Phong Nha is the secret cave capital of Vietnam. The Phong Nha National Park comprises a huge area with stunning caves, including the world’s largest cave which costs a fortune to enter and other stunning caves. Today’s blog post shows you the caves I visited!
The weather was similar to Hanoi and Cat Ba Island, meaning that it was wet and cold. I had arrived with the night bus at around 4am and as I wasn’t able to check in before 8am, I sat in the lobby of the hotel with a few other travellers. When we looked at the tour offerings from our hostel we quickly noticed that we could do it cheaper by ourselves.
We booked a taxi for our group of 8 and left at 9am after a brief breakfast for the Paradise Cave. This cave is 31km long and only the first kilometer is accessible for tourists. Nevertheless, it’s an incredibly impressive cave. I’ve been to caves in the UK but the dimensions of this cave are unbelievable.
It’s ceiling is very high and it features impressive stalactites and stalagmites throughout. To reach it, you have to walk uphill from the park entrance for quite a while and then climb up a wooden ladder, but it’s all worth it once you reach the entrance!
The second and last cave I visited on my brief visit to Phong Nha was the Phong Nha cave. If you stay in Quảng Bình, it’s reachable by foot from the city centre.
To get to this cave, you have to get a boat. All the boats have fixed prices so you’re best of finding some people to share it with.
Once you get on the boat, they drive you down the river for about 20 minutes before they reach the entrance to the cave. They then switch off the engines and paddle you through the cave.
Gliding through the water, seeing all those beautiful limestone formations really makes you think that you are on a different planet!
They stop near a sand bank where you can get off and walk through the grounds for a bit before you get back on the boar on the other side. Our boat drivers didn’t speak much English but they were lovely people pointing out interesting formations and paddling us through the caves.
I’ve never been much of a cave fan but seeing caves this huge and untouched by humankind is utterly fascinating, especially since some of the caves haven’t been discovered until a few years ago!
What are your thoughts on caves? Do you find them as fascinating as me? Which ones have you visited?