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Nature & Adventure

Overwhelmed Kong Collapse, the deepest "super sinkhole" in Vietnam

Translated by Bing
To reach Kong Collapse sinkhole (Quang Binh), trekkers have to walk more than 20km of forest roads, penetrate 6.5km of caves, swim through underground rivers about 500m with a water temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius.
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Kong Collapse or Kong Sinkhole is located deep in the Tiger Cave system, Phong Nha - Ke Bang area, Quang Binh province. Kong was first found in 1997 by a British royal cave expert during an annual exploration in Phong Nha - Ke Bang.


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At that time, this sinkhole was only accessed by swimming through the bed of Dai Arabia Cave, also known as Tiger Cave. It all stopped there and this sinkhole was temporarily called a closed sinkhole because it could not find an exit. Cave experts left a big question mark on the cave map.


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More than 20 years later, Mr. Le Luu Dung (CEO of Jungle Boss) a cave explorer in Quang Binh discovered an eye socket of this super sinkhole, thanks to a drone. When flying the drone to the full range, this super sinkhole appeared with a peculiar shape of King Kong monster, a very famous character in the blockbuster Kong Skull Island filmed in Quang Binh earlier.


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With curiosity, Dung and his team planned to explore the mysterious rock niche. The group had to walk for 6 hours, swimming through the Tiger Cave. After that, people followed the direction of the drone by opening the forest road themselves, crossing a steep slope, without human footprints, tracing the path to follow the footsteps of the chamois.


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"The members who went up to Kong's sinkhole said the way to Kong's peak was as difficult as going to the sky because the path was full of sharp cat-eared rocks. The slope is vertical, one side is the cliff, the other is the abyss. But Kong was so beautiful, I couldn't believe I was standing in a giant sinkhole," Liu recalled.


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According to experts, Kong Collapse is a big surprise in the limestone mountain system of Phong Nha - Ke Bang. Because this type of cave is very strange and miraculous that nature has created for millions of years. Most of the caves have a vertical height, no different from huge skylights, and the slope is very little.


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The process of measuring the depth of the Kong sinkhole has given unexpected results of up to 450m. At the same time, 3 paths to be able to enter the sinkhole are swimming through Dai A cave, swinging overhead from the crater or being able to walk, although it is a bit difficult. Kong Collapse is recognized by cave experts from the American Cave Society NSS as the deepest sinkhole in Vietnam, and has become one of the deepest sinkholes on the planet.


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Reaching the Kong sinkhole is the most difficult cave adventure tourism journey in Vietnam today. With many harsh challenges such as trekking, swimming in dark caves, exploring 3 caves in succession. Especially swinging from a vertical height of 100m, from the eye socket of Kong Collapse sinkhole to the bottom.


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U.S. cave experts conducted surveys, assessed safety, and developed their own operating formula for the sinkhole rope swing. With extremely strict requirements such as load-bearing rope anchoring system, 3-seat belt system including main swing rope, safety rope controlled by safety team and rescue rope in case of unforeseen circumstances.


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All safety equipment must be imported from international standard manufacturers such as Petzl, Kong, CLimbing Technology ... Safety staff and guides must be qualified and fully meet the skills of handling rescue and responding to unforeseen situations.


Participants must meet the criteria set forth such as: Mandatory age from 16 to 65, no symptoms of fear of heights, high blood pressure, bones, joints, cardiovascular diseases ...


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Currently, Kong sinkhole has been put into tourism operation with the support of experts and porters. Guests need to pay about 35 million VND/tour/guest, with about 60 hours of exploring. However, only those who pass the medical examination and safety skills test will be allowed to join this rope swinging journey.


Photo: Le Luu Dung

Source: Dan Tri

Image source: Multiple authors
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