In America, ABC’s “Good Morning America” program broadcast live footage of the caves of En and Son Doong at the World Natural Heritage Site of Phong Nha – Ke Bang in Quang Binh province in central Vietnam. It took place at 6pm on May 13, Vietnam time, 6am on May 12, Eastern Standard Time in the US.
This is the first time a place in Vietnam ha been broadcast live to the American audience.
After two months of preparation, the ABC crew of 12 members, with the support of more than 100 people, worked in the cave of Son Doong for the live broadcast of two hours.
The biggest difficulty of the crew was to move 150 suitcases of equipment, including seven aerial cameras and ten generators from London and the US to Quang Binh to the caves. They needed the assistance of 150 strong local men to do this.
Here, the crew was divided into four groups: the group of cameramen, the aerial camera group, the lighting and the satellite technical group.
Well-known reporter s,Ginger Renee Colonomo who hosts “Good Morning America” and “ABC World News Tonight” was the host of the broadcast.
Maria Stepfanopoulos, in charge of producing “Good Morning America”, said that this was the first time ABC had broadcast live from a cave. She also said the crew had one of th emost wonderful experiences of their life. Bringing the stunning images of this natural wonder to the audience is important because most Americas and the world do not know about this cave.
At 6am (US time), “Good Morning America” aired. In the first scenes, Son Doong cave was discovered gradually after the footsteps of presenter Ginger Zee. Moving deeply into Son Doong, many fossils were revealed.
Inside the cave there are tropical forests, white sand grounds and a mysterious system of plants.
In the cave 200 meters high, the scene was magnificent with images of a paradise that stunned viewers.
En Cave looked like a paradise on Earth, with systems of magnificent stalactites, the home to thousands of swallows.
Inside the world’s biggest cave and hidden deep in the jungle, the crew discovered the spectacle and overwhelmed scene: The sun shone down on the ground through the broken cave ceiling of hundred meters high. The cave is large enough for two Boeing 747s and high enough to accommodate an 80-storey building.
The cave has an underground river and limestone mountains dating back 2 million years.
Ginger Renee Colonomos said that this was the most dangerous and remote site that she had ever visited. The crew had to walk for several days, through jungles, to reach the cave.
They used aerial cameras to capture the images of places where cameras could not reach.
During the process, the crew faced many difficulties and were warmly assisted by the Vietnamese.
Golden opportunity for Vietnam tourism
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam appeared on the show as a special guest.
In the interview with Ginger Zee, the Deputy PM referred to the nation’s socio-economic strategy, sustainable tourism development and tourism’s contributions to economic growth and local people’s incomes.
Expressing his gratitude to ABC News for choosing Viet Nam for its “Good Morning America” TV show, the Deputy PM presented the attractiveness of the nation’s culture, landscapes and hospitality, expecting that Vietnam will receive more foreign visitors in the future.
Tran Tien Dung, Vice Chairman of Quang Binh province, said that ABC’s program was a rare opportunity to advertise Vietnam tourism to the world.
“We hope that through this program, people around the world will know about the magnificent beauty of two of the caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province,” Dung said.
Nguyen Chau A, Director of Quang Binh-based Oxalis Ltd., which provided logistic services to ABC to organize the program, said that ABC invested $380,000 in this program and Oxalis contributed $85,000. A said that this was a huge amount for a live-broadcast program in Vietnam.
Howard Limbert, a British cave explorer and one of the two discoverers of Son Doong Cave, said that this was once-in-a life-time opportunity for Quang Binh and Vietnam in general because ABC is a global media corporation, with tens of millions of viewers.
“Good Morning America” has been on air for 40 years and is currently the top-watched TV program in the morning in the US.
Just hours after the broadcast, ABC News’s Facebook page received nearly 10,000 “likes” and hundreds of comments.
“Paradise on earth”, “amazing”, “awesome”, “breathtaking” … were the general comments of the American audience after the show, including many celebrities.
On Twitter, basketball star LeBron James wrote that what he had watched was “unbelievable”.
Meanwhile, a spectator named Jill D. Morgan called Son Doong cave “an incredible discovery.”
Others said they were very impressed with the new species in Son Doong cave.
Many viewers also expressed their jealousy as saying that Ginger Zee had the “world’s best” job.
Along with praising this natural wonder, many viewers expressed the hope that Son Doong cave will be preserved well and not be destroyed by humans.
A spectator named Tracy Lynn Graham called on Vietnam to find a balance between tourism and protection of this “paradise on earth”.
Discover the stunning beauty of Son Doong and En cave in pictures, provided by Oxalis and cut from ABC’s clips: