If nature is your thing, you’re in the perfect place. A great choice, especially for families, is the Botanical Garden. There are nice walking paths, beautiful trees, and a waterfall (maybe avoid the taxidermy room though)! The gardens are located 10 km from the center of town on Highway 20 (Victory Road), en route to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. While you can venture here by bicycle, we recommend heading there by motorbike as there are no bike paths or lanes on this fairly narrow highway.
Price: 40,000 VND
Paradise Cave is a must-see during your stay here, especially if you’re riding the National Park loop. Once thought to be among the biggest caves in the world, what is referred to as Paradise Cave is actually a dry passage of Vom Cave System. Vom Cave is the longest dry cave in Asia at 31 km. Currently tourists can visit the first kilometer of Paradise Cave, which is entered via a long set of stairs followed by a wooden boardwalk. There is a light system set up in the cave which allows you to marvel at all the formations and get some good photos as well. The price doesn’t include the electric carts which take you from the front entrance to the bottom of the stairs leading up to the cave. You’re welcome to opt out of the cart and walk instead, but the stairs aren’t optional so get those quads ready.
Price: 250,000 VND per adult and 125,000 VND per child
Phong Nha Cave
Another must-see attraction in Phong Nha, this cave is located at the top of a fork in the Son River; to reach it; you’ll purchase tickets from the Tourism Center in town and then hop into a dragon boat which will take you 3 km up the river to the entrance of the cave. You’ll then continue through the first km of the cave by boat, and on your way out, be able to explore about 500 m by foot. The boat picks you back up and returns you at the Tourism Center in town. This is a great choice if the weather is too hot for riding a motorbike and you need a cool escape. The cave is artificially lit in a very tasteful manner, highlighting the most fascinating formations well and providing excellent conditions for photographic opportunities.
Price: 150,000 VND/per person entrance fee and 360,000 VND/boat (which seats 14); you can pay 300,000 VND extra for an English speaking guide to accompany you on the boat (upon availability)
Nuoc Mooc Ecotrail
The ecotrail is tucked into the jungle just off the main road of the national park loop. The trails are defined by bamboo floorboards and clearly marked paths, and they’ll take you over gushing rivers and to some small lagoons; the first lagoon has been set up with a mini ropes course and is great fun for kids. As you venture further along the trails, you’ll find a larger area set up for kayaking and splashing around. The ecotrail can be a bit busy during the summer months when kids are out for school break, but it’s still worth a visit to if you’re looking to cool off.
Price: 80,000 VND per person for basic entrance fee; 180,000 VND for all access pass
Dark Cave is for the more adventurous and is a very muddy excursion. You’ll definitely want to bring a change of clothes with you and a towel if you go. The cave is reached via a very short kayak or a zipline. There are smaller ziplines and some family activities available as well, the price of which is included in the cave tour.
*Please be advised that we highlight Dark Cave in this section because many people ask about it, but Oxalis is not liable for their safety standards nor do we endorse participation in this activity.
Price (entrance fees vary): High season all-inclusive (cave and zipline) 450,000 VND per person.
Low season all-inclusive 250,000 VND per person.
High season limited access (zipline & kayak) 270,000 VND per person.
Low season limited access 170,000 VND per person.
8 Lady Cave
This cave, which also goes by its Vietnamese name “Hang Tam Co”, is located just past km 16 on Highway 20, part of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Highway 20 was in fact named this because 20 years old was the average age of the youth volunteer force and frontline soldiers during the Vietnamese – American war. The cave pays homage to 8 young ladies and gentlemen who were tragically trapped in the cave during a fall-in after a bomb strike. A temple has been constructed next to the cave as a tribute and place to honor the members of these brave men and women.