Inside the kingdom of caves

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Phong Nha Ke Bang national park

HANOI, March 21, 2018What to do in the home of a series of record-breaking caves, and a magnificent backdrop of Hollywood’s blockbusters? Let a Phong Nha tour show you the way.

From a less-traveled corner with a humble reputation to be one of the hottest tickets in travel, Phong Nha – Ke Bang has outdone itself with a system of the alluring and spectacular cave enchanting dozens of travel lovers annually. This UNESCO-listed destination offers any adventure seeker chances to get one in a lifetime experiences worth the discovery. Not only does it draw visitors due to some gorgeous well-trodden caves, but its karst mountains and stunning stream as well. Hence, it is quite hard to narrow down which are the best but the lowdown below on how to make the most of the Phong Nha visit may give you more insiders’ tips.

Apart from being home to the largest cave in the world, Son Doong cave, What others does Phong Nha feature?

  1. Warm up with Phong Nha cave – the nearest one to the town.

Embarking on a 25-minute boat trip, visitors will get up-close to the cave. It is by far the easiest cave to reach among others coexisting in this place.

Buy tickets at the Phong Nha tourist center with the prices of 150,000 dong for Phong Nha cave entrance fee and 360,000 for the boat to get there. However, this boat’s price is for the whole trip in your Phong Nha tour and it will be divided into the number of passengers with the maximum of 12 being on one boat. Visitors should seek the companions right at the dock to split the cost. Of course, if you want to keep the intimacy, especially when touring with family, you don’t need to share the cost with other strangers.

 The mouth of Phong Nha cave

The tourist boats putter along the river so that offer splendid chance to contemplate the poetic riverside scenery. The more you get there, the closer you will be rewarded where the cave disappears into the mountain marvelously. When the engines are cut and the roof covering is removed, it’s time for sailors ( most women) propelling passengers with their oar. Floating inside it, hundreds of cloud-like, animal-like stalactites and stalagmites come little by little in front of visitors’ eyes. A just one-hour trip inside the cave can deliver tons of aha moments leaving deepest impression on visitors’ mind.

Bear in mind that the seasonal flood in this neighborhood is from September to November, hence an increased water level. It is nearly impossible to approach Phong Nha cave in this kind of weather. You are scheduled to make a stop in Phong Nha, weather needs to be taken into account if you don’t want it ruining your day.

  1. An action-packed day in Chay river – Hang Toi (Dark Cave)

It’s not a place only for sightseeing or capturing, but also packed with delightful activities worth giving a try. Tack on a day to your itinerary in Song Chay – Hang Toi ( Chay River-Dark Cave) as it’s undoubtedly a must-visit destination hitting the highlight of your Phong Nha tour. This neighborhood will bring so much fun for anyone visiting there.

Located around 20 kilometers to the West of the Phong Nha tourism center, Chay river features a clear crystal water flow, merged with lush forest, and lies beneath soaring mountain. All of those marvelous combinations create a magnificent landscape. Buy a ticket with 450,000 dong for all-in-one type and kick off your amazing day immediately.

 Zipline on Chay River

Zipline on the height of 400 m over a forest-shaded river may make the most of the visit and offer unforgettable feelings nowhere else can have. It is also packed with a jaw-dropping view overlooking the entirely Chay River. The ending point of zipline is right in the mouth of Dark cave, hence the jumping off point to explore this one. Head torch, helmet, life jacket are the must to ensure your excursion smoothly and safety.

The light soon fades when you go further into the cavern and of course, the mouth is also left behind. It’s time to wallow and ensconce yourself in a natural mud bath with a sense of satisfaction. Round off the Dark cave tour, and paddle back to the jetty by kayaks to get involved in other water activities.

  1. Whether Phong Nha owns only caves or not? It’s Nuoc Mooc stream.

Not quite far from Dark cave, just about 1 km further to the west, Nuoc Mooc stream is a place not too challenging to distinguish. As the sound of water flow is considered the sign when visitors hit the stream already.

If you are seeking an ideal place of sun and river for relaxation, this neighborhood definitely supports your wish. Once you get there, especially in April, the season of a typical kind of orchid blossom gorgeously, words are seemingly meaningless here. The water is shallow and packed with tons of rocks and algae. The bamboo trail itself running along and over the river is just nearly one kilometer but offers a great chance to get into the jungle of a national park after seeing a plethora of caves.

 Nuoc Mooc Stream

There are two types of price comprising of 180,000 dong for all-in-one type and 80,000 dong for only sightseeing. The fact is, 180,000 option is the well-trodden choice of almost local tourists as it is packed with sightseeing, water games, kayaking, life vest, etc. As for the other, walk all the way along the bamboo path, onwards across a handful of boulders, eventually, arrive at the end of the track. Rent a life jacket with the price of 10,000 dong to have a swim, it’s also a great way to cool off.

  1. Paradise Cave:

Situated in the heart of UNESCO-listed Phong Nha – Ke Bang, about 40km from Phong Nha tourist center to the West also. Paradise cave is as yet an entirely newly-discovered one to the majority of visitors. Its draw enchants dozens of tourists flocking annually.

Kick off your Phong Nha tour by buying a 250,000-dong entrance ticket right at the ticket office, extremely close to the car park. There are 2 kilometers left from here to the foothill where 522 concrete steps are awaiting you to climb up. Hence, visitors can opt for 2 options to hit up there, one is walking and the other is using electric buggies (including fee) to ferry you a mile a minute. However, if you pick up the first one, be prepared for hiking a bit, but it’s worth it. Although it may waste time a bit, a splendid chance to enjoy fresh atmosphere offered by lush forest surrounded and the enchanting birdsong and chirps from forest bird species.

Paradise Cave

The cave’s gate is relatively narrow, just fits only one adult, though the world behind is completely opposite. Thanks to it, the inner temperate is usually around 16 degrees so that helps visitors beat the heat immediately. Its sheer scale is undoubtedly amazing despite only 1 km you can walk into, over a wooden boardwalk. The fact is it extends for up to 31 km. Once you descend into the cavern, you are rewarded its majesty. The shapes of stalagmites and stalactites resembling broccoli, mushroom or even dinosaur scales deliver a sense of excitement. Most people, as a rule, feel lost in time in this wonderland.

  1. Hang En ( En Cave)

On the way to seek the answer for the question what to do to let your hair down in the sweltering summer in a tropical country like Vietnam, the immense En Cave, a less-trodden one, will help tourists gain a sense of awe. This neighboring cave is praised “the third largest cave in the world”, a mystery worth the discovery of any adventure lovers.

 Camping in En cave

Going deeper into the West, En Cave lies imposingly and offers hundreds of opportunities for travelers, especially intrepid adventurers, to seek out one of the marvelous things of nature’s beauty.

This mind-blowing cavern is much easier accessible in the comparison with Son Dong, but still a big challenge to lots of adventure seekers. Ready to hike, but packed with incredible views, for a while before reaching the mouth of the cave. This hidden gem itself features its own waterfalls spilling into the lagoon, still spectacular shapes of stalagmites and stalactites but much more giant.

The experience it offers is undoubtedly once in a lifetime. Hard to find somewhere else can you swim through the caves, camp right on the beach inside the cavern. Mud, rock, sand, water are covered in a whole way.

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