored a lot of caves and grottoes in the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park during 25 recent years. According to him, Vietnam has the most magnificent cave system in the world and he thanks his lucky stars for having been the first person to methodically chart Son Doong, the largest known cave in the world.

Howard Limbert and his team

Limbert has so far discovered 300 caves in Quang Binh. But while this is an impressive number, Limbert says these account just about 25 percent of total number of limestone caves and grottos in Quang Binh. He is certain there are many unexplored imposing and beautiful caves, quite possibly more grandiose than Son Doong.

According to Limbert, Vietnamese youth should take part in cave expeditions. His team has worked with the National University, Hanoi since 1999. During the expedition in Quang Binh, he received significant support from local people, some of whom are experts on the cave system and local jungles and have a lot of experiences to share.

Howard Limbert hopes that in the future, Vietnamese themselves will explore all the caves in Vietnam. He and the British Cave Research Association are willing to provide Vietnamese youth with equipment and training on expedition techniques.

Regarding cave protection and tourism development, Limbert emphasized that this, too, should be undertaken by Vietnamese themselves. “Son Doong and other caves in Vietnam are still unspoiled sites, which is so rare today in the world. I hope that we can work together to protect Son Doong so that more and more people can come and enjoy this magnificent cave,” said Limbert.

Howard Limbert said there are many unexplored caves in Quang Binh, which is home to the most gorgeous cave system in

the Southeast Asia just awaiting to be explored. He himself also plans to continue with his quest.

Hoa Quynh