Beautiful Vietnam » Guide
The river of no return
  • | SGT | May 01, 2012 10:14 AM

Traveling by boat about two kilometres on the Son River and tourists will arrive at the mystic Phong Nha Cave.


A boat tour on the mysterious Son River to visit Phong Nha Cave

Tourists are impressed by mighty mountains of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park when the boat rides slowly on the green river. The name of the river, “Son,” refers to a faithful love originated from a folklore.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl, who was daughter of a hunter living by the river, and was good at playing flute. Once, while playing the instrument, she saw a shooting star crossing the galaxy to descend in the forest. A young man then appeared and rode a horse towards her. She fell in love with him at the first sight and got on the horseback to stroll around with him. Before saying goodbye to her, the man gave her a ring and told her that he would come by her side when she whispered his name to the ring.

But the girl’s beauty attracted a local landlord, who many times proposed to her. Because she refused his proposals, he locked her up on the top floor of his castle. The girl then looked for the ring but she had lost it. She decided to jump out of the window to the ground, where water from nowhere formed a stream. Wherever the stream passed by, fields of rice, sweet potatoes, sugarcane and mulberry appeared. A hermit from the northern region on his way looking for herbal medicines was surprised by the weird green river, and he named the river “Son.”

On a boat painted with a dragon’s head, visitors will contemplate daily activities of locals by the river banks. At a juncture, they will turn left towards Phong Nha Cave. Upon entering the cave, boatmen turn off the engine and paddle the boat into the dreamland.

According to local tour guides, when water from the ceiling of the cave drops onto someone, he or she will be lucky. Such clever words make travelers exciting though almost everyone is hit by water drops when they go deep into the cave.

The Son River is part of the underground river of Phong Nha Cave, stretching 44km from Laos. The British Cave Research Association has assessed that the cave system is one of the most valuable caves in the world because it has the longest underground river, the highest and largest cave entrance, the widest and most beautiful sand dunes, and the most beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. In 2003, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park with the 7,729-metre-long Phong Nha Cave was recognized as the world’s natural heritage site.

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