Phong Nha Cave, a part of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, tops your list of must-visit destinations for a notable trip to Quang Binh. Here, you have a chance to immerse yourself in picturesque nature. Read on and note this complete guide to the enthralling cave.
1. About Phong Nha Cave in Vietnam
1.1. Location of Phong Nha Cave
This cave is part of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district, about 50 kilometers away from Dong Hoi city to the Northwest. It is one of the most impressive and largest caves among numerous caves in Vietnam.
Phong Nha Cave is more than 7,730 meters long. The mouth of the cave is 20-25 meters wide, about 10 meters high, and 83 meters deep. Its complicated structure contains 14 grottoes, many connecting branches, and an underground river which is considered the largest in the world. The cave has two parts: the dry caves located at an altitude of 200 meters and the wet caves with the underground river.
1.2. The origin of the name “Phong Nha”
Phong Nha means “Wind and Teeth” - a name inspired by the drooping stalagmites at the cave's entrance. The name can be inferred as “the wind that flows through the teeth’s gap”. The mysterious wind and the marvelous white stalactites create an iconic sight of Phong Nha Cave Vietnam, making it the most wonderful cave in the complex of limestone caves in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park.
1.3. Opening hours and Entrance fee
- Opening hours: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm every day. In the rainy season and national holidays, some services may not be available.
- Entrance fee: 150,000 VND, free for children under 1.3 meters tall.
- Boat to Phong Nha Cave fee: 550,000 VND per boat with life vests for 12 people including children, free for children under 1.3 meters tall.
2. What to expect when visiting Phong Nha Cave in Vietnam?
2.1. The longest water cave in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park
In the limestone cave system of Phong Nha - Ke Bang, Vom Cave is probably the greatest cave in terms of size and splendor. This wet cave is 28 kilometers long, starting from Ruc Ca Roong Cave at an altitude of 360 meters above sea level, forming a tremendous cave system which flows through Phong Nha Cave.
A venture into Vom Cave will be great for all adventurers, as it combines caving, jungle trekking, swimming, and camping overnight. Getting lost in nature, discovering a dark and mysterious cave full of magnificent stalagmites, and immersing yourself in the blue water will be such breathtaking and priceless moments.
2.2. The most beautiful underground lake
Traveling to Phong Nha Cave, you will be in awe before the most majestic underground lake - one of the most charming points of this natural wonder. The 13,969-meter-long lake with deep blue water not only embellishes the mysterious beauty of Phong Nha Cave but also brings a sense of relaxation and comfort.
In addition, the rays of light hit the blue water surface and reflect different colors on the exotic stalactites. To enjoy this unique feast of lights with your own eyes, you can take a small boat and float around.
2.3. The most exotic yet beautiful stalagmite and stalactite system
Quang Binh Cave has a system of majestic stalagmite and stalactite, and it is undeniable that Phong Nha Cave has the most exotic and eye-catching ones. Inside both dry and wet caves are countless stalactites and stalagmites of different fascinating shapes. Phong Nha Cave is also home to some unique rock formations which are named intriguingly after their shapes, such as the “Lion”, the “Unicorn”, the “Kneeling Elephant”, the “Buddha”, and the “Royal Court”.
2.4. The longest and most beautiful underground river in Vietnam
The underground river flowing through Phong Nha Cave has a length of 1,500 meters, making it the longest underground river in the world. Along the river, you will discover the pristine and unspoiled beauty of the cave system, enjoy the fresh air, and listen to the song of wonderful nature.
Kayaking on the underground river into Phong Nha Cave will help you feel calm and relaxed to enjoy an adventurous journey to the hidden yet majestic cave. You will witness the magical sight of the stalagmites and stalactites, as well as the feast of light when shimmering light blends well with the darkness.
2.5. The largest dry cave
After a fantastic journey along the river to discover the picturesque wet cave and underground lake, you will see the largest dry cave of Phong Nha Cave, which has a length of up to 31.4 meters. Following a wooden corridor, you have a chance to admire the magnificent and shimmering stalactite system at every corner of the cave. Moreover, the atmosphere inside is so cool and fresh that it will blow away all your stress and tiredness.
3. Things to do at Phong Nha Cave
3.1. Camping and caving
One of the most thrilling and immersive experiences at Phong Nha Cave is camping and caving. As the sun sets and the sky fills with stars, adventurers can pitch their tents amidst the stunning limestone karst landscapes that surround the cave. The real magic begins the next day when they embark on a caving expedition. Inside the cave, they'll be awed by the surreal formations, impressive stalactites, and crystal-clear underground rivers. Exploring the dark chambers and winding tunnels will evoke a sense of wonder and excitement, making it an unforgettable adventure for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.
3.2. Trekkingg and nature walks
For those who prefer a more relaxed approach to experiencing Phong Nha Cave's beauty, walking and hiking provide an excellent opportunity to revel in the surrounding natural wonders. The region boasts picturesque trails that wind through lush forests and lead to awe-inspiring viewpoints, allowing visitors to soak in the breathtaking vistas of the karst landscape. With the gentle sound of chirping birds and rustling leaves, nature lovers can revel in the serene ambiance while immersing themselves in the region's ecological diversity.
3.3. Kayaking adventure
The pristine rivers and waterways around Phong Nha Cave Vietnam present a unique chance to explore the region's beauty from a different perspective - by kayaking. Adventurers can paddle along the winding rivers, passing through lush forests and towering limestone cliffs, marveling at the unspoiled beauty of the area. As they glide on the water's surface, the tranquility of the surroundings will engulf them, creating a meditative experience. Kayaking also allows access to hidden caves and grottoes that are otherwise unreachable by land, making it a thrilling and intimate way to uncover the secrets of Phong Nha's natural wonders.
4. Best places to visit near Phong Nha Cave
After your visit to Phong Nha caves, you should spend time discovering some other famous and beautiful attractions to enjoy the beauty of Quang Binh province to the fullest! Here are some scenic spots to complete your Phong Nha Cave tours:
4.1. Phong Nha Paradise Cave
Only about 23 kilometers away from Phong Nha Cave, Paradise Cave Quang Binh is one of the most famous and beautiful caves in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. The cave has a length of up to 31.4 kilometers and a height of 60 meters, making it the largest dry cave in Asia. The sheer scale and intricate formations inside the cave will transport you to a surreal world of ancient mystique. As you wander through its well-lit pathways, you will be captivated by the otherworldly beauty that lies beneath the surface. A visit to Phong Nha Paradise Cave is an unmissable opportunity to witness nature's artistic prowess in its full glory.
4.2. Phong Nha Dark Cave
Situated a mere 2 kilometers from the enchanting Paradise Cave, Dark Cave Phong Nha beckons thrill-seekers with an exhilarating array of adventures. This cave offers an adrenaline-fueled experience like no other, inviting adventurers to venture into its mysterious depths. For those craving an adrenaline rush, a thrilling zipline ride over the crystal-blue river awaits, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Dare to take a plunge into the refreshing waters and indulge in a mud-bathing experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and revitalized. Kayaking along the serene river provides an opportunity to connect intimately with nature's beauty.
4.3. Mooc Spring
Nestled in close proximity to Phong Nha Cave, Mooc Spring is a true hidden gem that unveils a world of wonder amidst nature's embrace. This captivating oasis boasts a breathtaking natural landscape that leaves visitors in awe of its pristine beauty. The spring's crystal-clear waters gently meander through lush greenery, creating a picturesque scene that soothes the soul and refreshes the spirit. Mooc Spring offers a diverse range of activities for nature enthusiasts, making it an ideal destination for leisurely strolls, picnics, and unwinding amidst the tranquility of the surroundings.
4.4. Son Doong Cave
In close proximity to Phong Nha Cave lies a natural wonder that defies imagination - the awe-inspiring Son Doong Cave, the largest cave in the world. A true testament to the majesty of nature, this 3 million-year-old cave boasts dimensions so vast that it houses an entire unique world within its depths. Venture inside, and you'll find yourself in a surreal realm adorned with subterranean rivers, lush forests, intricate caves, and a thriving ecosystem of animals. However, access to this extraordinary cavern is limited, making it an exclusive and priceless opportunity for only a fortunate few each year. The out-of-this-world journey to Son Doong Cave offers an invaluable experience that leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of its fortunate explorers.
5. Frequently asked questions about Phong Nha Cave Quang Binh Vietnam
To have a wonderful trip to Phong Nha Ke Bang Cave, note some important information below:
5.1. How to get to Phong Nha Cave Quang Binh province?
There are two popular ways to get to the cave:
- Travel to Dong Hoi city, then drive to Phong Nha
- Go straight to Phong Nha by sleeper bus
With the first option, you can get to Dong Hoi city by plane or train. From Dong Hoi, you can drive a car or motorbike, follow National Road 16 for about 45 kilometers to the northwest to get to Son River. Then, take a boat along the river to reach Phong Nha Cave. It often takes one and a half hours to get to the cave from the city center.
Overnight sleeper buses are suitable for tourists who have time and want to experience a new means of transportation. If departing from Hanoi, the total travel time is about 9 hours. There are also some buses from nearby cities, such as Da Nang and Hue, to Phong Nha.
5.2. When is the best time to visit Phong Nha Cave?
When planning for your trip to Phong Nha Cave, you should pay attention to Phong Nha weather forecast because it will affect your trip greatly. Avoid the rainy season which usually lasts from September to November. During this period, many tourist sites will be closed due to extreme weather such as floods.
The best time to visit Phong Nha Cave is the dry season from April to August, which is convenient for you to discover the underground river and wet cave, as well as enjoy numerous thrilling activities.
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If you plan to discover Quang Binh, don’t forget to put Phong Nha Cave on the list of must-see attractions. This popular cave of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park will leave you in awe with its dry and wet caves, underground river and lake, and magnificent stalagmites and stalactites at every corner.