What to Visit in Phong Nha, Vietnam and how to Arrive ? – Page 2

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Phong Nha –Maps – Orientation

Map 3 – Phong Nha Center

Map 4 – Main Attractions

Map 5 – Interactive Map

  1. Points in Red : Transport
  2. Points in Blue : Tourist Attractions
  3. Points in Green :  Phong Nha Center

The 2 essential caves – Phong Nha cave and Paradise cave

These are the 2 caves that most visitors will visit in Phong Nha. They are big, impressive and easy to visit. After visiting these 2 caves, you will say to yourself : “OK, I have seen enough caves. I don’t need anymore caves for the near future .”

Phong Nha cave (by boat)

See location of the cave on the Maps above or on Google Maps. You arrive to this cave with a small boat. It is impossible to arrive to it via the road.
The boat station is located in the town. See location of the pier on the Maps above or on Google Maps

The price for the adventure is composed of 2 elements :

  1. The entry price to the cave. 150 K Dong per person (at the time of writing).
  2. The boat price. 550 K Dong (at the time of writing).

The boat can take up to 12 people, so you can save on this part. Wait at the pier and propose to people to share a boat.

The excursion takes around 3 hours.

It is possible to visit a second cave on the same trip (Tien Son cave) and in that case you need to pay more at the office and the trip lasts a little bit longer. Most people choose to visit only the Phong Nha cave. It is the most impressive between the two  (if you intend to visit Paradise cave the same day, maybe it will be too much caves for one day).

The first part of the trip is a sail of about half an hour on the river and till the cave.

There is some scenery

The second part is a visit inside the cave. Most of the visit inside the cave is with the boat.

The driver open the roof of the boat in order to allow the passengers to admire the ceiling of the cave.

The cave is very beautiful (but I didn’t see bats during my visit).

On the way back, near the exit of the cave, the passengers are getting down from the boat and visit a part of the cave by foot.

It is the time to make a lot of photos (better photos than from the boat).

After you get out of the cave (by foot), you will be met by many vendors who want to sell you drinks, fruits and ice-cream.

You then, get on the boat and return to the starting point.

Note : There are guided tours that take you for a deeper visit inside this cave. It is a one day trip. You will see advertising for it.

Paradise cave (by the road)

An amazing cave. A must visit.
See location of the cave on the Maps above or on Google Maps.
The cave is located 28 Km from the town (by road). See possible ways of transport on the first page.
The entry price to the cave. 250 K Dong (at the time of writing).

The ticket office is quite far from the cave itself. First you need to walk about 1 Km and then you have to climb about 500 meters.

You can save yourself the first walk, by using the transport of a buggy car (price : 60 K Dong ).

At the entrance to the cave, there is a Map with indication of special forms to expect (stalactites and stalagmites).

The visit inside the cave is very easy. There is a walking way and it is very illuminated.

You walk inside the cave a distance of about 400 meters. The visit inside may take half an hour. In total, you need about 3 hours to visit this cave (including the transport).

Very, very impressive inside but no animals.

This cave is much longer than the visited part by the general public

Dark cave – Zipline and swimming

This cave is for having fun. Fun with water. It is located beside a beautiful river.

See location of the cave on the Maps above or on Google Maps.

The cave is located 22 Km from the town (by road). See possible ways of transport on the first page.

You arrive to this cave via a Zipline or with a Kayak. It is dark inside the cave and lanterns are used. Part of the visit involves being inside mud.

This is a visit that combines a swim in the river. Do it only if you are prepared to get wet.

More caves

There are many caves in the zone of Phong Nha. For most humans, the visit of the 2 popular caves will be enough, but you can explore more, if you want.

Here are 3 ways to explore more caves :

  1. There are organized tours that take you for a deeper visit inside the popular caves. These visits can last for an entire day with a meal. These tours are relatively easy, they are not expeditions. You will see publicity in the town.
  2. There are expeditions to the huge cave of Son Doong (see location on Google Maps). This is not an easy trip. It lasts for a few days, it is expensive and you need to register a long time in advance. Apparently, Oxalis is organizing these expeditions.
  3. There are caves in the zone, that can be visited on your own. They may be less impressive that the 2 popular ones mentioned before. 

Botanic Garden

The name is misleading. It is not a botanical garden with special plants. It is a pleasant walk in a forest + a nice waterfall.

See location of the forest walk on the Maps above or on Google Maps.

The place is located 10 Km from the town (by road). See possible ways of transport on the first page.
The entry price :40 K Dong (at the time of writing).
There are several loops that you can do inside the forest. (You receive a Map).

The indications on the path are very clear.

And there are places to rest

The smaller loop (by doing a shortcut), will take you less than 1 hour.
The first part of the trajectory involves walking beside a small river and an easy climb. Thankfully, there are ropes that help a lot.

The waterfall, is the main attraction.

You don’t need to get wet during the visit (unless the ground is after rain or you choose to swim in the waterfall).

Take drinking water with you (sold at the entrance).

There may be some animals along the way, but I didn’t see any. I just heard sounds of frogs.

At the end of the visit, there is a small hall with some exhibits

The Duck Stop

A very fun and unique experience. It reminds the tickling fish massage, but with ducks.
See location of the Duck Stop on the Maps above or on Google Maps.
The place is located 7 Km from the town. See possible ways of transport on the first page.
An instructor leads you with a group of visitors inside a compound with a lot of ducks.

You wear a traditional Vietnamese hat and funny shoes (after the experience with the ducks, you clean your feet with a source of water).

You give the ducks food and the ducks “invade you” with soft bites. It sounds silly but everyone is laughing, including the most serious persons. Ducks are making funny sounds.

The instructor also makes you a personal photo with the ducks.

You don’t need to reserve anything, just arrive to the place on your own.

The entry price : 100 K Dong (at the time of writing). It includes also a drink and a snack.

Mooc Spring

You basically swim in the river. The environment is nice. The reviews are mixed.

Located beside the entrance to the dark cave (which also involves the river).

See location on the Maps above or on Google Maps.
Do this attraction only after you have done all the rest.

Watch the scenery on your motorbike

One of the best attractions in Phong Nha is the scenery when you ride a motorbike.

You can stop on the way, on bridges and near the river. You can watch the farmers with their Buffalos.

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