National Geographic : 2011 Jan
then, as my pupils adjust, I'm surprised to make out a faint, ghostly light ahead. I pick my way through the rubble, almost running from excitement, rocks scattering beneath my feet and echoing in the invisible chamber. Traversing up a steep slope, I turn a ridge as if on a mountain- side and am stopped in my tracks. An enormous sha of sunlight plunges into the cave like a waterfall. e hole in the ceiling through which the light cascades is unbelievably large, at least 300 feet across. e light, penetrat- ing deep into the cave, reveals for the rst time the mind-blowing proportions of Hang Son Mist sweeps past the hills of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, its 330 square miles set aside in 2001 to protect one of Asia's largest cave systems. Dur- ing the Vietnam War, North Vietnamese soldiers hid in caves from U.S. air strikes. Bomb craters now serve as fishponds.