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SUMMARY OF CAVING EXPEDITIONS TO QUANG BINH PROVINCE
The first British Vietnamese Caving Expedition took place in 1990. Our colleagues from Hanoi University with their knowledge of Vietnamese Geology were able to suggest several interesting areas for caves. The Ke Bang Massif in Quang Binh province was to be our first taste of Vietnamese caving. In the week reconnaissance in the area the team were able to begin exploration of Phong Nha cave and Hang Toi cave. 7,950m of new cave was explored and surveyed on the expedition to Quang Binh. Many other caves we were told about and we planned to return as soon as possible.
A return trip in 1992 led to the exploration of many fine caves in this area. Phong Nha was explored to a conclusion at 7729m. Hang Toi was extended to a final length of 5258m and initial exploration of the Hang Vom system began. Hang Cha An was explored for 667m and Ruc Caroong for 2800m. It became obvious that there were two separate drainage systems, the Phong Nha system and Hang Vom System. The team also visited Minh Hoa district and explored Ruc Mon for 2863m. In total 13,655m of new cave was explored and surveyed.
Continued exploration brought the length of Hang Vom to 15,050m. Further upstream in the system, Hang Dai Cao (1645m), Maze Cave (3927m) Hang Ba (988m) and Hang Ca (1075m) were explored. The Phong Nha system was extended by the exploration of Hang Toong (3351m), Hang En (1645m) and Hang E (845m).
In Minh Hoa district Hang Tien was discovered and explored for 2500m.
The total cave surveyed and explored in 1994 in Quang Binh was 29,910m
Progress into the more remote areas continued. The upper reaches of the Vom system included the exploration of Hang Ho (1616m), Hang Over (3244m) and Hang En 845m. The main river sinks for the Phong Nha system were investigated, Khe Thy and Khe Ry and Khe Tien. Hang Khe Ry turned out to be a very long river cave and was explored at the time for 13,817m.
The total caves explored on this expedition was 20,483m
On this expedition we only had a short time in Quang Binh but we were able with a five day underground camp in Hang Khe Ry to explore the cave to its exit below Hang En. The full length of Khe Ry was 18,902m and the longest cave in Vietnam and probably the longest single river cave that can be negotiated underground in the world. Hang Phong Nha Kho was also surveyed and was 981m.
The total caves explored on this trip was 6625m
We only had a five day camp in Hang En on this trip which led to the discovery of Hang Lanh a resurgence cave and one of the feeders to the Phong Nha system. This cave was 3753m long. Also Hang Doi (453m) and Hang Ca (361m) were explored in this area. The total explored and surveyed was 4690m
With again a brief visit to Quang Binh this year enabled us to explore another cave in the Hang Vom system called Hang About for 820m. The exploration of Hang Nuoc Nit (2205m) and Hang So Doi (1124m) extended the Phong Nha system still further.
The total cave explored was 6257m
This 4 week expedition to Quang Binh was the first trip to Quang Ninh district with the Cha Rao cave and Birthday cave the main discoveries. Also working from Ruc Caroon the top most point of the Hang Vom system a number of discoveries were made such as Hang A Cu (640m) and Hang Klung (1086m). The final part of the expedition was to the East of the Chay River, where a number of vertical systems were discovered Salt and Pepper to 178m. The longest cave found in this area was Hang Nuoc Lanh (964m.)
A short trip up the new Ho Chi Minh Road into Minh Hoa enabled us to check out a new area and this yielded typical Vietnamese river caves in Hang Ma Nghi(611m) and Hang Thuy Van.(691m)
The total cave explored was 12094m.
A small team of 6 spent time in Quang Binh completing Hang Cha Rao discovered on the 2005 trip. The cave finally sumped after 2623m. Caves around Hang En were discovered such as Vu Ca Tau (329m). Another river cave upstream of Hang En called Hang Hong was explored for 717m. More time was spent at the top end of the Hang Vom system and caves such as Hang Cung (488m) and Nuoc Dong (480m) which is the upstream of Hang About discovered in 2003. Searching for the gap in the Phong Nha system downstream of Hang En we discovered Hang 30 (693m) and Hang Rua (440m.)
The total cave explored was 4173m
A 2 week trip to Quang Binh discovered 2 large shafts, one in the Phong Nha system. This called Nightmare cave (780m) and Hang Circle (1251m) filled the gap between Hang Cha Anh and Hang Thung. The longest cave discovered was in Minh Hoa province near the Loas border called Hang Cha Lo (4873m). The area seems likely to yield more caves and gives access to new parts of the Ke Bang Massif.
The other large shaft around 3km from Hang Vom was not completed and will be a main objective in 2009.
The total cave explored was 7564m
This 4 week expedition to Quang Binh discovered a very important cave between Hang En sink and Hang Thung. This cave Hang Son Doong has the largest cave passage yet discovered in the world. At 6481m it was the major find of the expedition, and the cave is still continuing. Hang Du at -166m and Hang Vuc Tang -232m are both continuing and more rope required. Over in Minh Hoa a number of discoveries were made the main one being Ruc Ca Xai 578m. We have been told of other caves in the area. Diving was done at upstream Hang Vom but unfortunately did not yield the passage we hoped. The main resurgence of the Chay River was dived to -35m and is still continuing in large underwater passage. Noise cave was dived but the current was too strong to push the cave when it surfaced. Two Caves Hang Gio 549m and Hang Lau 510m were explored also to the East of the Chay River, Hang Lau is still continuing.
The total cave explored was 11,506m.
Son trach 1990
Son Trach 2009