Staying at Chay Lap Farmstay and looking for some off-property activities to fill your days? We’ve compiled a list of a few popular activity choices for you below and how to get there. These are independent activities and the prices listed include entrance fees; transfer fees from Chay Lap are additional and are listed below.

OXALIS ADVENTURE TOURS

If you are joining us for the Son Doong Expedition (or any other expedition) and plan on coming early or stay late, consider visiting the other cave system Oxalis run tours to, Tu Lan. We offer 1 day tours and multiple day tours. A 1 day tour is a great choice but we do recommend waiting to do it until after Son Doong so that you can save your energy for the big one!

Please visit Oxalis Adventure Tours Website for more adventure & expedition tours information.

Note: Oxalis tours include a free pickup/drop off at Chay Lap Farmstay

OXALIS ACTIVITIES

KAYAKING AT OXALIS 

If you like starting or winding down your day with a light dose of adventure, why not rent a kayak at Oxalis Headquarters?
From Oxalis, you can kayak just up the river to Ho Khanh’s Homestay or Phong Nha River House, both of which boast excellent Vietnamese coffee. Phong Nha River House also dishes up the best Vietnamese food in town. Both locations have a beach where you can leave the kayak if you pop in for a drink, but please ask the staff there to help you tie it up so it doesn’t float away. For those who want to go a little farther, a paddle up to the entrance of Phong Nha Cave is a good choice (but please, don’t enter the cave via kayak).

Price: Kayak rentals are free of charge for Oxalis tour customers; for outside customers the price is 100,000 VND per hour

BEACH AT OXALIS

Need a lazy day? Why not spend it lounging on the beach at Oxalis! Deck chairs sit atop the sand, or you can also bring down a cushy bean bag chair to lie on. Waitstaff are happy to serve your drinks on the beach and you can take a dip in the river if you need to cool off; curl up on a bean bag chair with a book and hot coffee in the winter months.

Price: Free for Oxalis customers (hotel, café, tour customers)

Note:There are multiple river transfers between Chay Lap Farmstay and Oxalis Headquarters daily; please ask a member of our sales team if you’d like information in advance, or check in with reception at Chay Lap upon your arrival for more information.
Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): 1 way 360,000 VND, roundtrip 600,000 VND

PHOTOGRAPHY FANATICS

Phong Nha does not disappoint if you want to capture some great images. Check out the following places for incredible viewpoints below:

Chay Lap Farmstay: Want to show off what a great vacation you’re having? Consider some selfies poolside onsite at Chay Lap. One sight of our delicious cocktails and food are sure to make any of your followers mouthwateringly jealous!

Oxalis Home Rooftop: Yup, this provides one of the best lookouts in all of Phong Nha! Many people don’t even realize what the view offers. You can see a huge expanse of the Son River, and the karst mountains towering behind it.

Tien Son Cave: This cave is located above Phong Nha Cave. When you buy a ticket to Phong Nha Cave, be sure to ask about Tien Son as well. You’ll have quite a few stairs to climb but the view is worth the workout!

Farmstay: When the rice paddies are at their greenest (March – April) and the late afternoon sun is casting it’s last glow across the fields, you’ll be glad brought your camera to capture the Farmstay at its best

Bomb Crater Bar (at sunset): Situated in the perfect spot to catch the sun dip below the horizon, Bomb Crater Bar sits along the river and therefore provides an idyllic location for photographers. Bomb Crater Bar is located in Cu Lac Village, between Easy Tiger and Farmstay.

Xuan Son Bridge: The bridge is located just outside of Phong Nha (exit town, turn left along Ho Chi Minh Highway, and you’re there!). It offers a view of the river, buffaloes grazing in rice fields, houses, churches, and more.

Anywhere along the Son River: It’s hard to capture a bad photo of the river. There is a long stretch of river running alongside the village, just outside of the center of town. Stop at one of the nuoc mia (sugarcane juice) stands and capture some shots.

PUB CRAWL

If a few drinks throughout the day is more your style, consider a pub crawl throughout Phong Nha and Bong Lai Valley. Please be careful if you’re driving and indulge yourself responsibly (proper medical care isn’t close)! Your best option would be to hire a licensed motorbike driver for the day who can take you around while you jump on back and soak up the views, take photos, and drink without worrying about how to get home safely. A sample itinerary is Easy Tiger –> Bomb Crater Bar –> Moi Moi –> Pub with Cold Beer –> sunset at Farmstay. Or you could leave Farmstay sooner and enjoy Bomb Crater Bar at sunset instead. The highlight of this choice is getting to take a swim in the river while enjoying the sunset!

Price: depends how many beers you drink! Beers average about 20,000 VND each in this area

BONG LAI VALLEY

If you want to see Bong Lai Valley but perhaps without making all the beer stops, maybe just pick one or two choices to check out. Bong Lai Valley is home to several families who cater to travelers in search of good food and a cold beer. The original Pub with Cold Beer is perhaps the most well-known, but these days Moi Moi, The Duck Stop, and Wild Boar Eco Farm give them a run for their money on great views, fresh food, and incredible hospitality. Food is all fresh from the garden/farm and served family style. Going in a group is always more fun!

Price: The price of a meal per person is about 100,000 VND at these stops, depending on group size; beers are about 20,000 VND (prices subject to fluctuate)

HISTORY BUFFS

If you have a spare morning or afternoon, consider checking out the war exhibition located near the entrance to town. It’s situated right by an open field, often used for youth football matches or otherwise occupied by cows, across the street from the Phong-Nha Ke Bang sign While the museum itself is under repair and not open to the public, the courtyard itself is worth paying a visit to. The perfume of flowers wafts through the air and the backdrop of the mountains make for a serene stroll. There is a small bridge leading to a monument known as the Monument of the Voluntary Youth. It pays tribute to the voluntary youth force on the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnamese – American war

Price: Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): 1 way 360,000 VND, roundtrip 600,000 VND

BOTANICAL GARDEN

If nature is your thing, you’re in the perfect place. A great choice, especially for families, is the Botanical Garden. There are nice walking paths, beautiful trees, and a waterfall (maybe avoid the taxidermy room though)! The gardens are located 10 km from the center of town on Highway 20 (Victory Road), en route to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. While you can venture here by bicycle, we recommend heading there by motorbike as there are no bike paths or lanes on this fairly narrow highway.

Price: 40,000 VND
Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): roundtrip 600,000 VND

MOTORBIKE THROUGH PHONG NHA – KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

This is a highlight for many. The 65 km loop takes you through a beautiful section of the National Park, and you’ll have a chance to stop into several famous caves, including Paradise Cave, 8 Lady Cave, and Dark Cave (more about those below). You can easily spend a whole day driving the loop, depending on how many stops you make. If you aren’t an experienced rider, we insist that you hire a licensed motorbike driver to take you around! The national park is NOT the place to learn how to drive a motorbike. There are also a couple places who can take you by car (great for families with smaller children).

Price: Free (excluding motorbike rental and gasoline of course. But at least there’s no entrance fee to the park!)

8 LADY CAVE

This cave, which also goes by its Vietnamese name “Hang Tam Co”, is located just past km 16 on Highway 20, part of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Highway 20 was in fact named this because 20 years old was the average age of the youth volunteer force and frontline soldiers during the Vietnamese – American war. The cave pays homage to 8 young ladies and gentlemen who were tragically trapped in the cave during a fall-in after a bomb strike. A temple has been constructed next to the cave as a tribute and place to honor the members of these brave men and women.

Price:  Free
Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): roundtrip 600,000 VND

PARADISE CAVE

Paradise Cave is a must-see during your stay here, especially if you’re riding the National Park loop. Once thought to be among the biggest caves in the world, what is referred to as Paradise Cave is actually a dry passage of Vom Cave System. Vom Cave is the longest dry cave in Asia at 31 km. Currently tourists can visit the first kilometer of Paradise Cave, which is entered via a long set of stairs followed by a wooden boardwalk. There is a light system set up in the cave which allows you to marvel at all the formations and get some good photos as well. The price doesn’t include the electric carts which take you from the front entrance to the bottom of the stairs leading up to the cave. You’re welcome to opt out of the cart and walk instead, but the stairs aren’t optional so get those quads ready.

Price:  250,000 VND per adult and 125,000 VND per child
Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): roundtrip 550,000 VND

DARK CAVE

Dark Cave is for the more adventurous and is a very muddy excursion. You’ll definitely want to bring a change of clothes with you and a towel if you go. The cave is reached via a very short kayak or a zipline. There are smaller ziplines and some family activities available as well, the price of which is included in the cave tour.

*Please be advised that we highlight Dark Cave in this section because many people ask about it, but Chay Lap Farmstay is not liable for their safety standards nor do we endorse participation in this activity.

Price (entrance fees vary): High season all-inclusive (cave and zipline) 450,000 VND per person.
Low season all-inclusive 250,000 VND per person.
High season limited access (zipline & kayak) 270,000 VND per person.
Low season limited access 170,000 VND per person.
Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): roundtrip 250,000 VND

NUOC MOOC ECOTRAIL

The ecotrail is tucked into the jungle just off the main road of the national park loop. The trails are defined by bamboo floorboards and clearly marked paths, and they’ll take you over gushing rivers and to some small lagoons; the first lagoon has been set up with a mini ropes course and is great fun for kids. As you venture further along the trails, you’ll find a larger area set up for kayaking and splashing around. The ecotrail can be a bit busy during the summer months when kids are out for school break, but it’s still worth a visit to if you’re looking to cool off.

Price: 80,000 VND per person for basic entrance fee; 180,000 VND for all access pass
Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): roundtrip 350,000 VND

PHONG NHA CAVE

Another must-see attraction in Phong Nha, this cave is located at the top of a fork in the Son River; to reach it; you’ll purchase tickets from the Tourism Center in town and then hop into a dragon boat which will take you 3 km up the river to the entrance of the cave. You’ll then continue through the first km of the cave by boat, and on your way out, be able to explore about 500 m by foot. The boat picks you back up and returns you at the Tourism Center in town. This is a great choice if the weather is too hot for riding a motorbike and you need a cool escape. The cave is artificially lit in a very tasteful manner, highlighting the most fascinating formations well and providing excellent conditions for photographic opportunities.

Price: 150,000 VND/per person entrance fee and 360,000 VND/boat (which seats 14); you can pay 300,000 VND extra for an English speaking guide to accompany you on the boat (upon availability)
Transfer price from Chay Lap Farmstay (7 seater car): roundtrip 600,000 VND
Note: All roundtrip transfer prices are based on a 4 hr roundtrip; maximum 8 pax

Coming to Phong Nha and still not sure what to do with your extra time? Check out some blogs below, written by some lovers of the area, they paint a brilliant picture of the country:

https://www.travelfish.org/sights/vietnam/north_central_vietnam/quang_binh/phong_nha 

http://www.nomadasaurus.com/dear-phong-nha-we-love-you-photo-essay/

http://www.nomadasaurus.com/pub-with-cold-beer-phong-nhas-other-famous-attraction/ 

http://www.nomadasaurus.com/caves-zip-lines-deep-mud-phong-nha/

*Prices listed in the above articles have likely changed since the hyperlinked articles were written so please refer to pricing above which is updated regularly.

*If you’re interested in motorbike rentals, please contact one of the following licensed drivers/companies:
Phong Nha Backpacker Services (Phuong): +84 (0) 98 828 9807
Thang’s Phong Nha Riders (limited English): +84 (0) 164 659 0719