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A traveler’s guide to Paradise Cave

“Thien Duong Cave”, also known as the “Paradise Cave” is a huge cave based in the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Phong Nha Ke-Bang National Park, in the Quang Binh Province of central Vietnam.

This cave has seen an increasing popularity over the years for its aesthetic brilliance in terms of size, diversity, rarity and cave formations. Paradise Cave tours have always succeeded in giving travellers a true sense of awe and help them feel the exceptional natural beauty of the cave and the region of Phong Nha as a whole.

About Paradise Cave

 

Earlier, the Phong Nha cave was known to be and considered the longest cave in the National Park. Since the exploration of Paradise cave with a length of 31 Km, it now stands as the longest cave in the National Park region.

Discovery & Exploration

It’s a fact that the Paradise Cave was originally discovered by British cavers including Howard & Deb Limbert from British Cave Research Association in 1992; they enter the cave via the river and exit in a different way which is now known as Paradise Cave. No Vietnamese was encountered entering the cave until 2005; a local man took the BCRA team to the area searching for new caves; it was Paradise Cave that discovered from 13 years earlier.

They first explored 5 Km of the Paradise Cave before going on a further exploratory venture  later, the result was not disappointing with finding a total of 31 Km in length and this was officially announced to the public in later in 2005 itself.

Geological features of the cave

Standing 200 meters above sea level, the height of the Paradise Cave is estimated to be about 72 meters, while the width is known to be almost 150 meters and these figures help you to imagine how colossal the Paradise Cave is. After detailed comparisons, cave researchers, specialists and experts have also deduced that the limestone formations seen inside the Paradise Cave are some of the most spectacular ones ever seen.

What really impressed the cave explorers upon exploration, were the incredibly formed stalactites and stalagmites embellishing the cave; the towering cave formations blew their mind and the cave looked like something they hadn’t ever seen. Hence, they decided to name it the Paradise Cave or Thien Duong Cave in Vietnamese!

The superb and unconventional geological features of the Paradise Cave also led to the discovery of a new species of the ‘troglobiontic scorpion’ – ‘Vietbocap thienduongensis’ in 2012.

When you explore the Paradise Cave

 

You should know that the Paradise Cave opens at 7:30am and closes at 4:30pm. Make sure you wake up early for getting to the cave on time. This will mostly also ensure that there are not many other tourist groups swarming the area. You’d surely want to explore this natural beauty peacefully!

Visitors need to purchase tickets in order to explore the Paradise Cave with the price of VND 250,000 for adult and VND 125,000 for children. You have two ways to explore the cave; through a pre-booked tour or you can do it by yourself. The choice lies with you.

From the ticket counter, you’ll have two options; you can either choose to have a nice walk over 1km to where the hill climb begins or to take an electric golf buggy service (with about VND 15,000 to VND 25,000/ride). Once you receive your ticket, get ready for a 700 meters climb up the hill to the cave’s entrance! As mentioned earlier, the Paradise Cave stands 200 meters above sea level and the entrance to the cave is set on the side of a rather steep hill.

And there it is! You’ll find yourself facing Paradise. Once inside the Paradise Cave, you’ll be on a wooden staircase/boardwalk to descend inside. The mighty scale of the Paradise Cave will leave you astounded, as you continue your descent into the cave. The wooden walk way has been designed and built considering the convenience of visitors and you won’t have to worry about putting on proper footwear like trekking shoes.

The lighting that illuminates the Paradise Cave is quite pleasant and allows you to enjoyably take in the sights of the shimmering stalactites and spectacular stalagmites inside!

Paradise Cave – How to get there!

 

In a nutshell, there are just two ways that one can visit the Paradise Cave. The first way is to do a tour and the other way is to do it solo, without any tour assistance or support. Read on and you’ll know more about the difference!

Visiting Paradise Cave without a tour

If not through Paradise Cave Tours, the other way to get to the Paradise Cave is by riding a motorbike all the way to the cave’s location!  This is undoubtedly a really fun experience, as you ride along wonderful landscapes of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and get to enjoy some very heartwarming sights.

One practical and smart way to make this easier on a motorbike is to download the offline map one night in advance, pin the location of the Paradise Cave on the map and just follow the navigated route on your smartphone.

For a motorbike ride – DIY tour to Paradise Cave, you’re expected to spend on an average amount of VND 500,000 (about USD 22) which includes VND 250,000 entrance ticket and the rest on motorbike rental, petrol & parking fee.

Visiting Paradise Cave with a tour

It’s probably a lesser known fact that travellers who choose to visit the Paradise Cave without a tour, are allowed to explore the first 1 kilometer of this beautiful cave on the boardwalk. There are several tour operators who’d help you book the tour directly at your accommodation and make sure everything is taken care of.

You can get in touch with “Di Di Thoi” to learn more about some extraordinary National Park tours, while in Phong Nha. Di Di Thoi is a local tour operator that conducts classic tours and soft adventures in and around Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Di Di Thoi aims to give you a real taste of Phong Nha’s natural beauty and culture though a wide range of tour options with numerous wonderfully designed activities; sunset cruises, bicycling along the countryside, learning local traditions, authentic National Park tours, kayaking and much more!

If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, we highly recommend the Phong Nha National Park tour for a full-day journey.

When you travel to Vietnam, make sure you visit the ‘Adventure Capital of Asia’ – Phong Nha Ke-Bang National Park and don’t miss a chance to visit and explore the Paradise Cave! Whether you choose to do it through a Paradise Cave Tour or by yourself, it’s going to be amazing either way!

What else to do in Phong Nha?

 

Are you looking for something else to do in Phong Nha, another easy-going, relaxing place or a real adventure in the Adventure Capital of Asia – Phong Nha?

Our What to do in Phong Nha page is what you cannot miss!

Or pay a visit to our Phong Nha Travel Tips page, we’ve listed some important things to know to help you make your way around our little town!

 

Kindly Note:

1. Oxalis Adventure does NOT offer any tours to Paradise Cave. However, interested travelers can easily book the Paradise Cave tours at any accommodation in town or simply head to their headquarter to purchase the ticket.

2. Oxalis takes no responsibility about the quality or service of the Paradise Cave tours under any circumstances.

Oxalis Adventure Tours

ONE DAY 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 decent 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).

TWO DAY TOURS

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 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 a 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).

THREE-DAY TOURS

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).

FOUR & FIVE-DAY TOURS

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 alot of answers for your questions and concerns. https://oxalis.com.vn/faq-general/

WANT TO SEE VIDEOS OF OUR TOURS? Visit our youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/OxalisAdventurTours

WANT TO CHAT LIVE WITH OUR ADVENTURE CONSULTANT? Please look at the green icon at the right cornor on your screen below  to talk to our Adventure Consultant.