Vietnam Travel Guide

PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK – THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE

son doong - phong nha ke bang

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is like a “royal palace in the ground” with natural scenery. Nature is beautiful as a painting that was created for Quang Binh people and so Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park gradually became an attractive tourist destination in and out of the country. The below guide will make your Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park trip more complete and enjoyable.

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is associated with the historical heroic achievements. This place is the interference between the primeval forest and the Son River along with the caves, and these are what  make the visitors easily fall in love with this wonder site. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO world natural heritage recognized in 2003 with two criterion: Geology and geomorphology.
This article will answer to all your queries when traveling to Quang Binh, especially Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

I. THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

Quang Binh experiences tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons:

+ The dry season (from April to August): The temperature outside is 36-37°C, sometimes reaching the peak at 40°C. The temperature in the cave is always 18-22°C (very cool and pleasant). This is a good time to take part in exploring caves in the world natural heritage Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

+ The rainy season (from September to March next year): Characteristics is the Northeast monsoon, the average rainfall from 2,000mm – 2300mm/year. In the rainy season, the rising Son River will obstruct the cave entrance. Tourists may face problems in visiting Phong Nha cave system including Dry caves, Tien Son cave, Thien Duong cave. When traveling and experiencing Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, you need a proper schedule and right preparations.

Therefore, the most favorable time for Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park travel is from April to August. The weather in those months remains quite stable. There is less rain so it is convenient for moving and visiting the cave.

phong nha ke bang

II. TOP SITES TO EXPERIENCE WHEN IN PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

1. Phong Nha Cave: A majestic river cave of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

a. Explore 1.2 km Phong Nha Cave on local boat

The cave has a length of 7,729 m with the longest underground river system in the world. To reach the Phong Nha cave, visitors get on the motor boat to the Son River. When you come to Phong Nha cave you will feel the cool air, especially in the summer. The temperature in here is only 18-22°C. The boat is the only transportation in the cave to enjoy the look. The beauty of the gorgeous nature is considered as the first magnificent beauty of nature. You can also discover Bi Ky Cave, Co Tien Cave and Cung Dinh Cave with beautiful stalactites in different colors and shapes.

The ticket fare to Phong Nha cave is VND 150,000/person, the price of each boat is VND 360,000 and it can carry up to 12 guests. If you go with a team of about 10 people, you should rent an individual boat.

b. An adventure tour through the 4500m lake

In addition to the first tour of 1.2 km of Phong Nha Cave, if you want to go deep inside, then register a new adventure exploring across the lake with 4,500 m in length.
This adventure requires you to sign up for a tour operator and you can not go on your own.
The tour will provide you with:
+ A kayak boat on the Son River
+ A headlamp flashlight and a dedicated hat for exploration
+ 1 life-jacket
+ 1 lunch
+ 1 tour guide
+ 3 – 5 porter escorts
You must pay VND 1,700,000/person/visit
Time: 1 day (08:00 – 17:00)
With this journey on the adventure route, it is very dark and so the tour guide provides a flashlight to see the way ahead and at the same time admiring the beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in it. Kayaking in the tranquil setting of the 22°C cool water is also a great and impressive experience for you.

2. Tien Son Cave: An ideal attraction comprising natural beauty spots

After visiting Phong Nha, visitors often visit the dry cave – Tien Son Cave. Phong Nha – Tien Son is not only a pair of creatures but also an unified body. Located at about 200m high on the Phong Nha Cave, Tien Son Cave has a length of 980m and it is not included in Phong Nha Cave.

Setting foot in Tien Son cave, you will feel as if you are entering the heavenly realm. Each place is a natural feat. Encountering the natural features  will constantly give you a feeling from amazed to fascinated, attractive to seductive. Therefore, it is said that while the beautiful Phong Nha is where Thuy Te King and the mermaid are present, Tien Son is the silhouette of the Jade Emperor and the fairyland.

3. Paradise Cave (Thien Duong Cave): A breathtaking beauty of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

phong nha ke bang

a. Explore the 1.2 km Paradise Cave on the wooden floor

Well known as the” palace in the ground”, Paradise Cave (Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province) is one of the most magnificent and magical wonders in the world. Paradise Cave is located near the edge of the western branch of Ho Chi Minh Highway . From Phong Nha cave about 20 km further, in the heart of a limestone mountain at 191 m, the surrounding is the primeval forest of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Thien Duong Cave is a dry cave that is considered to be the longest in Asia. Paradise Cave is 31.4 km in length, the width varies from 30 to 100 m. The widest point is 150m and the height from the bottom to the ceiling is about 60m.

Entering the cave, people will be delighted to imagine the countless stalactites of various shapes. Come with Cung Thach Hoa Vien as the statue of the Virgin Mary holding the comrades. Besides, Giao Thich is where the Jade Emperor discusses the state affairs with the gods, around is the unicorn and the phoenix. Compared to Phong Nha Cave, stalactites in Paradise Cave have more shapes and variations.

b. Explore the mystery of the 7000m Paradise Cave

Discovery time: 1 day

See the skylight from the top of the mountain which help to regulate oxygen in the cave.

You also have the opportunity to see fish without eyes and transparent albino shrimp. The 7 km Paradise Cave Tour will be equipped with safety equipment.
Paradise Cave tour 7 km: VND 2,000,000/ticket/person.

4. Son Doong Cave: The world’s largest cave

son doong - phong nha ke bang

Trekking into the world’s largest cave will be truly unlike any trip you have ever experienced. Have you ever imagined inside a cave that could hold a Boeing 747? This is really a great masterpiece of nature, beyond the imagination with stalactites, giant stalagmites hanging from the ceiling or rising from the ground, looking like aliens with strange shapes.

A forest deep inside the cave with dazzling cloud create a mesmerizing scene. You will also have the opportunity to understand more about the stalactites that are hundreds of millions of years old in the fossilized corridor.

This is a journey from the beginning to the end of the cave, and you will use the trekking belt to climb into the cave entrance and climb up the wall of stalactite 90m high called the Great Wall of Vietnam. You will always be supervised and supported by Oxalis safety team during the tour.

The expedition is designed with plenty of time for you to take pictures and explore. However, you need to have good health and plenty of trekking experience (no climbing or caving skills needed).

Note: For reasons of safety and preservation of caves, Quang Binh province only allows Oxalis to be the only company allowed to lead visitors into the Hang Do and Son Doong Hang according to Decision No. 47 /VPUBND-VX (9 January 2015) and Decision No. 878 / UBND-VX (29 July 2015) of the People’s Committee of Quang Binh.

Any visitors who can not complete the way to Son Doong will have to return to Phong Nha and are not allowed to continue the trip. This is also applicable to anyone who does not comply with the rules of safety, environmental protection, tour rules or does not comply with tour guide requirements. All expenses paid for the tour will not be refunded.

5. Dark Cave (Hang Toi): Definitely no light in the cave

dark cave - phong nha ke bang

It is a branch of the Phong Nha Cave system. Dark caves were surveyed by British explorers in 1990 and 1992. The cave is 20 m wide and 40 m high. Like many caves in Phong Nha Ke Bang area, Dark Cave is both a wet cave and a dry cave with the length of 5,258 m and the height of 80 m. The “dark light” in the cave is so thick that the people think it was impossible to touch. their own hands

Dark Cave is pristine with thousands of colorful stalactites and is the home to many animals such as bats and swallows. Especially, this cave is also a home of the Ha Tinh langur – one of the primates named in the Red Book of Vietnam.

Located right by the river with high humidity so the stalactite in Dark Cave is covered with a large amount of moss creating a blue color. The cave is very primitive and does not have the lighting system such as Phong Nha Cave or Thien Duong Cave. You can walk on a 1 km long wooden staircase and then discover yourself by the light of the head lamp.

6. En Cave (Hang En): The world’s third largest cave

It has a total length of 1,645 m across the mountain and three entrances, one is halfway up the mountain and two are at the foot of the mountain to the southeast and northwest along the course of Rao Thuong Spring.

The unique feature of the cave is that En Cave is green in color. The light shining from the sky enters through  the ceiling of the cave to make the scenemore shimmering and fanciful. On the ceiling, stalactites shaped like thousands of swallows and bats, which is also the cause of the name En.

Do not go by yourself because going in the forest is very dangerous. You need experienced guides to avoid getting lost. However, this is a high trekking route of nearly 30 km with more than 10 km up and downhill with the height of over 500m and more than 10 km wading streams, forest ice. If you have good health and training before, you can join this trekking tour.

7. Mooc Spring Eco Trail: The gift of Mother Earth

From the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park area, along the Ho Chi Minh Road (east branch) to the north, to the Khe Gat 3-way crossroad turn to the west of Ho Chi Minh Road (west branch) about 10 km to reach the ecological tourist site – Nuoc Mooc. Guests can also get on a boat to Son River, turn to Chay River over 6 km to this tourist destination.

Mooc Spring Eco Trail is unlike other tourist sites in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. This place retains the pristine beauty of the nature. It is very attractive and surprising to visitors. The beautiful scenery, natural scenery and fresh air of Nuoc Mooc make it relaxing and attractive for tourists when coming to Quang Binh.

8. Aquarium Cave: A journey through the jungle

Located right in Sinh Ton Valley with strange blue water, Aquarium Cave has gentle water, even more feminine appearance with its jade blue shades. At first, Aquarium Cave was named Blue Water cave because of the blue water and hidden elements. So far, the reason behind the blue water of the cave is still a mystery.

The deeper inside, the more you can see the cave as an underwater arcade. You will see the colorful stalactites, mystical features and even hear the echo when people call each other.

9. Tu Lan Cave: The home of the Hollywood blockbuster movie

Tu Lan cave - Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

The Tu Lan Cave system includes more than 10 caves all. One of them was first  discovered in 1992. The rest has been found in recent years. Mouse Cave (Chuot Cave) was chosen as the setting for the American blockbuster Kong  movie which was released in March 2017.

Not only beautiful and adventurous at every sight, the cave also makes this trip incomparable to anything else. As you swim through the caves, you will be surrounded by gorgeous limestone formations, which are visible only by the light from your headlamps. You will leave behind the daylight fading when you begin to dive into the cave.

The setting is peaceful and tranquil, and it is certainly an unforgettable experience in your life. When you complete swimming and walk out of the cave, the scenery here cannot help but overwhelm you with a combination of the magnificent blue lake,  green trees, and small waterfalls. This is absolutely a heaven on earth.

10. Eight Lady Cave: A spiritual tourism destination for visitors

Eight Lady Cave is a spiritual destination in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Visitors and local people often come here to burn incense and give tributes to the heroes, young volunteers during the Vietnam war. Go to Eight Lady Cave, the guide will share with you the sacrifice of the youth in the Vietnam-America War.

To read more about the caves, click Phong Nha Ke Bang caves.

III. THE WAYS FOR TRAVELERS TO REACH TO PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

1. The transportation for visitors to get to Dong Hoi, Quang Binh

Quang Binh is in the center of Central Vietnam with convenient transportation facility from the south or north. To reach Quang Binh, you can go by plane, coach or train.

a. Visitors want to get to Dong Hoi by coach

From Hanoi to Quang Binh, there are many prestigious companies such as Hung Long, Hoang Linh, Xe Hien, Ha Quang with prices ranging from VND 200,000 – VND 250,000/person/time. It takes about 10-12 hours. With the office workers who do not have too much time, you can take the night bus on Friday to get to Quang Binh in the morning.

From Saigon to Quang Binh: There are some famous bus companies such as Hoang Long, Minh Huy, Chau Tuyet, Tuan Linh, with prices ranging from VND 590,000 – VND 800,000/person/time depending on the time. Moving vehicle takes 26 hours.

From Da Nang to Quang Binh: There are many modern coaches like Trung Tin, Nam Tao, Hai Ha and Hai Au, with the price from VND 150,000 – VND 180,000/person/time depending on time. The travel time is 5-6 hours. You can always have a bus from Da Nang to Quang Binh.

If you want to book a ticket to Quang Binh by coach, click here.

b. Visitors want to get to Dong Hoi by plane

Vietnam Airlines and some other airlines such as Jetstar and VietJet offer round-trip flights from Saigon to Dong Hoi and Hanoi to Dong Hoi every day, so it is convenient  to book the tickets and prepare to go to the airport.

If you want to book a ticket to Quang Binh by plane, click here.

c. Visitors want to get to Dong Hoi by train

Dong Hoi railway station is the stop for Thong Nhat railway so train is definitely a reasonable mean if your travel expense is limited.

+ From Hanoi to Dong Hoi: The price of bed is about VND 500,000 – VND 700,000/person/bed on floor 1-3 and soft seat price is about VND 300,000/seat. It takes from 10 to 12 hours to get to Quang Binh.

+ From Saigon to Dong Hoi Station: Ticket prices vary from VND 400,000 – VND 1,300,000/person/seat or bed. If you want to have more details of the fare and time, you can refer here.

2. The transportation for visitors to get to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

phong nha ke bang

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. It is about 50 km from Dong Hoi City. Most of the vehicles will go to Dong Hoi city center. If you want to travel to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park by car, taxi or motorbike taxi, here are some important information:

From Dong Hoi you can rent a car:

If you want to organize your tour, you can rent a car or coach from 4 to 45 seats

Contact: (+84) 911 366 567.

If you choose a taxi, you can refer to the company:

Dong Hoi Taxi: (+84) 232 384 1841

Xuyen Viet Taxi: (+84) 232 384 8484

Mai Linh Taxi: (+84) 232 383 8383

Tien Sa Taxi: (+84) 232 379 7979

Or you can rent a motorbike in Dong Hoi city or Phong Nha town center in the reception area of the hotel for easy travel and sightseeing.

Contact (+84) 912 356 056.

Motorcycle rental is about VND 150,000 – VND 200,000/day/car. You can also hire a tour of Dong Hoi city to easily explore  Quang Binh Contact (+84) 914 666 871.

IV. ACCOMMODATIONS IN NEARBY AREA OF PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

1. Some hotels in the center of Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

a. The list of some hotels in the center of Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

2-star hotel: Hanoi Quang Binh Hotel, Ngan Ha Hotel, Thanh Phuc Hotel, Thuy Duong Hotel, Ban Mai Hotel, Sunrise Hotel. Price: from VND 350,000 –  VND 550,000/room/night (Breakfast is not included)

3-star hotel: Thanh Phuc 2 Hotel, Riverside Hotel, Gia Minh Hotel, Quang Phu Hotel, Bao Ninh Resort, Anh Linh Hotel, Luxe Hotel. Price: from VND 500,000 – VND 800,000/room/night (breakfast is included)

4-star hotel: Muong Thanh Quang Binh Hotel, Saigon Quang Binh Hotel. Price: from VND 900,000 –  VND 1,100,000/room/night (inclusive of buffet breakfast)

5-star hotel: Sun Spa Resort, Gold Coast Resort, Muong Thanh Luxury. Price: VND 1,100,000 – VND 2,500,000/room/night (inclusive of breakfast buffet)

b. Detail description about the luxury hotels in the center of Dong Hoi

Some information about Sun Spa Resort

Sun Spa Resort is a 5 star resort located on the beautiful white sandy peninsula with 3 sides facing the sea. The resort owns 340 rooms with architectural design and well-equipped facilities. On one side is the vast ocean, and the other side is the gentle river – Nhat Le. Sun Spa Resort is a beautiful spot in Dong Hoi Central region. At Sun Spa Resort, you are free to bathe, relax in the pool under hot summer sunshine. You can also enjoy a massage at the beach or take time to travel and explore the beauty of Central Vietnam.

Address: Km 16, Ho Chi Minh Highway – West Branch, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province

Some information about Muong Thanh Luxury

Muong Thanh Luxury Nhat Le Hotel is a resort of Muong Thanh Group, a 5-star luxury hotel. The hotel has unique art with the space mixing with nature, sunshine, white sand and blue sea. The rooms at the Muong Thanh Luxury Nhat Le Hotel are equipped with air conditioning, desk, LCD/plasma TV, refrigerator, shower, bathtub and some of the most popular high-end amenities. Therefore, Muong Thanh Luxury Nhat Le Hotel is the perfect luxury choice to stay for exploring Quang Binh You will have the opportunity to watch the sunset after a day of adventures and exploration  while relaxing at the coziness of your comfortable space. You can enjoy a peaceful night and ready to welcome a new day full of unforgettable experience. Muong Thanh Luxury Hotel Nhat Le is proud to bring you a perfect holiday for a classy resort service.

Address: No.121 Truong Phap Street, Hai Thanh District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

2. Some hotels in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

a. List of hotels in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

High-end homestay: Phong Nha Lake House, Chay Lap Farmstay, Ho Khanh Homestay. Price: from VND 800,000 – VND 1,1100,000/room/night (breakfast included)

3-star hotel: Heritage By Night. Price: VND 600,000/room/night (including breakfast)

2-star hotel: Saigon Phong Nha. Price: from VND 400,000 – VND 500,000/room/night (with breakfast)

1-star hotel: Thien Thanh Hotel, Shanghai Hotel, Thien Hotel. Price: VND 300,000/room/night

Hostel: Easy Tiger Hostel, Huong Giang Hostel. Price: from VND 200,000 – VND 250,000/room/night

To book the accommodation, you can contact via booking.com.

b. Detail description about luxury homestays in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

Some information about Phong Nha Lake House

Phong Nha Lake House Resort is a resort with modern amenities such as free wifi in rooms, air conditioning, wardrobe, bathroom with toiletries. Other facilities include swimming pool, common area, smoking area, restaurant, coffee shop, bar, room service, laundry service, and airport pickup. The surrounding of Phong Nha Lake House Resort is the charming scenery of Dong Suong Lake, the majestic Truong Son Range, the legendary Ho Chi Minh Road and the beautiful Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park scenery which attract visitors.

Address: Khuong Ha Hamlet, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

Some information about Chay Lap Farmstay

Located in the buffer zone of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Chay Lap Farmstay has a charming landscape as a water-based painting, the ideal destination for you to start the trip when coming to Quang Binh.

Chay Lap Farmstay is a newly built resort located right at the entrance to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh. This is a boutique styled  hotel combined with gardening, where you can grow your own fresh vegetables, ripe fruits to eat. Chay Lap Farmstay is only 20 minutes away from Phong Nha Cave and it is very close to other famous tourist destinations such as Thien Duong Cave (8 km), Mooc Spring Eco Trail (5 km) and next to Chay River and Dark Cave.

Address: Chay Lap Hamlet, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

V. LIST OF THE BEST FOOD IN PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

1. Restaurants bring Vietnam taste in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

The Phong Nha Town Center is famous for its simple processing of raw materials taken from the poetic Son River itself for clean and fresh food such as river carp, river crayfish, stream fish or crabs. These dishes are the reminiscence of a Vietnamese family meal.

Vung Hue Restaurant

Address: Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

Telephone: (+84) 232 350 3255 – (+84) 942 071 656

Huong Giang Restaurant

Address: Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

Telephone: (+84) 232 367 7042 – (+84) 915 388 232

Thu Hue Restaurant

Address: Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

Telephone: (+84) 984 375 630 – (+84) 945 536 797

2. Restaurants for customers prefer Western cuisines

There are some  places that are perfect for Western cuisine, with delicious continental food. You can come here to enjoy the drink and the music that the young foreigners perform in the warm air.

Easy Tiger Restaurant

Address: Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

Bamboo Restaurant

Address: Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

Tuấn Ngọc Restaurant

Address: Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province

VI. ABOUT LUXURY TRAVEL

luxury travel vietnam

Luxury Travel offers high-end packages in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. The company has 15 years of experience in travel industry and specialize in high-quality vacation. To bring the most authentic travel experience to the customers, Luxury Travel has the experts with thorough knowledge about all aspects of travel and care skills. You will be supported by the team in many different languages: English,, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

If you want to spend time in the poetic Quang Binh or in other beautiful places in Vietnam, contact us right now.

4 Replies to “PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK – THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE”

  1. Wow,
    This is a well-informed post that I have read before about Phong Nha, Ke Bang National Park.
    Thank you for sharing this information. It inspires me a lot. If I have an opportunity, I will get there for sure

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