Vietnam (Socialist Republic of Vietnam)

Languages: Vietnamese

Currencies: VND · Vietnamese đồng (₫)

Capitol: Hanoi

Continents: Asia

Borders: Laos, Cambodia, China

More useful information

Area: 331,212km2

Population: 97,338,583

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +84

Timezones: UTC+07:00

Last updated on May 15, 2024

The biggest caves in the world are Wonders of Central Vietnam – one of the most fascinating parts of the country along with Phong Nha Cave, historic Hoi An and imperial city of Hue. Andventurers from all over the world are traveling to explore Ke Bang National Park spectacular caves – 7 kilometres long caves. 

Phong Nha National Park – Ke Bang.

Ke Bang National Park is located in Quang Binh province. When I was there in 2015 the main city of the national park – Phong Nha was very tiny with only 2 guesthouses to stay in. Both were so busy that people were queuing to get a place in a dorm room /forget about private rooms ;)/. These were mostly backpackers places with amazing atmosphere and friendly stay. Almost 100% of visitors were aiming to explore the beauty of the surrounding caves, waterfalls and Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. 

It is one of the most incredible places I visited in Asia. The region is full of amazing landscapes, natural wonders and local stories. having such thrilling attraction there are now number of very high standard guesthouses. Check below for best prices and places to stay near the caves.

Here are few great local tours options across the caves.

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Most popular caves tours in Ke Bang National Park.

Ke Bang National Park Caves is one of the most incredible places I visited in Asia. The region is full of amazing landscapes, natural wonders and local stories. having such thrilling attraction there are now number of very high standard guesthouses. Check below for best prices and places to stay near the caves. Most popular caves tours:

Trip to Hang Tien world’s biggest cave.

Phong Nha the largest cave in the world with total passage of over 44km. Many of the caves in the complex acn be explored by boat, the deepest water has 31 meters and the cave is 80 meters high. The locals say the cave is so big that it would fit in a warship. You can explore the cave by walking the bridge spreading slong the cave. 

The river that flows into the cave is called „Lipstick” in Vietnamese language. In December during wet season, the monsoons accumulate lots of sands from the surrounding calcareous mountains to merge with the river flowing into the cave. The sands change the water color into red – which gave the origin for the rivers’s name. Here are the most interesting options for cave tours.

Phong Nha midtown hotel.

Tu Lan Cave system - central Vietnam.

Tu Lan is the whole cave system with over 20 km length. The longest cave – Hang Tien was explored for the first time in 1992. During summer the cave dries, but suring monsoon season, when heavy fainfall occures the cave is filling by kilometres of water – the river called ‘Lipstick’.

The cave formations will blow your mind. First of all the place is carefully prepared to welcome tourists. Secondly it is very nicely organized to showcase the beauty of the cave wonder. This is definitely one of the most amazing places on earth. 

The impression is compound by the shadows of highlighted huge stalactites and stalagmites formations and their reflections in the surrounding waters.

The caves are 400 million years. Only 1cm of these rocks need 100 years to form. While sailing inside the cave you will see indoor sandy beaches. This is the only cave in this world where you can find this phenomenon. The sands are brought by the monsoons, chaning completely the landscape of the whole area. 

Trekking in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

Trekking prices were very high in 2016! For one-week trekking you had to pay almost 3000$. 3-day trekking cost around 600$. That’s why I picked one day trekking 🙂 which includes visiting two of the main caves in the area.

There are plenty of activities to do in the caves – you can swim in the indoor river, do some rope climbing, kayaking and mud bathing are great fun. And of course the survivals tours, the most exciting option for me. The expedition leads through tight tunnels and most of the trail is pure climbing. There are no lights in the tunnels so if your headlights brakes you are going to face a thrilling adventure. 

Most of the caves were opened around 2005, but with every year they open more and more cave trails.  For some caves it took 2 years before they become safe enough for people to access. Every trekking you purchase includes an insurance. 

Where to stay in Phong Nha National Park?

Remember I said in 2015 there were two guesthouses in the town? Mine was dorm with 22 beds in the room 🙂 Including two sick people (they did not move for 2 days)/ and 3 backpackers with broken legs/arms (after motorbike accidents – very typical in Asia).

But it’s not a case anymore – there’s plenty of wonderful accomodation options – I was shocked how amazing stays the town is currently offering, here are few top rated places:

If you still go for dorms – be prepared for a crazy welcome and organization. 😉 At the reception there are 5 people who are confused with every single ascpet of reception & booking work! There’re thousands of paper sheets flying around.. with about 30 people queuing for checking-in or out. At the reception area there is a small restaurant with sitting and waiting room. 

So after 30 minutes I finally heard: “room no hab” which means „room don’t have”, even when I made a reservation in advance. They took me to another building and pointed at the bed located at the corridor at the first floor, saying  with a big smile – ‘Free!’ 🙂 Ohh no no no, I’m not sleeping here for sure! I booked a bed in a dorm not in a passage.

My Vietnamese adventure!

OK, we’re going back to the guesthouse. Of course no one waits for me once I’m putting my trainers on, as they just shuffle in flip flops all the time. 🙂 In the guesthouse the boss gives us free beer and asks if we can sleep on the couch located in dorm room. Well, it’s not a big problem for me so I agree. But they shortly discover that there are few non-reserved beds.

They are so happy discovering this fact that you simply cannot be angry with them. After lying down on our beds, the staff takes all the spare couches in the room and everyone is on his smartphone. So there’s 26 people in the room… which doesn’t bother me to fall asleep. 

Explore the region

Every cave has it’s God stamp. It’s like all the stairs leading to asian temples are winded with dragons. They plait on the front gates or aside paintings. They symbolize wisdom and strength. To explore the beauty of the region – rent a boat tour along the river and caves. 

Boat on the way to Phong Nha

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Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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