Phong Nha – Ke Bang: A Place to Immerse Yourself in Pristine Nature (Updated!)

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is a world heritage with the pristine beauty that nature has gifted local people. The harmony of primary forests and Son river, as well as dry caves and watery caves, creates an ink painting seducing tourists. Phong Nha – Ke Bang is located in Bo Trach Commune, Quang Binh province, over 40 kilometers from Dong Hoi City. Most vehicles drop you off in…

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Phong Nha - Ke Bang: A place to Immerse Yourself in Pristine Nature

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is a world heritage with the pristine beauty that nature has gifted local people. The harmony of primary forests and Son river, as well as dry caves and watery caves, creates an ink painting seducing tourists.

Phong Nha – Ke Bang is located in Bo Trach Commune, Quang Binh province, over 40 kilometers from Dong Hoi City. Most vehicles drop you off in the central city, so you need to find another way to reach the destination.

When to Visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang?

The spot has a tropical monsoon climate while being influenced by the environment of the South and the North. Thus, there are two seasons in Quang Binh.

The dry season (from April to August): this is a convenient time to explore the caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang. While the outside temperature is about 36 degrees, the atmosphere inside the caves is quite cool, with a temperature of 20 degrees.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang: A place to Immerse Yourself in Pristine Nature
You can visit more destinations in Phong Nha – Ke Bang if you come in summer

The rainy season (from September to the next March): the province welcomes Northeast monsoon; the average rainfall is from 2.000 to 2.300mm per year. On stormy days, the water in Son river rises too highly to find the way to the Phong Nha caves (watery cave). However, you can visit other dry caves such as Tien Son and Thien Duong. As a side note, pay attention to planning and preparing appropriate clothing.

Phong Nha Cave

This 8-km-long cave is the most highlighted and on the list of the caves owning the longest underground river in the world.

The only way to reach the cave is going by motorboat. The cave brings you a pleasant feeling. On summer days, the bright sunlight in Quang Binh is quite hot, but as soon as you enter inside, the temperature falls into 17 to 19 degrees. During the excursion along 600 meters inside, visitors have a chance to admire the majestic natural scenes of the most fabulous cave.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang: A place to Immerse Yourself in Pristine Nature
The beautiful cave will make you astonished

Then, you can discover Co Tien cave and Cung Dinh cave to see multi-colored stalactites in various shapes, also listen to the party music of the mountain god. Besides, spend some time enjoying the splendid limestone chambers and corridors covered by sparkling stalactites, all of which bring an exciting feeling as if you are inside the mouth of a giant monster.

Entrance fees: 150.000 vnd (children below 1.3-meter-tall is free of charge)

Boat fares: 360.000 vnd/ maximum of 12 people with life vests (including children)

Thien Duong Cave

Known as a palace underground, Thien Duong is one of the most fanciful and gorgeous caves in the world. It lies inside a complex of limestone mountains with a height of 191 meters, surrounded by primary forests of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Scientists consider it the longest dry cave in Asia.

Once entering into the cave, you will get lost in a world of stalactites which has beautifully been named by explorers. For example, Thach Hoa Vien Palace is a stalactite of Ever Virgin Mary holding a baby on her arms, while Giao Tri Palace is the place where Allah holds meetings with his courtiers, around them appears unicorns and phoenixes. Compared to Phong Nha cave, this cave possesses more stalactites in various shapes.

As the name, Thien Duong cave looks like a magnificent paradise

Entrance fees

Adults: 250.000 vnd

Children (from 110cm to 130cm): 125.000 vnd

Children under 110cm are free of charge.

Shuttle electric cars

4-seat cars

One-way tickets: 60.000 vnd/turn

Round-trip tickets: 100.000 vnd/turn

6-seat cars

One-way tickets: 90.000 vnd/turn

Round-trip tickets: 150.000 vnd/turn

8-seat cars: 200.000 vnd/turn/round-trip

14-seat cars: 350.000 vnd/turn/round-trip

Chay River – Toi Cave (Dark Cave)

Belonging to the Phong Nha cave system, the cave was studied in 1990 and 1992 by researchers from British Royal. Like many other caves in the area, it contains both dry and wet parts with a width of 5.258 meters and a height of 80 meters. The researchers called it Dark cave since the dark light seems to be extraordinarily dense as if people can touch it.

The cave remains pristine with thousands of stalactites in diverse and distinctive shapes, which is the shelter of bats, swallows, and, particularly, Ha Tinh langurs – a kind of primate on the Red Book of Vietnam. Due to the location near a river with high humidity, the stalactites here are covered by a large number of mosses, creating a featured green. There is no light system, so you need to climb a 1-kilometer stair, then discover it on your own by the light from headlamps. You can also take part in trying zipline and other fun games.

Dark cave offers you many charming scenes

Fees

Adults (above 130cm, from 40 to 90kg): 450.000 vnd, including zipline through Dark Cave, exploring Dark Cave, mud bath, kayaking, zipline and bathing on the river, dangerous bridge, volleyball, underwater activities, and safety equipment.

Children (from 90cm to 130cm): 150.000 vnd, including discovering Dark Cave, mud bath, underwater games, kayaking with parents, and safety equipment, exclusive zip lines, and risky activities.

Children (below 90cm): free, including a swimming pool for kids.

Mooc Stream

You can reach the site by driving about 10 kilometers from the Phong Nha tourist area or taking a boat from Son river, then turn to Chay river about six kilometers. Dissimilar to other spots in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, the ecotourism area still keeps its original and charming beauty of dreamy landscapes and fresh air, which attracts travelers to come to relax.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang: A place to Immerse Yourself in Pristine Nature
You can take part in various water activities on Mooc stream

Fees

Package tours (comprising swimming on the stream, cliff jumping, kayaking, and safety equipment):

Adults: 180.000 vnd

Children (above 130cm): 100.000 vnd

Common entrance fees: 80.000 vnd (children under 130cm are free of charge)

Gio Waterfall (Wind Waterfall) – Botanical Garden

It is a must-see destination for those who are interested in wild nature and mountain climbing. You will have a chance to visit an exhibition of rare fauna and flora of the National Park.

The diverse plant and animal system is waiting for you to discover

Then, you will walk on a narrow trail to enter into the old forest to discover the top of the Wind waterfall. The more you go, the fresher the air is, the more comfortable you feel. After 15 minutes of trekking under the foliage of primary forests, you can see the fall with white bubbles – a majestic picture of nature. Then, head to Vang Anh lake to freely relax and swim under the lukewarm and crystal water while contemplating great hornbills and enjoy the dances of peacocks – one of ten most alluring birds in the world.

Entrance fees

Adults: 40.000 vnd

Children: 20.000 vnd

Tam Co Cave

This cave is a part of the relic system of Ho Chi Minh Road, which was recognized as a national relic in 1986.

Being a sacred spiritual site, the cave used to be the most place to be bombed to prevent the support to the South from the North. On 14 November 1972, an American aircraft used a bomb to collapse the entrance of the cave, killing eight girls of Vietnamese voluntary youth force.

The cave is associated with a story of eight heroic girls

Additionally, coming to Quang Binh province, you can spend time visiting other famous attractions, such as Da Nhay beach, Ngang Pass, Vung Chua – Yen Island, Nhat Le beach, and Quang Phu dune.

We, Far East Tour travel agency, boast of having circa 12 years of experience in operating tailor-made inbound tours for more than 50.000 customers from all over the world. With our excellent service and professional guides, we have provided numerous tours to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. If you are planning to visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang, check out our packaged tours:

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16 thoughts on “Phong Nha – Ke Bang: A Place to Immerse Yourself in Pristine Nature (Updated!)

  1. I will spend the night at a hostel in Phong Nha and can wake up bright and early to start as soon as caves open (7am?). My hostel offered to book tours and I’m not sure if I should go with them, or can these be DIY’ed (is that an option?) They recommended 2 caves per day, Phong Nha Cave and Dark cave. Is that the concensus for the 2 best to see in 1 day? Paradise cave is not as good as these ones? What is the going rate for such a tour? I assume most of these tours end at 5:30pm when all the caves close. Then i’ll grab dinner in town until I take an evening sleeper bus to Ninh Binh. Any other buses that are direct from Phong Nha in the evening?

    1. I found Paradise Cave the most spectacular in terms of scale and formations. This is normally done in tandem with Dark Cave as they are in the same proximity. Phong Na cave is also worthwhile if time permits and you could squeeze all 3 into a full day. You can easily walk to the boat dock that leads to PN cave early morning and then hire an Easy Rider for the other 2 after lunch. There is no need to do a group tour. Can you add an extra day to Phong Na? There is so much to see and if you are reasonably adventurous, the day treks to caves which are off the well beaten tourist path are incredibly rewarding. We spent 4 full days in Phong Na and could have easily stayed longer.

      1. I’m staying at Phong Nha Tuan Garden. Where does this boat leave from? What’s the cost difference between riding the scooter myself vs riding with a driver? I’ve driven several times in Thailand, but I definitely get the appeal of not having to worry about the road and just soaking in the surrounding views.

  2. So Phong Nha Cave is the least worthwhile? If that’s the case, i’ll do that one last in case there’s no time. Is there a place to rent a scooter in Phong Nha or should I arrange it through the hostel (probably cost me more). It’s 6.4km from the hostel to Phong Nha Cave, so I might as well have it for all day use. Unfortunately I’ve only got this 1 day for Phong Nha, so I’d like to make the best use by starting as soon as they open, 7am and going till they close, 4:30pm? Thanks!

    1. They are hard to rank but even though I preferred Paradise Cave I’m sure others would have different opinions. If you start early you will be able to see all 3. My recommendation would be to do Paradise Cave last as it would be more enjoyable with fewer people and the bus tours from Dong Hoi and Hue would be gone by mid-late afternoon. Yes, there are plenty of places to hire a scooter but we preferred to sit behind an experienced rider and just absorb the amazing views of the National Park. The roads aren’t busy but they are very hilly and winding and you will be liable for any little scrape or scuff.

  3. The boat leaves from the Phong Nga Cave tourist centre. Your hotel is away from the main drag but still less than 2 km away from the dock. We paid 250,000 VND per Easy rider for a half day. This was booked through Thao Nguyen Homestay, which is an excellent place to stay. I’m not sure how much a self ride scooter would cost for a day.

  4. Tết (Lunar New Year) will be Jan 25th. By the time Feb rolls around, most people will be back at work and in school.

  5. I’ll be traveling Hue to Dong Hoi / Phong Nha area, and then onward to Hanoi a few days later. Trying to decide between bus vs. train to Phong Nha area, and bus/train vs plane to Hanoi. Thanks for the input!

  6. Your concern is scenery. Mine would be safety. As well as choosing a transport option that doesn’t induce stress. Any time you can limit time on Vietnam’s roads, is a good thing. Pick planes and / or trains.

  7. We went from Phong Nha to Hue in a car (we wanted to detour to visit the Vinh Moc tunnels) and I didn’t think the scenery was particularly spectacular. I would assume bus is the same. I’d definitely fly from Hanoi to Dong Hoi if the flights were decently priced.

  8. The only benefit of the bus is that it goes directly to Phong Nha. In the day, it’s not too bad but my choice would be the train for safety although that bus travels daily without incident and has done for years. Scenery wise, probably not much different either way. Definitely fly back up to Hanoi, train journey takes along time and if you book a sleeper the chances are as it’s coming up from HCMC others will have been in the beds before you. Last time we did that trip by train it was the worst rail journey we’ve been on in Vietnam. Cockroaches in the cabin, feral toilets. Nowadays I would take the train by day and fly any long journeys. But if you can, book soft seats. The upright wooden hard seats are a killer on our western backsides, even for short journeys!

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