Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a huge area with a large number of places to visit and things to do. Here is the top of things you should not miss once you are having a plan to discover Phong Nha.
Besides the beautiful scenes and bunch of adventure activities below, I know that many of you also looking for activities that help to connect with local life or hang out with some other tourists in this mountain province. Please read my next article “How is nightlife in Phong Nha and review of Phong Nha’s best Pubs” and “Review of the coffee shop in Phong Nha” to have some nice idea for your perfect holiday.
1. Nature visiting
Phong Nha Cave and boat trip
Phong Nha Cave is a majestic river cave and was the first cave in the area opened to tourists in 1997. Phong Nha Cave is seen by dragon boat – local people will motor you up the river taking in the view of the stunning natural Karst Mountains and local river life and then row you through the cave. Like Venice but more natural! The ticket price is about 7$ (150.000 vnd) per person and 16 USD (360.000 vnd) for a private boat – it capacity max 15 people. You can share with the other group to save more.
It should take your about 3 hours for the boat ride and cave visit. Maybe longer if you want to spend more time wandering around and enjoying these beautiful caves
You can discover the cave with another way by booking the tour that allows exploring deeper inside with kayak and enjoys the sun shines through the sky well at the end of the cave. It’s would be more fun and fascinating and of course more pricey at 75$
To be called “The castle underground”, Paradise cave is the longest dry cave in the world. You can get there in your own vehicle or take the car from Hue to Phong Nha – nearby province. Once you reach the foot of the mountain, there are still 530 steps more climbing up to the entrance.
The entrance is small, you have to bend down a bit to get inside.
It’s a big surprise to see what is waiting for you after. 32 km is the total length at all!
Unlike Phong Nha Cave. Paradise Cave is a dry one which makes you walk discover. There is a wooden bridge which longs about… 1 km inside the cave for tourists to visit.
The long bridge prevents tourists from touching or stepping directly inside but also being as a decoration that creates a new look.
Stalactites and stalagmites which are made for millions of years.
If you would love to discover more, there is a longer tour that allows you to get deeper inside 6 km more with full equipment and torch. A small river where you can cross only by kayak can make the tour becomes more interesting.
It’s pretty cool. The temperature is always at 20-21 Celsius degrees.
If you visit Phong Nha Ke Bang in the rainy season so it does not allow you to visit river Caves, Paradise Cave would be a good choice instead.
Entrance fee: 12 USD (250.000 vnd)/ person and 2 USD (50.000 vnd)/ person for a golf car ticket to transfer inside cave.
Zip lines over the river, Mud bath, Kayaking and boating
The Chay River which links Phong Nha Cave with Dark Cave is renowned for its special beauty with hundreds of Bonsai trees on both riversides.
One route connects the animal conservation station and Dark Cave, which is about 400m long. The other 100m route, which crosses the Chay River.
The deeper you went to the Dark cave, the darker and muddier it became. At the end of the muddy path, you can see another muddy hole about 20 meters in diameter that sliding and falling, eagerly and wildly.
You have two options, experience zip lines, river bathing, kayaking without getting into the cave with about 12$ or get extra discovering inside the cave with bathing mud at total 20$. We suggest getting the second option because it’s quite a nice experience.
Son Dong Cave
Son Doong Cave is in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Only recently explored in 2009-2010 by the British Cave Research Association. Fewer people have seen the inside of Hang Son Doong than have stood on the summit of Mount Everest!
Fewer people have seen the inside of Hang Son Doong than have stood on the summit of Mount Everest!
At over 5km long, with sections reaching up to 200m tall and 150m wide, Son Doong is large enough to house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers, the world’s largest cave on an expedition unlike any other.
To take part in Vietnam tours to Son Doong, you have to register with the travel agent and wait for your turn. However, travellers have to undergo two severe theory and practice tests. If not passing the tests, travellers cannot join tours to Son Doong.
There are two rates of tours to Son Doong exploited by a travel agent: about 3,000 USD for the foreign traveler and 64.5 million Dong for Vietnamese traveler. It seems pricey because to prepare a group of 10 people to need 30 people behind. That totally worth for the money, and it would leave you a memorable experience to keep in your life.
In short, If you feel it would be complicated about all the papers and maps, also afraid of being scammed, you can explore more from “The best-recommended tours in Phong Nha Ke Bang” to make your discovering trip become much simple.
We try to offer you the very original local entrance prices at the present (this post update in June 2018).
2. Culture discovery
Tribal life in the forest
Here is the chance to discover untouched civilization and wild nature of Phong Nha Ke Bang. This fascinating tour will bring you to experience the culture of the hill tribes living in the humid tropical forest.
The areas that you will visit is still untamed and untouched by tourism. The way of life there is very peaceful and relaxing in the harmony of nature.
On the way heading to different villages, you will trek in the mountains and pass by the streams to see amazing natural scenery including some nice waterfall where you can’t resist jumping right down.
The tour is giving by the local travel agent from 66$ for a day visiting and 110$ for 2 days visiting.
Wild Boar Eco-Farm
This is also a recommended homestay in Phong Nha. Please read more at “The Best Homestay in Phong Nha Ke Bang that surely blows out your mind” to get more information if you are looking for an accommodation there.
The Wild Boar Eco Farm in the Bong Lai village of Phong Nha opened its gates to tourism in April 2014.
No matter which way you arrive, the atmosphere at the eco-farm will make you feel completely at home. Walking through the rubber plantations and peanut fields is a perfect entrance to the restaurant.
If you can’t stay there overnight, make sure you get there early. If riding a bicycle or motorbike, give yourself enough time to ride back in the evening. It can get dark quickly in Phong Nha, and the road has no street lights.
3. Other activities and entertainings in Phong Nha Ke Bang
There are not many public activities to do at night in a small village. Anyway, some interesting country things like having a barbecue or fishing can bring some fun if you stay with a local family. Homestay is the best choice to have such these experiences with locals than living in a resort or hotel. There are also many good and convenient homestays in Phong Nha to help you discover many other sides of this land.
Please read “The Best Homestay in Phong Nha Ke Bang that surely blows out your mind” to have some more clues on your to-do list.
By the way, there is always the tourist in Phong Nha Ke Bang during the year. There are some bars and coffee in town where you can hang out with others, having live performance together, take a cool beer after a long day of climbing mountains or catch up with a favourite football team when you are travelling while other people are crazy to hold their breath on World Cup or Champions League. Believe me, It would be a memorable time to watch a football with Vietnam fans! Wifi is free everywhere from bar to a coffee shop, is that quite a wonderful thing? Don’t worry about being lonely once you get there because I can be sure that it would never happen.
Here are some suggestions for your next destination in Phong Nha Ke Bang. Our honor is to help you to get the best information for the dream holiday. You can consider using car transfer from Hue to Phong Nha with our best services for a safer and more interesting trip. If you have any question or need help in finding transfer services from Phong Nha to Hue, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via phone number +84.934.899.900 or Whatsapp