Already home to one of the world's most famous, record-breaking cable-car rides, gondola enthusiasts in Vietnam (and they totally exist) are about to be in cable-car heaven.
A local construction firm wants to build the longest cable car system on the planet, and they want to build it INSIDE one of the world's largest caves. No, we are not making this up -- the Vietnamese are just that crazy.
The developer, Sun Group, hopes to build a seven-station, 6.6 mile-long cable car network (at a cost of $212 million) between three caves: Tien Son, Phong Nha, and Son Doong.
As awesome as it sounds, though, the project is not without its critics. As a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, Son Doong could suffer under the weight of a cable car attraction and the throngs of tourists it would bring. Currently, the cave is limited to a mere 250 visitors per year.
“I personally find the project a bad idea", Howard Limbert, head of a British cave exploration team in the area, told Vietnam's Tuoi Tre News. "The damage to Son Doong cave would be irreversible, and the cable cars would rob the cave of its pristine charms and the adventure thrills it has to offer."
Sun Group's CEO Dang Minh Truong maintains that Son Doong won't be harmed by construction, citing the fact that more than 80 UNESCO sites already offer cable car rides. Come on, everybody else is doing it!
While the company's received approval to survey the cave ahead of construction, opponents aren't giving up yet, and are circulating a petition to be presented to (and no doubt ceremoniously ignored by) the government. At the time of publication, they had 6,795 signatures.
With no start date for construction set, the prospects of the cave cable car continue to hang in the balance.
Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.