Vietnam, April 14th, 2022 – Today, Son Doong cave in Quang Binh, Vietnam, was officially discovered in 2009 as the world’s largest cave – is featured as Google’s Doodle on the Google homepage of 17 countries and territories, including Vietnam, Virgin Islands (US territory), UK, Sweden, Greece, Singapore… On this occasion, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism is coordinating with Google, Quang Binh Department of Tourism, and Oxalis Adventure to promote the beautiful Son Doong and Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park as a kick-start of a tourism promotion for Vietnam post-pandemic.
Majestic Son Doong promoted in 17 countries and territories
Today, Doodle Son Doong cave is featured on Google’s homepage to celebrate the day this majestic and largest cave on Earth was officially discovered on an expedition by the local farmer Ho Khanh and a group of the British Cave Research Association. Doodle Son Doong recreates the legendary scene of the giant doline located further inside the cave. The breathtaking limestone forms and different shades of wild forest greens are lit up under the sunbeams. The giant sinkhole allows sunlight and rainfall to nourish the ecosystem of the primary forest, which is home to various creatures such as squeaking bats, and howling monkeys. The whole first-growth forest that is strongly growing right in this majestic cave will continue to amaze any Son Doong visitors, even professional explorers.
Son Doong’s admirers can view this Son Doong Doodle on the Google homepage across 17 countries and territories: Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras Republic, Mexico, Moldova Republic, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Virgin Islands (US territory), and the United Kingdom. This is how Google has been showing support for Vietnam’s culture – cuisine – attractions and promoting them to the world.
Son Doong cave – One-of-a-kind natural wonder in the world
Son Doong cave was certified by the Guinness World Records, World Records Association as the most extensive cave globally, with 150 meters by width, 200 meters by height, and up to 9 kilometers by length. Son Doong cave is nestled in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park – the largest national park in Vietnam covering an area of around 1,233km2 (~304k acres) . Phong Nha – Ke Bang is dubbed as ‘cave kingdom’, as besides over 350 caves were discovered, here not only you can find the world’s largest cave but also the world’s 3rd largest cave – En. One can check in both caves in one trek expedition when En cave is chosen to be the first checkpoint on the first day of the 4-day Son Doong trek.
Known as “the king of caves”, Mr. Howard Limbert – one of the very first BCRA members that discovered Son Doong cave in 2009 – stated: “I was fortunate to have explored 700 caves throughout Vietnam, and 350 of them are in Quang Binh. And it’s really something to discover the largest cave in the world only in this 21st century. Imagine you found a taller mountain than Everest. [..] I believe Son Doong is unique and not yet fully studied. Big caves have clouds in large chambers but have jungles in the cave and their own weather system – I think Son Doong is pretty unique. There are new species to be discovered by scientists… We hope in the near future to bring experts on plants and bats to study as there is still a lot of work to be done. The final underwater section is still to be completed.”
To explore and witness this majestic world’s natural wonder, ‘explorers’ will experience a combination of adventure sports in one expedition, such as forest trekking, stream wadding, hiking, and even kayaking during the rainy season… which requires some reasonable physical strength and trekking experience. In the past 5 years, Son Doong cave has welcomed 3,500 visitors to explore the cave; Oxalis Adventure – the sole Son Doong expedition tour revealed.
The majesty and wildness create the rare beauty of Son Doong Cave ( Photo by Oxalis Adventure )
Join hands to promote Vietnam – Live fully in Vietnam
Mr. Nguyen Le Phuc – Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said: “The Son Doong cave honored on Google’s homepage today is the pride of Quang Binh and of Vietnam’s tourism industry in general. As the largest cave in the world, surely the grandeur, unique terrain, and beautiful scenery of Son Doong will give visitors an impressive and overwhelming experience. I’d like to mention that Vietnam has officially reopened to international tourism with simple entry approvals and testing rules; we have also resumed normal visa issuance policies. Everything is ready to welcome travelers from all over the world to come and have the full experience in Vietnam.”
Visitors interested in Son Doong cave can also enjoy the 360-view and admire its beauty on Wonders of Vietnam – an online exhibition on Google Arts & Culture (GAC) launched at the beginning of 2021. Here, 35 exhibitions and thousands of photos and videos of Vietnam can be accessed within a few clicks to bring out the true experience of Vietnam’s cultures, ancient histories, arts and cuisines for online visitors. This is also one of the projects that the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism cooperated with Google to promote Vietnamese destinations and tourism.
“In recent years, Son Doong cave has been an iconic attraction also to promote Quang Binh and Vietnam tourism to the world. People of Quang Binh and myself are proud to see Son Doong featured on Google’s homepage to acknowledge its beauty and value and introduce it to the world. Thanks to the development of the tourism and conservation plan of Son Doong within Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, it has created many job opportunities for the local people, contributed to economic restructure, improved the quality of life here and located Phong Nha- Ke Bang on world travelers’ maps.” Mr. Ho An Phong – Vice Chairman of Quang Binh Provincial People’s Committee
“2013 marked a remarkable milestone for Oxalis when the Son Doong expedition proposal was officially proposed to the People’s Committee of Quang Binh province for approval. Up till now, Son Doong cave has contributed tremendously to the tourism of Quang Binh, helped to create stable jobs for local people, and the economic development of the province. Notably in 2019, Son Doong was introduced to nearly 100 film producers, directors, and scene directors right in the world’s movie capital Hollywood as a ‘perfect aesthetic’ destination for films. We continue to design special types of tourism to bring attraction to Quang Binh tourism in the future.” Mr. Chau A Nguyen – Director of Oxalis Adventure Tour, shared.
Besides Son Doong doodle, Google has promoted iconic Vietnam’s culture, cuisine and destinations in the past, such as Banh Mi doodle, Phở doodle, Hoi An ancient town doodle as a commitment to promote Vietnam to the world.
*) Doodles are the fun, surprising and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists. Since 2003, the Vietnam Google homepage (Google.com.vn) has placed many Doodle masterpieces as Google’s way to honor the unique culture in Vietnam as well as celebrate traditional festivals such as Vietnamese Teacher’s Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, Lunar New Year, National Day, special characters such as songwriter Trinh Cong Son, poet Xuan Quynh, artist Bui Xuan Phai…