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Visit the iconic Phong Nha Cave in Vietnam

The Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam is also known as the cave kingdom of the world! This explorer’s paradise has some of the biggest and most beautiful caves ever encountered by mankind on Earth. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to the largest cave in the world – Son Doong Cave;  the third largest cave in the world – Hang En Cave; home of the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island, made up of over 10 dry and wet caves – the Tu Lan Cave system; the cave containing some of the rarest formations ever seen – Hang Va Cave, the gorgeous Paradise Cave and many more!

However, when you talk about the caves in Phong Nha, it is interesting to know that Phong Nha received its name from a cave in the region; Phong Nha Cave. While there are numerous caves in Phong Nha and many yet to be discovered, Phong Nha Cave will always remain special and historically significant in the eyes of the locals. When you arrive in Phong Nha, you’ll see that you have a plethora of options in terms of the best tours in Phong Nha. No matter which tour you decide to do here, make sure you definitely visit Phong Nha Cave on your Phong Nha travel itinerary, as this boat tour in Phong Nha is considered to be one of the most memorable experiences for travellers.

About Phong Nha Cave

 

The region of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park gets its name from Phong Nha Cave. Not only is Phong Nha Cave one of the most beautiful caves in Phong Nha, but also one of the most historically significant and legendary caves in the whole world. Due to this cave’s sheer magnificence, travellers from all over the world find themselves astounded once inside the cave and engulfed in its magic. The stalactites and stalagmites cutting through the cave appear akin to the teeth of a giant monster and you will undoubtedly be mesmerized by the karst formations and 400 million year old limestone that surrounds you.

Discovery & Exploration

Phong Nha Cave’s earliest exploration was made in 1899. Back in the day, Phong Nha Cave served several purposes and is believed to have played a very significant role for the locals of the region during the Vietnam War.

In 1990, some British cave experts collaborated with Hanoi University of Science for an expedition inside Phong Nha Cave. The primary agenda of this expedition was to explore the depths of the cave and document it to the best of their ability.  Numerous expeditions were conducted and it led to the exploration of 10,130m of cave with an average height of 50 meters. After these successful expeditions, Phong Nha Cave became developed for tourism back in 1995.

Geological features of the cave

Phong Nha Cave has a length of 10130 meters and a 5,500 meter long underground river.

Another interesting fact about the Phong Nha cave is that it is home of a very large number of fossils that are seen embedded inside the limestone rock wall, that themselves are quite large. These fossils are believed to be that of marine creatures, like fish, seashells and possibly many others unbeknownst to researchers so far. Phong Nha Cave is about 2 million years old.

When you explore the Phong Nha Cave

 

As one of the best cave tours in Phong Nha, when you visit Phong Nha Cave, you will admire that the cave has some very large dry chambers and is divided in three main sections; it has been declared that all these three sections have distinct species.The three sections are the entrance zone, twilight zone and the dark zone.

The entrance zone is right at the mouth of this impressive cave and all the species of the cave that live in sunlight are found here like fish, insects and more! At the twilight zone, you’ll find that an artificial lighting system has been installed for the guests to be able to see the beauty of the cave; you may get to see crabs, shrimps, eels etc. in the water. As the name suggests, the dark zone is where you’ll be surrounded by darkness and find the presence of blind species like bats, blind spiders, blind fish and so forth. The Phong Nha Cave tour is one of the best boat tours in Phong Nha and your journey would be incomplete without it.

Visit Phong Nha Cave

 

When you think about Phong Nha boat caves, you should definitely consider the Phong Nha cave tour.  Once you arrive in Phong Nha, make your way to the Phong Nha tourism center, which is right in Phong Nha town and buy tickets for the tour.  The tours run between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM. The amazing part about this for avid travellers is the fact that the tickets are priced very reasonably and won’t even remotely break the bank.

The Phong Nha cave tour is also known as one of the best boat tours in Phong Nha because you visit the cave by boat. You’ll notice that you’ll be taken to the cave by boat that makes its way smoothly across the mesmerizing Son River.

If you’re staying at any hotel in Phong Nha town, the Phong Nha Tourism Center can be reached by walking and you won’t have to make expenditures on transport. Once you arrive at the Phong Nha Tourism Center, you will be guided to the ticket counter and while making your way there, you’ll find various shops for snacks, drinks, clothes etc.

Price

Generally, the entrance fee is VND 150,000 and the price for the boat is VND 360,000. It is important to know that the boat can accommodate 14 people at a time and depending on the size of your group, the price can change very dramatically. So, if you wish to get a better price, make sure you wait near the ticket booth and when you see some other travellers approaching; you may purchase your boat tickets together. Here’s another interesting fact about the pricing; children below the height of 1.1m get a discount of 50% on the price!

Tour options

There are mainly two options you’ll have for exploring the marvelous Phong Nha Cave. The first option is the one that is often chosen by most tourists. The first option will be for you to buy the regular ticket, get on the boat and make your way to Phong Nha Cave and you’ll get to go as far as 1.5 km inside the cave via the boat. Before you exit the cave, your boat will move to the side near a sandy riverbank. You’ll find yourself surrounded by some brilliant patterns on the limestone twists and it’ll surely make your heart skip a beat! After walking for about 100 meters towards the opening of the cave, you’ll find that a staircase leads you up towards some shops and the docks where the Phong Nha Cave tour boats reassemble.

The second option is considered to be perfect for the more adventurous travellers. With this option, you get to explore up to 4.5 km of the Phong Nha cave and this is undoubtedly one of the best cave tours in Phong Nha! On this tour, you’ll be accompanied by a professional English speaking guide who will ensure your safety inside the cave at all times. You’ll also be provided with adequate caving gear like helmet, headlights, gloves etc, along with kayak and paddles. This cave tour in Phong Nha is considered to be amazing also due to the fact that you get to kayak and properly cave on this tour, unlike the former option. This tour commences at 8:00 AM and end around 3:30 PM.

If you’re looking for the best boat tours in Phong Nha, don’t forget to visit the Phong Nha Tourism Center based in the Phong Nha town and visit the ever glorious Phong Nha Cave!

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 Phong Nha Cave. However, interested travelers can easily book the Phong Nha 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 Phong Nha 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.