Vietnam Top Caves

Caves are perhaps the most mysterious and beautiful natural creations on our planet and exploratory ventures inside them astound us in unimaginable ways and also show us how tiny we and our problems are. Fortunately, for all you adventurous souls out there, our world is blessed with a very big number of such caves and many of them sit majestically in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, the heart of Vietnam. Phong Nha is also known as the “Cave Kingdom”

Vietnam is a land that has been bestowed upon with some of the Earth’s most mesmerizing sights, enchanting culture, incredible history and the world’s biggest and mightiest caves! The top caves in Vietnam will turn your sci-fi movie dreams into reality.

In this article, we’ll be telling you about the top caves in Vietnam. Prepare to be blown away!

Trang An Grottoes, Ninh Binh Province

The Trang An Grottoes is a sheer beauty! The landscapes here are popularly referred to as an ‘outdoor geological museum’ with plenty of caves, mountains, trees, water and some historic relics. The cave ecosystem of Trang An is home to some spectacular sights and couple of the top caves in Vietnam. As per research and statistics, the Trang An Grottoes has more than 310 species of plants; even fungi and algae. You’ll also find some rare wood species and numerous trees that are utilized for food and medicines. Adding to this, this place has approximately 30 species of mammals, 50 species of birds, various species of reptiles and some relatively rare animals like chamois and leopards.

Trang An Grottoes is known to have 48 caves and some of the wet caves are 200m to 350 meters in length such as: Black Cave, Bright Cave, Ba Giot cave, Tran cave, Nau Ruou cave, Son Duong cave, Quy Hau cave and Seo cave. All these caves can be visited by a boat and you’re sure to have a memorable experience here!

Dau Go Cave, Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province

Based in the Dau Go Island, the Dau Go Cave, also known as the “Wooden stakes cave”, is one of the top caves in Vietnam and is known for its immense majesty and ancient beauty. This cave has many historical legends and myths about it and that’s what makes it more exciting to visit. Back in 1938, a prominent French author introduced this cave in his book and called it the “Cave of wonders”. Formed approximately 2 million years ago, you’ll find this cave located at a height of 27m above the sea level.

Apart from numerous stone pillars and stalagmites, this cave also has a diverse flora and fauna like mosses, ferns and timber trees. Another amazing thing about this cave is the fact that it has a huge jellyfish shaped formation inside which is blue in color. The dome of the Dau Go Cave is 25 meters high with many huge stalactites hanging and looks like an unusual waterfall. The distinct features of the Dau Go Cave make it one of Vietnam’s top caves.

Son Doong Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

This is the world’s biggest cave and undoubtedly the no. 1 when it comes to Vietnam’s top caves. Son Doong Cave was explored in 2009 – 2010 by the British Cave Research Association (BCRA). Exploring the depths of the Son Doong Cave has been commercialized since 2013. So far, all the research and tourist expeditions to this stupefying cave have been organized and conducted by Asia’s leading Adventure Tour operator, Oxalis Adventure, which is locally based in Phong Nha. Oxalis conducts Son Doong Expeditions under the permission of the government of Vietnam.

What puts Son Doong at the summit of the top caves in Vietnam is its inexplicably enormous size. At over 5km long, with sections reaching up to 200m tall and 150m wide, Son Doong Cave is large enough to house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers. With a total measured volume of 38.5 million cubic meters, this comfortably surpasses Deer Cave in Malaysia, which was considered to be the previous record holder. Stalagmites up to 80m high have also been surveyed, the tallest ever encountered. Visiting and exploring the top cave in Vietnam, Son Doong Cave, is considered a bucket list adventure by adventure enthusiasts worldwide.

Paradise Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

“Thien Duong Cave”, also known as the “Paradise Cave” is one of the top caves in Vietnam and has seen an increasing popularity over the years for its aesthetic brilliance in terms of size, diversity, rarity and cave formations. Visiting Paradise Cave always gives travelers a true sense of awe and helps them feel the exceptional natural beauty of the cave and the region of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park as a whole. Prior to the discovery and exploration of the Paradise Cave, the Phong Nha cave was known to be and considered the longest cave in the National Park. However, the Paradise Cave, a part of the 50-km Hang Vom Cave System, claims its spot as the longest cave in the National Park region with 15km long.

Standing 200 meters above sea level, the height of Paradise Cave is estimated to be about 72 meters, while the width is known to be almost 150 meters. By reading these figures, you can probably imagine how colossal Paradise Cave is. After detailed comparisons, cave researchers, specialists and experts have also deduced that the limestone formations seen inside are some of the most spectacular ones ever seen and this surely makes Paradise Cave on the Vietnam’s top caves!

Mua Cave, Ninh Binh Province

Mua cave is one of the top caves in Vietnam and undoubtedly one of the best must-see attractions in NinhBinh. Currently Hang Mua acts as an eco-tourism complex surrounded by serene villages and majestic mountains. Known as the “Dancing Cave”, Hang Mua is designed with nearly 500 steps up a mountain to conquer initially and this is believed to have been constructed following the architecture of “miniature Great Wall” in China. You’ll find this stone staircase right beside the cave’s entrance. It is a moderately difficult trek up with several uneven limestone steps, especially nearing the top.

What makes the Mua Cave one of Vietnam’s Top Caves is not just the cave itself, but so the view from the top, as you complete your trek. You’ll be treated to a mesmerizing panoramic view of Tam Coc, Trang An & Ninh Binh city when you make it to the summit of Ngoa Long mountain.

Hang En Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

Hang En is one of the top caves in Vietnam and is the 3rd largest cave in the world by volume after Hang Son Doong and Deer Cave in Malaysia. Hang En is one of the most recognized and stupendous caverns on Earth. Deep in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Oxalis Adventure conducts 2 days 1 night adventures in the Hang En cave and it has been said to have the biggest ‘wow’ factor in all of Vietnam, as you even get to camp inside this gigantic cave.

Considered to be one of the top caves in Vietnam, the third largest cave in the world, Hang En, stretches for nearly 2km into the karst of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Hang En has three entrances, with the largest and most popularly prominent one being over 120m tall and 140m across. With the dense jungle forming the backdrop on the outside the cave, it is a sight that must really be seen to be believed. In some sections, the chambers are 100m high and 180m wide; so huge that even the beams from powerful headlamps barely reach the edges of the walls. As one of Vietnam’s top caves, Hang En deserves to be on your bucket list.

Tu Lan Cave System, Quang Binh Province

Some of the most beautiful and top caves in Vietnam lie in the Tu Lan cave system. The area of Tu Lan lies 70 km away from Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, next to the minority village of Tan Hoa, just past the fields of grazing buffalo and rapidly growing peanut and cornfields. This cave system was also the filming location for the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island. It’s the adventure of swimming through the river caves that make the Tu Lan Caves system one of the most sought after and one of Vietnam’s top cave systems.The brilliant limestone formations seen in the caves of the Tu Lan system will amaze you in every way.

The river caves in this system such as Ken Cave and Tu Lan Cave are young, about 3 million years old. The higher, dry caves (dry Tu Lan and Ton Cave) are older, and date around 5 million years old. The stalactites and stalagmites are enormous and truly breathtaking. One of Vietnam’s top caves, Ken Cave, in the Tu Lan cave system, even had it’s beautiful formations featured in National Geographic by world renowned photographer Carsten Peter.

Sung Sot Cave, Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province

The Sung Sot cave is the largest cave in the Ha Long Bay region. Located on the Bo Hon Island, Sung Sot Cave is also known as the “Surprising Cave”, due to the astonishing beauty seen inside the cave. As one of the top caves in Vietnam, the total area of this cave is known to be an incredible 10,000 m2! The Sung Sot cave has a height of almost 30 meters and boasts a 500 meter long passage. Once you’re inside, you’ll see that the cave is divided into two separate caverns. The first cavern is akin to a rather small amphitheater kind of area and it is connected to the other cavern by a small passage.

The other cavern is much larger; enough to accommodate 1,000 people or more! When you’re inside this cavern, you’ll be amazed at the brilliant formations that you see, especially the stalactites and the stalagmites. The interesting folklore about the Sung Sot Cave also makes it one of Vietnam’s top caves.

Hang Va Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

Hang Va is one of the most treasured caves in all of Vietnam and the world, home to some of the rarest formations ever seen by humankind. Hang Va is located deep in the park quite close to the Son Doong Cave, and it is thought to be part of the same system. Hang Va’s jaw-dropping beauty makes it one of the top caves in Vietnam. The entrance of Hang Va is actually a collapse in the floor of a steep valley, and requires a descent of about 15m down to a small stream passage that averages 5m high and wide to reach the cave. At the end of the cave, there are fascinating wet and dry gours (pools) with numerous conical calcite formations that have been named as the Tower Cones. Hang Va is one of the most mysterious and magical of all the top caves in Vietnam.

This cave is home to some fascinating cave formations including the tower cones, spread across an entire passage that reaches a width of about 85m. There are more than a hundred calcite cones rising from the Earth in some mysterious way. All this adds to Hang Va being a special member of Vietnam’s top caves.

Hang Tien Cave, Quang Binh Province

Hang Tien, which means cave of fairies in Vietnamese, has the surreal natural beauty that makes it one of Vietnam’s top caves! The vast corridors, amazing karst formations shaped like terrace rice fields, combined with the high-pitched dome illuminated by the sun’s rays are some of the gorgeous natural wonders you’ll encounter. You will feel tiny while lost in the world of giants. The flora in Hang Tien cave entrance is quite special. The rays of sunshine crept in the cave with the moisture, becoming the abundant source of life for mosses and mushrooms. They grow so rapidly that it covers almost the entire cave entrance, even clings to the long-established stalactites & stalagmites.

One of the top caves in Vietnam, the Hang Tien cave is the biggest dry cave of the Tu Lan Cave system, divided in two parts and the enormity of this cave can be understood by the fact that Hang Tien 2 itself is almost 3km long and has a vertical range of about 100m. The infiltrating water that flows from outside the limestone mountains dripping down to the cave, remaining there and creating extraordinary stalactites of terrace fields. In addition to this, the incredible swirls seen on the cave’s domes also make it a must-visit cave in Vietnam!

Phong Nha Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

The region of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park gets its very name from the Phong Nha cave. Not only is the Phong Nha cave one of the top caves in Vietnam, but also one of the most historically significant and legendary caves in the whole world. With a length of 7729 meters and a 13,969 meter long underground river, the Phong Nha cave is known to be one of the longest wet caves on Earth. There is an incredibly huge subterranean river system that runs through the cave. This cave also 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 monstrous 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 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. Phong Nha cave is one of Vietnam’s top caves and should be a part of your Vietnam travel plan.

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).

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