When you travel to Asia, you’ll be blown away by the unlimited amazing experiences you can have here in terms of otherworldly beautiful travel destinations, exotic food, vibrant culture and of course, life defining adventures!
“Where can I have the best adventures in Asia?” you might wonder. The answer to that is the majestic Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site hidden away in the heart of Vietnam. When it comes to adventures in Asia, no other destination can beat the benchmark set by Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park; this led to Phong Nha being popularly named the ‘Adventure capital of Asia’.
In this article, we’ll give you an adventurous insight about Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and what makes it the land of the best adventures in Asia.
About the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, the mystical land of one-of-a-kind adventures is located in the Quang Binh province of central Vietnam. This place is one of the two largest limestone areas in the world, with a population of more than 300 large and small caves (both wet and dry) and is hence known as the “Kingdom of caves”. The jaw-dropping beauty of the landscapes, vast pristine jungles, gorgeous hill tops, towering mountains, breathtaking valleys, waterfalls and extraordinary caves embellish the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, making it the perfect avenue for adventures in Asia. Phong Nha is popular with the magnificent attractions of travel such as Paradise Cave, Phong Nha Cave, Dark Cave, Mooc Spring Eco Trail, Botanical Garden, Bong Lai Valley and so much more!
Phong Nha is globally famed for being home to some of the largest caves on the planet including the mammoth Son Doong Cave – the World’s Biggest Cave, Hang En Cave – the third biggest cave in the world, Hang Va – one of the most beautiful caves on Earth with some of the rarest formations ever seen and the huge nearby Tu Lan Cave system – home to over 10 incredible wet and dry caves!
Why come to Phong Nha for the best adventures in Asia
World class trekking routes and trails surrounded by some of the world’s biggest caves
Extraordinary flora and fauna all around
Ever changing terrain that keeps the adrenaline pumping
Opportunities to explore natural wonders every minute of the trek
Some of world’s rarest naturally occurring phenomena can be seen
Overnight camping in the wild and even inside caves
Learning about local culture and traditions even in remote jungles
Swimming in the underground cave rivers
Amazing motorbike loop
Adventures in Phong Nha
When you come to Phong Nha, you will have the opportunity to mingle with nature like never before. Phong Nha has the best trekking adventures in Vietnam for many reasons. Pass through dense primeval forests, climb over rapids, wade through streams and enjoy rivers crossings on the trekking trails in Phong Nha. Moreover, you can admire some unique natural wonders here and learn about flora and fauna in the area or visit the friendly ethnic minorities that always welcome travellers with open arms. Jungle trekking in the limestone mountainous terrain of Phong Nha is one of the top adventures in Asia.
As mentioned earlier in the article, Phong Nha is home to some of the largest caves on our planet and you get a chance to visit them and explore the depths of these miraculous natural assets. Asia’s biggest tour operator, Oxalis Adventure, will take you into the world’s biggest cave – Son Doong cave, Hang En Cave – the third biggest cave in the world, Hang Va – one of the most beautiful caves on Earth with some of the rarest formations ever seen and the huge Tu Lan Cave system – home to over 10 incredible wet and dry caves! On these adventurous caving journeys, you’ll get to trek, scramble, climb, rope traverse inside the cave and even a chance to abseil into a cave. When it comes to caving, Phong Nha offers the best adventures in Asia and even the whole world.
Underground river cave swimming
The caves in the region are largely formed by underground flows and movements over millions of years, so rivers still flow inside some of the caves. While on an adventure tour into the Tu Lan Cave system with Oxalis Adventure, swimming in these underground rivers forms an essential part of your journey. You will get to experience this unique feeling as you put on a buoyancy aid, get immersed in the ancient river, follow the light from your helmet headlamps and feel the magnificence of the caves. Swimming inside a cave is indeed one of the most extraordinary experiences in the world and surely the most unique among all the best adventures in Asia.
Overnight camping tours in the wild
Considering the fact that spending just a day exploring the jungles and caves of Phong Nha doesn’t do justice to the immense beauty here, we conducted the most amazing overnight camping adventures in Asia. Overnight camping adventures in Phong Nha will give you a one of a kind camping experience, as you’d be surrounded by huge limestone mountains, rivers and pristine jungle. On some special camping adventures here, you even get to camp inside the cave!
Oxalis offers a variety of adventure tours where you get to camp deep inside the jungle that pan over durations of 2-day to 4-day tours! On the Hang En cave adventure tour and the Son Doong expedition by Oxalis Adventure, you get to camp inside these behemoth caves! This is considered to be a once in a lifetime adventure experience and tops all camping adventures in Asia.
Exploring the marvels of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park on two wheels will give you an inexplicable rush! Let the throttle do the talking as you traverse the serpentine roads of the jungle clad Karst Mountains, while making coffee stops at the surrounding villages to let the local culture slowly sink in. This region is surely a paradise for motorcycle adventurers worldwide, as it offers tons of opportunities to off-road, flat out and ride hard into some truly breathtaking corners on the hilly terrain. Ride into the Bong Lai Valley, Phong Nha Botanical Garden, Nuoc Mooc Springs Eco trail, road to dark cave and much more! Be sure to ride around the ethnic villages to spend quality time with the locals. Motorbiking in Phong Nha remains one of the most sought after adventures in Asia.
While in Phong Nha, you can also check out “What to do in Phong Nha” to make sure you get the most out of your trip here in the Adventure Capital of Asia like kayaking on the iconic Son River flowing through the village, bicycling around the countryside, zip-lining or some fun water sports with Di Di Thoi, a local travel and tour operator in Phong Nha.
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-Day: Our 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 Day: This 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 Day: This 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 Days: Our 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 Days: For 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 Days: A 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 Days: A 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 Days: This 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 Days: This 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 Days: You 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 Days: By 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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