Best places for kayaking in Phong Nha

“Kayaking finds itself being one of the most popular outdoor activities across the globe. There are different types of kayaking; some chase the adrenaline through adventure kayaking wherein they kayak down some narrow streams, small waterfalls and what not! On the other hand, leisurely kayaking is a wonderful way to relax and get some peace of mind while being enamored by the beauty of nature.

While kayaking is an activity that can be done on almost every other river and stream, the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Binh province of Vietnam certainly has all it takes for it to be deemed as the paradise to kayak. Starting from the gorgeous rivers to the astounding assets of nature surrounding you, Phong Nha will woo you in every regard as you set off on a kayak!”

About the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

The Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in the central region of Vietnam holds some of the most beautiful natural wonders in all of Asia and even the world. Mountains, rivers, caves, jungles, valleys, you name it! What makes Phong Nha one of the best places in Vietnam is the fact that you’ll find a very wide array of activities to choose from, places to see, things to try, traditions to learn and much more!

The Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is home to the world’s most gigantic and astonishing caves; the most prominent ones being the world’s biggest cave – Son Doong, the third largest cave in the world – Hang En, the cave with the rarest cave formations ever seen – Hang Va, one of the most marvelous and extraordinarily mysterious cave systems in the world – Tu Lan Cave System and other spectacular caves like the Phong Nha cave, Paradise Cave and Dark Cave.

Apart from the numerous majestic caves of the region, Phong Nha is also home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and countryside you’ll ever come across in Asia. When in Phong Nha, you can also visit the Bong Lai Valley and Nuoc Mooc Eco-Trail to truly be able to admire the natural beauty in this part of the world.

Kayaking is considered to be one of the top things to do in Phong Nha.

Kayaking in Phong Nha – A special experience!

Kayaking in Phong Nha is a special experience as the moments you experience during this kayaking experience are unlike any other you’d have ever felt. Phong Nha primarily has two rivers flowing through it; the Son River and the Chay River. The gorgeous blue water in these rivers is incredibly enchanting and is the perfect avenue for a day out on the kayaks!

Imagine the sun rays piercing through the silhouettes of majestic limestone mountains, bouncing off your skin as your kayaking paddles make cheerful ruffles in the calm river. Every so often you find yourself in a beautiful trance with the birds chirping away in unison and the trees around you dancing to the inaudible tunes of the breeze.

You’ll realize that kayaking in Phong Nha is an unusual experience as you even get to kayak close to the local fishermen who are just going about doing their daily business, children splashing around in joy and waving to you, giant water buffaloes taking a dip in the cool blue and many more beautiful sights.

Kayaking in Phong Nha is also a fantastic way to bond, as you and your friend/partner can share a kayak and venture into the beauty of the region together. As your paddles move in synchronized motion, you have a wonderful opportunity to converse, share deep thoughts and laughter. Kayaking in general is a great outdoor activity that can be done with family, friends and other loved ones!

Where to enjoy kayaking in Phong Nha – Best places

1. Kayaking at Oxalis Beach:

Asia’s most renowned adventure tour operator – Oxalis Adventure is based in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and also provides one the best accommodations in Phong Nha through the Oxalis Home.  When you make your way here, you’ll find that this amazing hotel is located facing the beautiful Son River and even has a lovely little beach of its own – the Oxalis beach! This is considered to be the best spot for kayaking in Phong Nha as the tranquil Son River is the ideal avenue for you and your kayak! Kayaking along the Son River will have you admiring the beauty of the nearby sights and the mystical loudness of silence! You also have the option of camping at the Oxalis beach as a weekend getaway!


On Oxalis Adventure’s Phong Nha National Park Tour of 1 day, you can enjoy kayaking on the Chay River as part of the tour itinerary along with jungle trekking and caving in the Nuoc Nut cave!

2. Kayaking & Watersports at Chay Lap Riverside:

The Chay Lap Farmstay & Resort located in the serene countryside of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is one of the most beautiful getaways in the region and leaves guests with extraordinarily memorable experiences. The Chay Lap Water Sports Center conducts fun activities on the amazing Chay River and has something for everyone: regular kayaks, clear kayaks, water bikes, water skippers, round boats, and river cruises! The kayaks are great for the whole family, regardless of experience level. Water bikes are a great treat. The water skipper may take a bit of practice but it’s sure to incite laughter and joy in anyone adventurous enough to try. Round boats are a great way to float in the river, and a river cruise is a must!


3. Kayaking at Nuoc Mooc Eco Trail:

The Nuoc Mooc Eco-Trail is also known as Mooc Springs Eco-Trail and is one of the biggest and best attractions in Phong Nha and even all of Vietnam. Here, you will surrounded by some really beautiful lagoons and ebullient rivers! All the travellers visiting the Nuoc Mooc Eco-Trail walking through the park can have a wonderful time relaxing, kayaking and taking cool dips in the pristine and clear waters of the area.

4. Kayaking at Dark Cave:

The Dark Cave or Hang Toi is one of the most celebrated and significantly touristic caves in the region. This is one of the best one day tours in Phong Nha and it is considered to be top notch for backpackers and other travellers looking to spend a full day filled with adventure and fun!, if you’re a fan of obstacle courses, swimming, kayaking, mud bathing, caves and zip-lining (Vietnam’s longest zip-line)!

5. Kayaking at Phong Nha Lakehouse Resort:

The Phong Nha Lakehouse Resort is one of the most beautiful accommodations in all of Phong Nha and is thoroughly loved by travellers due to its brilliant location! This gorgeous lakehouse sits facing the incredibly picturesque Dong Suon Lake. Kayaking and exploring this lake on your own is an excellent experience as you get to enjoy fishing, swimming or just relaxing on the pontoon. The Dong Suon Lake is a freshwater lake and kayaking here is absolutely suitable for amateur kayakers!

6. Kayaking tours with Di Di Thoi:

If you’re in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and looking to have a special day out with your loved ones on some kayaks, you can also get in touch with Di Di Thoi, a local tour operator that specializes in classic kayaking tours and aims to create a holistic Phong Nha travel experience for visitors!

Kayaking in Chay Lap Riverside
kayak copy

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is indeed the paradise to kayak and the incredible Son River and Chay River beckon you to set your hearts afloat on their beauty and kayak into the unending wonders of this land.

Check out 23 things to see and do in Phong Nha and also the best camping tours in Phong Nha to make the most out of your trip to this beautiful land!

Oxalis Adventure Tours:


If you are seeking a taste of the caves and really don’t have enough time then we recommend a one-day cave and jungle trek. We currently have three tour options for you to select, each with a slightly different style and suitability.

• Phong Nha National Park 1-DayOur family adventure in the Phong Nha offers a great taste of untouched jungle and impressive wild caves. It is the easiest level of adventure but there is still 5km of trekking and 2km of caving, and optional swimming during warmer weather into one cave. It’s suitable for kids from 12 and above with good fitness, and so this makes for a great day for everyone! It costs VND 1,650,000 per person (USD 72).

• Tu Lan Experience – 1 DayThis is one of our original one-day tours and still one of the best adventures in Vietnam. This one-day tour includes rock scrambling, 50m swimming through a wild river-cave, and up to 9 km of trekking through the lush jungles. You will also strap yourself in for a 15m descent down a ladder. It costs VND 1,800,000 (USD 78) per person.

• Hang Tien Discovery – 1 DayThis one-day tour is perfect for trekking enthusiasts eager to see the largest cave of Tu Lan but without time for the two-day experience. Hang Tien is a dry cave so no swimming required, but still includes up to 4km of trekking through mostly flat jungle and about 500m exploring this incredible cave that will no doubt impress with its grandeur. It costs VND 2,000,000 per person (USD 87).


Our most popular cave adventures start from two-days providing an immersive jungle and caving adventure, each targeting a slightly different kind of adventure-seeker, or perfect for those who want to combine a couple of tours to see different caves and areas on one trip to Phong Nha.

• Tu Lan Cave Encounter – 2 DaysOur most popular tour exploring the famous jungle area of Tu Lan. On this overnight camping excursion, you will trek through a number of different dry caves, swim up to 500m through a couple of river caves, witness outstanding cascading waterfalls underground as featured in National Geographic, and spend the night at our jungle camp beside a gorgeous waterfall. It includes 12km of trekking and 3km of caving in total and is for those with a good adventurous spirit. It costs VND 5,500,000 per person (USD 239).

• Hang En Cave Adventure – 2 DaysFor two days, this is our best-value-for-money tour that includes one of the most jaw-dropping natural landscapes you will see in this lifetime. This cave is considered the second largest cave in Vietnam and third largest in the World, and it also makes up one night of the original five-day Son Doong Cave Expedition being so close to the largest cave in the world. It includes visiting Ban Doong Ethnic Village, located in the jungle, and a magnificent campsite on a sandy beach inside the cave. It includes 22km of jungle trekking at times quite rocky, multiple knee-deep river crossings, and elevation change of 400m (the ‘hill’ you won’t forget), and 4km of caving. This is a level 3 adventure on a scale of 1 to 6. It costs VND 7,600,000 per person (USD 330).

• Hang Tien Endeavor – 2 DaysA two-day trek into the jungle to see the largest dry cave of the Tu Lan area, exploring 5.5km of this truly stunning cave, with a variety of karst formations. This 13km trek is suitable for those not too keen on cave swimming or too many hills, but still up for an adventure. This is a level 4 adventure between 1 and 6, with 6 being the most challenging. It costs VND 6,500,000 per person (USD 283).

• Hang Va Expedition – 2 DaysA technically challenging, but equally rewarding two-day caving adventure in the heart of Phong Nha National Park. This tour takes you deep into the jungle to one of the most spectacular river-caves, with formations not seen anywhere else in the world! It involves rock scrambling, wading through an underground river, bouldering and rope-traversing within the cave, to reach the rarest tower cone formations. This involves quite a lot of technical work due to safety, but is not overly difficult, it includes 10km of trekking and 3 km of caving.  This is a level 4 adventure, with 6 being the highest. It costs VND 8,000,000 per person (USD 348).


Now, if you really want to increase the adventure and soak up the wild jungle of Vietnam, with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the area, we highly recommend a three-day caving tour of our Tu Lan or Hang Tien.

• Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer – 3 DaysThis tour incorporates the very best of Tu Lan with two different jungle campsites besides stunning waterfalls, 3km of cave exploring through a number of caves, 1km of cave swimming and visiting some additional areas not included on our shorter experiences. Our three-day tour is very popular and tends to be booked out so get in quick to enjoy this thrilling jungle adventure. It includes 17 km of jungle trekking and with quite a bit of swimming you will need to have a good level of fitness. It is not for the faint-hearted, but still only considered level 3 adventure level compared to level 4 of the Hang Tien 3-day tour. It costs VND 8,000,000 per person (USD 348).

• Hang Tien Exploration – 3 DaysThis three-day tour stands out for combining a taste of Tu Lan with some river cave swimming, before crossing a mountain range to reach the valley for Hang Tien – the most astounding dry caves in the region, where you will enjoy trekking, bouldering over various rocky terrains to witnessing breathtaking patterned calcite walls & ceilings of Hang Tien. It’s challenging and definitely more suited to adventure enthusiasts who have trekking experience and prefer more challenging routes. It includes a total of 22km of trekking, 6.5 km of caving and an elevation change of 150m over one particular hillside. You will get wet, you will be challenged, but you will not be disappointed. Hang Tien is located adjacent to the Tu Lan area so you will enjoy the best of both worlds – a level 4 adventure out of 6 adventure levels. It costs VND 8,500,000 per person (USD 370).


For those looking for the ultimate adventure experience in Vietnam, and thriving for the real grand expedition of the world, you should opt for these 4-day journeys to explore the entire cave system of Tu Lan and the largest cave on Earth

• Tu Lan Expedition – 4 DaysYou will also explore all of the extraordinary caves in Tu Lan, including Kim Cave and Secret Cave that boasts phenomenal natural falls and karst formations inside these two unbelievable river caves. Complete a trek through Hang Tien Cave – famed for its vastness and magnificent formations. Our secluded jungle campsites are spectacular and mostly different from those visited on our shorter treks in the same region. This is a perfect alternative expedition for those who are unable to do Son Doong Expedition, still it’s challenging and not recommended for those without experience. It includes an additional night at Chay Lap Farmstay before the tour to ensure you are well rested and ready to depart early the following day. Level 5 on our 6 adventure levels. It includes 30km of jungle trekking, 5 km of caving, about 800m swimming through caves and one abseil in a cave in the pitch black – highly adventurous! It costs VND 15,000,000 per person (USD 652).

• Son Doong Expedition – 4 DaysBy now you would have seen some pictures of Son Doong Cave, and even they don’t do it justice. The record-breaking Son Doong Cave is hands-down one of the most stunning places on this planet Earth. The expedition is tough, but not too difficult so long as you have a strong resolve to achieve. It is surely one of the newest wonders of the world. Son Doong is not just another cave tour – it is life-changing to say the least. It includes 25km of trekking, 9 km caving including rope climbs, and the 90m ascent of the Great Wall of Vietnam using a ladder, elevation change of 400m and many river crossings inside and outside the cave. Level 6 on our adventure levels. It costs VND 69,800,000 per person (USD 3000).

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?  Visit our FAQs section where we have a lot of answers for your questions and concerns. https://oxalis.com.vn/faq-general/

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