Phong Nha: A day in the caves

..(and some other bits I’m waffling on about )

Wow. The only word that can possibly come close to representing the day I had in the caves.

To think that I came to Phong Nha on a whim; not really sure about what I was coming to see here is crazy. This was up there with my favourite days so far.  

 The morning started slow. We arrived on the sleeper bus at 4am and couldn’t check in until 12pm. Luckily we had booked to stay in the Easy Tiger hostel, the downstairs is open all night with plugs, sofas, a hot shower to use and hammocks out back to sleep. 

  So much goes on here and the staff are so helpful! At 9am everyday the owner Mike gives a talk about the history of Phong Nha: what’s good to see, where to go etc and gives you a map too.

It’s so lovely to see someone so genuinely interested in you enjoying your experience. Most importantly, he helps the locals develop the tourism here as he advertises and helps places, restaurants and Thangs Easy Riders next door. 

Thangs took us around the National Park on their motorcycles for the day. This is a great option if you’re not confident enough to drive one yourself. It’s a great setup too, the drivers are paid well and know the area and rules of the road. All of them used to be hunters in the park before it became a UNESCO site. Now this is illegal so all these guys lost their jobs so Thangs was set up to support them.

  Support the riders..  
 It’s crazy to think that 20 years ago there was nothing in this town because it was so destructed during the war.

Right, let’s get back on topic..! 

There are 4 main caves in Phong Nha, here’s the low down: 

Paradise Cave   

 This Cave was discovered in 2005. It’s been labelled the worlds most beautiful and magnificent with a length of 31.4kms and is the longest dry cave in Asia. 

    
Tourists can walk through 1-7kms of it depending on the time of year and the weather conditions.    

  

 Being in there is an indescribable feeling. Unfortunately none of my pictures do it any justice, you’ll just have to see for yourself! 

The Dark Cave   

  

 Easily my favourite but more due to the entertainment value than the wow factor. It’s hard to be wowed by the scenery of this one as its pitch black inside; the good news is, it involves lots of activities!

   


The 250,000 dong entry fee includes zipwiring to the cave, swimming, a mud bath,kayaking out and an optional obstacle course; it’s so much fun!! 

 
      
 
   
 
     
 
   
You float in the mud it’s crazy!

 
     
 
   
 

  

I’ll end with the two caves that we didn’t get to see: Phong nha and Son Doong. I’m a bit gutted that we missed these, but due to Liam reinjuring his already broken ribs on the zip wire at the Dark Cave (I told him not to go on it), we had to have a chill day on our second day. 

PLEASE NOTE: The zip wire is completely safe and doesn’t hurt. Liam broke his ribs a few months back and the impact into the water bruised the already fragile area. You should definitely do the zipwire! 

Phong Nha cave

Probably the most incredible and important in Vietnamese history. The Vietnamese used this cave during the war as a hiding place for all the trucks that they used to use to transport goods across the country. They had to hide these in the daytime and work at night because the Americans consistently monitored from the air and dropped bombs on any movement. It’s the worlds longest river cave with a length of over 7km. 

Google images:     

 

Son Doong 

It’s hard to believe that Son Doong was only discovered in 2009 considering its the worlds largest cave. The pictures of this place looks absolutely out of this world. 

Here’s some of my favourite google images: 

   

  

  

 

The caves are without a doubt the regions highlights, but with the area constantly developing and a number of other things to see, it’s worth staying here for at least 2 nights. 

Has anyone done these caves before?
LwL X 

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