Phong Nha Cave is the most well-known cave inside the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and world’s largest wet cave! The subterranean river system can be followed all the way to what is supposedly the end of the cave 8 kilometers from the entrance. This amazing tour will take participants 4.5 kilometers deep inside the cave!
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Dong Hoi, Phong Nha|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Pickup time from 7h30 am to 8h00 am from your stay (hotel, train station, airport)|
|Location||Dong Hoi, Phong Nha Ke Bang|
|Month||April, August, December, July, June, March, May|
Our tour guide(s) will pick up tour participants in between 08:00 and 09:00 AM at the Dong Hoi and Phong Nha. The tour will start at the boat station which is located at the Phong Nha-Ke Bang Tourism Center’s ticket office. It is highly recommended to have a large breakfast before the pickup time.
After a short introduction participants will enter a tour van which will take them to another small dock located 10 minutes from the boat station and here they will use a boat to get to the mouth of the Phong Nha Cave.
At the Phong Nha Cave’s boat station every single participant will be equipped with high-quality gear required for successfully exploring the Phong Nha Cave. The assigned tour guide will provide general information about the cave before entering it. Moreover, one of the most crucial things before entering the cave is the safety briefing that will be held after successfully gearing up having checked all the equipment. When everything is approved by the tour guide it’s time to start the exciting day!
Depending on the size of the group the cave will be entered either by kayak or boat. On the way in the first two zones of the Phong Nha cave will be passed: The entrance zone & twilight zone. The entrance zone is home to many different animals like birds, fish, snakes, monkeys. Every animal that lives in the sunlight can seek shelter in the entrance zone of the cave. Not far from the mouth of the cave the Twilight zone starts. This is the zone in which the carefully placed artificial lighting system is installed. Grand stalagmite and stalactite formations are beautifully lid up by this system and it creates a spectacular ambiance and vibe. The twilight zone stretches for about 1.2 kilometers and after the last lamp, the dark zone officially starts. This zone is the zone which is not artificially lightened or modified in any way (except for one or two ropes to safely guide visitors descend the slippery rocks).
After venturing approximately 500 meters into the dark zone the kayaks/boat will be left behind and participants will have to make their way over enormous boulders, narrow passages, and huge stalagmites & stalactites. It’s a game of climbing and descending while our tour guide provides a large amount of interesting information about the Phong Nha Cave. The first hundred meters often leaves our visitors speechless, just being able to look at how enormous some of the formations are. It’s amazingly overwhelming!
After making it through the first kilometer of the dark zone a simple lunch will be served to regain some of the used up energy. Next up it’s time to enter the subterranean river once again, however, this time, participants will have to swim. The temperature of the water is very pleasant and the view is once again spectacular. After swimming approximately 200 meters a sandy beach will be reached and from that point on it will be swimming and walking on the gorgeous beaches that can be found inside the cave. At one point the river current gets stronger and one of the tour guides will span a rope between one side of the river and the other to successfully get participants across.
After 2~4 hours the 4.5km point will be reached, here the participants will be awarded certificates for successfully exploring the Phong Nha cave. After taking pictures with the certificates it’s time to head back to the kayaks/boats. However, the way back seems to be completely different. Although partly the same route will be walked viewing the cave from the other way is completely different. This is also caused by the fact that on the way back participants are usually more confident and now take the time to look up more than watch their step. Another great thing about the way back is that participants will be traveling downstream and the river will carry them down for the largest part of the way.
Back at the kayak/boat there is time to relax and swim before slowly returning to the boat station. However, at this point, the tour is not over! The twilight zone will also be visited including the amazing By Ki chamber where the Cham people have left an inscription that’s over a thousand years old. The twilight zone will be explored by foot and the artificial lighting system will create for another entirely different caving experience. It’s almost like visiting two different caves on the same day.
Note: There is plenty of time to take pictures and videos inside the cave. Our tour guides are highly skilled and professional & they speak English.
Note: This tour is operated from mid- November to mid September( closed from mid- September to mid- November)