Questions 11–15

Match the creatures to their behaviour.

Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D next to each description.

Questions 16 and 17

Answer the questions below. Write ONE WORD ONLY for each answer

Questions 18–20

Complete the sentences below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer



You will hear a tour guide talking to a group of tourists who are visiting a cave in Vietnam First you have some time to look at questions 11 to 15.

Now listen carefully and answer questions 11 to 15.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our visit to one of the most famous caves in Vietnam.

As you know, this cave is famous for its wildlife, and one of the creatures you will observe in here is the small cave cockroach. They live mostly on the bird and bat droppings that are so plentiful in the caves. The guardrails along the trails are covered with these droppings, and this makes a feast for the cockroaches, so be careful where you put your hands. They will not harm you, but it can be a shock if you touch them!

Once you are in one of the main caves, look out for the green centipedes. They will not be on the trail but can often be seen on the wall close by. They feed on other insects and are fascinating to look at because of their colour, and, of course, their many legs. Please, please do not try to pick one up though; these centipedes have a very nasty poisonous bite. There are also deep red millipedes. These have a fully rounded shape, and they look like a streamlined elongated train with a hundred or so closely packed legs extending right and left.

When you get to the large high caves, you should look right up above you for the swifts and bats. The bats in this cave are mostly a type of dwarf bat, which are common in this part of the world. They will be clustered high up against the walls – maybe a hundred or two hundred together. They look like shadows high on the walls of the cave. They are likely to be very quiet right now, but because there are so many of them together you will have no difficulty identifying them. They sleep all day until they all leave the cave in a massive flock on their nightly hunt for flying insects.

The swifts are the creatures you can see flying around during the day, especially if they have young ones to feed. They can navigate in the darkness here, and will fly outside in ones and twos at dusk to catch small winged insects like mosquitoes. However they tend to return before it is pitch black outside, and they do not hunt at night. The swifts make nests, usually higher up on the ceiling of the cave.

Before you hear the rest of the talk, you have some time to look at questions 16 to 20

Now listen and answer questions 16 to 20.

The paths tend to run around the edges of the large caves. Mostly this is because the centre is a mound of guano – the bird and bat droppings. This is also the source of the strong smell inside the caves. You may not like this smell, but the locals know its economic value. They have harvested the products of these caves for centuries. The guano is very valuable as fertiliser, and so it’s collected each year, once the young birds have grown and the swifts have abandoned their nests.

The guano is not the only valuable by-product of the wildlife here. As you travel through the caves, you will notice some bamboo structures. These very flimsy looking sets of poles that go a full hundred metres, right up to the roof, are what the locals climb up to gather the swift’s nests. These are even more valuable than the guano, as they are the main ingredient in bird’s nest soup.

Before you begin, it’s time for some safety instructions. As you probably know, this is a huge limestone cave that goes about one kilometre back into the hills and in places it’s a hundred metres in height and three hundred metres wide. There is no need to crawl around in here as you do in other caves, but it is dark inside, of course … that’s why I insisted that you bring a working light – please check that it shines brightly, and ensure that you stay together with others who have a good torch. In one of the larger areas of the cave, the roof is pierced so some sunlight will get through. It is best to turn your torches off if you can see well, and save your batteries.

It is a good idea to put your waterproof jacket on now. The walls may be wet but that is not the main reason for the jacket. The bats and birds do excrete, and they are above you, so just in case … and of course, your hat or hood also keeps you safe from animal droppings. It’s not advisable to use the guardrails as handholds. There are lots of droppings on those rails, and don’t forget the cockroaches!

You absolutely must follow the marked trails. The guardrails on either side are put there so that you cannot mistake them. We take no responsibility for your safety if you go over or under the rails into other cave areas.

Keep your torches shining on the path whenever you are moving, just to be sure of your footing, and don’t try to go too fast. You might trip, and you will certainly miss some of the fascinating wildlife in the cave.

Now it’s time to begin the tour …

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