The 2010 expedition to Vietnam was our 20th anniversary of caving in Vietnam. This was our 13th expedition since 1990 and the 2010 expedition was possibly the most important for Vietnam and especially the world heritage site Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

The 2010 expedition was over a ten week period with the first 3 weeks involved with a National Geographical film crew. The aim of the expedition was to assist in making a film of Hang Son Doong discovered on the 2009 expedition and possibly having the largest cave passage in the world.

As well as a film crew National Geographical Magazine also planned on producing a large article on Hang Son Doong. Therefore over half of the expedition’s time was spent on assisting both National Geographical teams. We do hope that the film and the article do justice to the outstanding natural wonder that is Hang Son Doong.

During the 2010 expedition we managed to explore and survey over 15k of new cave. We extended Hang Son Doong to 7.6k and 440m deep. Magnificent river caves were explored in Minh Hoa district as well as huge high level caves.

We visited many new areas deep in the Ke Bang Massif which have tremendous potential. Much more is waiting to be discovered.

Like all our previous expeditions we were assisted greatly by Hanoi University of Science. It was an extremely difficult expedition to organize with all the special permissions that were necessary for film and press in Vietnam. The visas, permissions, freight were all expertly achieved in a very short space of time and Mr. Nyguen Hieu especially gave a lot of time and effort in making sure the expedition was a huge success.

Again the local guides and our jungle men were the stars of the expedition. We used our usual guides and porters who we all have a huge respect for. These men look after us during our ventures into the jungle. Without these people we would not be able to achieve anything like the success.

There is still so much to do in this huge karst massif. I believe that larger/longer/deeper caves are still to be discovered deep in the massif. Future trips will require teams to stay in the jungle for up to 10 days which will be difficult with the terrain and lack of water in certain places.

We plan to return in early 2012 to continue our work in the amazing Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

Howard Limbert

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