Monday, April 16, 2012

Cruising on Son River | Look At Vietnam

Cruising on Son River

April 17, 2012
Tourists often take the two kilometer cruise on Son River to see the mysterious and magical Phong Nha Cave and I bet none leave disappointed.

The gate to Phong Nha Cave on Son River.
The green river brings to travelers relaxing and amazing experiences as the wooden boats smoothly drift along ambling streams amidst the beautiful limestone mountains.
It is interesting as you wait for the magnificence of Phong Nha-ke Bang National Park slowly appearing as if it is luring tourists into a wonder land. The peace of the still water and the beauty of the surroundings will help tourists to erase daily stresses and tetchiness.
The name ‘Son’ refers to faithful love, and comes from a folklore love story of a beautiful girl who lived nearby the mountain and played her flute as a call to her lover. However, a cruel tyrant wanted her and detained her in the top floor of his castle when she rejected his proposal. The girl couldn’t bear it and jumped from the window prompting God to release the heavens into the area where she fell. The streams of water started to flow into a river and helped form a mulberry plantation, sugarcane farms and potato and rice fields contributing to make the area peaceful and fruitful.
As they flow down the river, tourists will have a chance to witness riverside activities such as the buffalo drinking water, fishing boats anchoring in, and the noise of fishermen as well as see a few homes tucked on the walls of the mountain.

We were startled as the boat engine was turned off as we heard paddling sounds and started to sense a chill in the dark space as the boat entered the cave.
The Son River is geographically part of the underground river of Phong Nha Cave, stretching 44 kilometers into the neighboring country of Laos. It has been graded as the most valuable cave in the world by the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) for four outstanding features: namely the longest underground river, highest and largest cave mouth, prettiest and broadest sand beaches and most beautiful stalactites. Furthermore, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.

The mysterious view of inside Phong Nha Cave.
Phong Nha Cave was discovered inside the Ke Bang limestone mountain at the end of the 19th century. Champa scripts carved on steles and altars were also found inside the cave whose dry grotto was named Bi Ky in 1992 when 15 BCRA explorers conquered the 7,700 meter Phong Nha Cave in 34 days.
Although only a kilometer of the cave has been exploited for tourism, Phong Nha remains an attraction thanks to its mystery and hidden charm. In the darkish scenery the imagination of tourists can turn stalactites and stalagmites into many kinds of animals, an imperial palace, or even a pillar inlaid with sparkling gemstones.
Returning on the Son River, where the water ebbs and flows around the boat in a fascinating green color, tourists always look back in awe at the triangular mouth of the cave which has garnered the attention of tens of thousands of curious people.
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