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Phong Nha Cave

The Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam is also known as the cave kingdom of the world! This explorer’s paradise has some of the biggest and most beautiful caves ever encountered by mankind on Earth. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to the largest cave in the world – Son Doong Cave;  the third largest cave in the world – Hang En Cave; home of the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island, made up of over 10 dry and wet caves – the Tu Lan Cave system; the cave containing some of the rarest formations ever seen – Hang Va Cave, the gorgeous Paradise Cave and many more!

However, when you talk about the caves in Phong Nha, it is interesting to know that Phong Nha received its name from a cave in the region; Phong Nha Cave. While there are numerous caves in Phong Nha and many yet to be discovered, Phong Nha Cave will always remain special and historically significant in the eyes of the locals. When you arrive in Phong Nha, you’ll see that you have a plethora of options in terms of the best tours in Phong Nha. No matter which tour you decide to do here, make sure you definitely visit Phong Nha Cave on your Phong Nha travel itinerary, as this boat tour in Phong Nha is considered to be one of the most memorable experiences for travellers.

About Phong Nha Cave

The region of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park gets its name from Phong Nha Cave. Not only is Phong Nha Cave one of the most beautiful caves in Phong Nha, but also one of the most historically significant and legendary caves in the whole world. Due to this cave’s sheer magnificence, travellers from all over the world find themselves astounded once inside the cave and engulfed in its magic. The stalactites and stalagmites cutting through the cave appear akin to the teeth of a giant monster and you will undoubtedly be mesmerized by the karst formations and 400 million year old limestone that surrounds you.

Discovery & Exploration

Phong Nha Cave’s earliest exploration was made in 1899. Back in the day, Phong Nha Cave served several purposes and is believed to have played a very significant role for the locals of the region during the Vietnam War.

In 1990, some British cave experts collaborated with Hanoi University of Science for an expedition inside Phong Nha Cave. The primary agenda of this expedition was to explore the depths of the cave and document it to the best of their ability.  Numerous expeditions were conducted and it led to the exploration of 10,130m of cave with an average height of 50 meters. After these successful expeditions, Phong Nha Cave became developed for tourism back in 1995.

Geological Features Of The Cave

Phong Nha Cave has a length of 10130 meters and a 5,500 meter long underground river.

Another interesting fact about the Phong Nha cave is that it is home of a very large number of fossils that are seen embedded inside the limestone rock wall, that themselves are quite large. These fossils are believed to be that of marine creatures, like fish, seashells and possibly many others unbeknownst to researchers so far. Phong Nha Cave is about 2 million years old.

When you explore the Phong Nha Cave

As one of the best cave tours in Phong Nha, when you visit Phong Nha Cave, you will admire that the cave has some very large dry chambers and is divided in three main sections; it has been declared that all these three sections have distinct species.The three sections are the entrance zone, twilight zone and the dark zone.

The entrance zone is right at the mouth of this impressive cave and all the species of the cave that live in sunlight are found here like fish, insects and more! At the twilight zone, you’ll find that an artificial lighting system has been installed for the guests to be able to see the beauty of the cave; you may get to see crabs, shrimps, eels etc. in the water. As the name suggests, the dark zone is where you’ll be surrounded by darkness and find the presence of blind species like bats, blind spiders, blind fish and so forth. The Phong Nha Cave tour is one of the best boat tours in Phong Nha and your journey would be incomplete without it.

Visit Phong Nha Cave

When you think about Phong Nha boat caves, you should definitely consider the Phong Nha cave tour.  Once you arrive in Phong Nha, make your way to the Phong Nha tourism center, which is right in Phong Nha town and buy tickets for the tour.  The tours run between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM. The amazing part about this for avid travellers is the fact that the tickets are priced very reasonably and won’t even remotely break the bank.

The Phong Nha cave tour is also known as one of the best boat tours in Phong Nha because you visit the cave by boat. You’ll notice that you’ll be taken to the cave by boat that makes its way smoothly across the mesmerizing Son River.

If you’re staying at any hotel in Phong Nha town, the Phong Nha Tourism Center can be reached by walking and you won’t have to make expenditures on transport. Once you arrive at the Phong Nha Tourism Center, you will be guided to the ticket counter and while making your way there, you’ll find various shops for snacks, drinks, clothes etc.


Generally, the entrance fee is VND 150,000 and the price for the boat is VND 360,000. It is important to know that the boat can accommodate 14 people at a time and depending on the size of your group, the price can change very dramatically. So, if you wish to get a better price, make sure you wait near the ticket booth and when you see some other travellers approaching; you may purchase your boat tickets together. Here’s another interesting fact about the pricing; children below the height of 1.1m get a discount of 50% on the price!

Tour Options

There are mainly two options you’ll have for exploring the marvelous Phong Nha Cave. The first option is the one that is often chosen by most tourists. The first option will be for you to buy the regular ticket, get on the boat and make your way to Phong Nha Cave and you’ll get to go as far as 1.5 km inside the cave via the boat. Before you exit the cave, your boat will move to the side near a sandy riverbank. You’ll find yourself surrounded by some brilliant patterns on the limestone twists and it’ll surely make your heart skip a beat! After walking for about 100 meters towards the opening of the cave, you’ll find that a staircase leads you up towards some shops and the docks where the Phong Nha Cave tour boats reassemble.

The second option is considered to be perfect for the more adventurous travellers. With this option, you get to explore up to 4.5 km of the Phong Nha cave and this is undoubtedly one of the best cave tours in Phong Nha! On this tour, you’ll be accompanied by a professional English speaking guide who will ensure your safety inside the cave at all times. You’ll also be provided with adequate caving gear like helmet, headlights, gloves etc, along with kayak and paddles. This cave tour in Phong Nha is considered to be amazing also due to the fact that you get to kayak and properly cave on this tour, unlike the former option. This tour commences at 8:00 AM and end around 3:30 PM.

If you’re looking for the best boat tours in Phong Nha, don’t forget to visit the Phong Nha Tourism Center based in the Phong Nha town and visit the ever glorious Phong Nha Cave!

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