Phong Nha Cave is located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park Quang Binh Province, Vietnam.
Phong Nha Cave, from which the name to the whole system and the park is derived, is famous for its rock formations which have been given names such as the “Lion”, the “Fairy Caves”, the “Royal Court” and the “Buddha”.
Phong Nha Cave is 7,729 meters long and contains 14 grottoes. Besides the grottoes and cave systems, Phong Nha has the longest underground river, 13,969 meters. While scientists have surveyed 44.5 kilometers of passages, tourists are only allowed to explore the first 1500 meters.
This cave bears the name of Phong Nha meaning Cave of Teeth since getting further to the cave; tourists will be absorbed in the miraculous beauty of stalactites falling down as myriad huge teeth.
The mouth of this cave has a width of 20 meters and a height of 10 meters. From the view point of people sitting on the boats, this cave looks like an upside down giant bowl. The transparent water of the river resembles the surface of a mirror. In the rain reason, the water of the river rises, covering the mouth of the cave and making it impossible to visit.
Phong Nha Cave was voted as one of the most wonderful caves in the world by the British Caving Association for a number of reasons: for its longest underground river, for its most beautiful underground lake, for its highest and widest entrance, for its most beautiful and widest dry cave, for its most beautiful sandbank and reef, as well as for its most spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and longest water grottoes.
Phong Nha Cave is not only a natural legacy of the world, but also a relic system of the historic road Ho Chi Minh which collaborates with Xuan Son Ferry in order to create a route supporting for the battleground of the South Vietnam during war. Today, this place has become the first section of Ho Chi Minh trails.
Open daily from 07:30-16:00
Phong Nha cave costs 150,000 VND per person to enter.
You will also need to hire boat to access the cave which costs 360,000 VND, the cost of which can be shared between up to 12 passengers.
You’ll need at least two and a half hours, round trip for Phong Nha cave, with an additional hour to add on Tien Son Cave.
The boat fee for Phong Nha and Tien Son combined is 400,000 dong, the admission fee to Tien Son Cave is 80,000 dong.
Hang Va was Discovered in 2012, and opened to visitors in 2015
This cave is about 400m from Son Doong Cave, with 1.7km long, and it is easy for coming and exploring.
The entrance to Hang Va is a collapse in the floor of a small steep valley, with cliffs to the north. A descent of about 15m leads into a stream passage that averages 5m high and wide. The cave passage contains a stream throughout the dry season.
Downstream leads after 400m to a sump, we believe this water flows into Nuoc Nut Cave, though it has not been confirmed scientifically.
A small passage entering the Hang Va streamway can be followed up to another small sump. This is believed to carry water from the flood stream that sinks at the bottom of the Wall of Vietnam in Hang Son Doong, about 900m away.
Upstream Hang Va continues for 350m through areas of rock collapse, until a high-level passage opens about 20m above. The streamway continues underneath for a further 300m to an upstream sump. The water comes from Khe Om, a stream which disappears into rocks on the surface.
Inside Hang Va, the upstream high-level passage above the flowstone climb and traverse is much larger that the streamway beneath; it is 20-30m wide and 10m high. Initially the passage slopes up over mud floors in dry gour pools. Further along the pools are partially filled with water. Within the wet and dry gours are the numerous conical calcite formations that have been named as the Tower Cones.
Hang Va Cave you must follow the tours – Click here
Hang Va Cave closed from Sep to January during rain and flooding season
The Hang Vom – Vom Cave System is probably the greatest caving system in Vietnam and perhaps the world in terms of size and splendor. At over 35km long the HVS has never been traversed as a single caving trip from top to bottom. This is one of the aims of the 2009 expedition. The uppermost sink for the HVS is Ruc Caroong. Access to the sink is via road 20 from Son Trach to Lao. The village of Ban Ban is a minority village of the Ruc people. This small group of people, until very recently lived in cave entrances and hunted food in the jungle nearby. These people are therefore excellent guides for the upper reaches of the HVS. The walk down to Ruc Caroong from Ban Ban takes about 1 hour until the river is reached.
The boulder strewn entrance of Ruc Caroong gives no impression of the caves that lie ahead. Once inside the cave enlarges dramatically and the typical grey solid limestone is encountered which is seen throughout the system. Huge gours and stal deposits are present in large numbers throughout the majority of the HVS in this quality limestone. The first section of Ruc Caroong is only 1km long and ends at the huge exit passage around 100m wide and 80m high in a large depression. In this depression the large river disappears in the boulder floor. Crossing this enclosed depression you finally reach the main river of Ruc Caroong. This major river cave can be followed initially passing many side entrances before finally all coming together as a large single river passage. This section of Ruc Caroong is 2.8km long and ends in a huge sump pool 40m across. The water is not seen again until it reappears again in the final cave of the HVS around 8km away.
In the wet season the river is up to the roof of the initial Ruc Caroong passage and therefore over 50m high and 80m wide and according to the locals flowing very fast. This enormous river at this time cannot be all swallowed up in the downstream cave and thus the entrance backs up and the river joins the rest of the HVS as a flood overflow. We have only explored these caves in the dry season but it must be an incredible sight to see in the wet season around August and September.
There are a number of high level dry caves above the active system such as Hang Cung ,Hang Klung and Hang A Cu. These large now abandoned caves are around 50m above the now existing river level. Once however the river must have flowed through these caves. All the high level caves explored in this area are relatively short(around 1km) and all end in stall blockages. The main cave that is regarded as the start of the HVS traverse is Hang En or Hang Pygmy as we call it to distinguish it from another Hang En in the Phong Nha system.
Translated it means Swift cave due to the large numbers living in the roofs of the huge passage. Vines are seen near the entrance where local are able to climb up to the roof arch over 100m high and collect the birds for eating. This cave is really huge and in fact daylight can just be seen throughout its 1km length. During the American war the local people lived here and a school was set up near the entrance in a huge gour. The cave has been attacked from the air but we were told no one was killed during any attack.
Vegetation is seen for the first 300m in the cave due to its enormous size allowing daylight in. In the dry season, only small amounts of water are found in the lower reaches of the huge main passage, but is believed that this fills up dramatically in the rainy season. Passing through Hang Pygmy is achieved by climbing up large gourds and boulders to emerge in a steep do line .Sections of the cave have been measured at over135m wide.
The local people have forced a difficult path out of this do line not knowing that a cave is present at the base. This cave Hang Over is 3.3km long and the small entrance is very misleading considering its huge dimensions inside. One passage just inside the cave is over 130m wide. Hang Over is very easy going and the flat floored passage with very little water in the dry season makes for very pleasant caving in passage mainly 40m wide and high. This exits deep in the jungle but only 100m away is another huge entrance called Hang Ho (Tiger Cave). The short jungle section between the 2 caves is very bad for leeches.
Hang Ho entrance is 80m wide and slopes down on boulders to reach a small stream .Just before reaching the stream and a number of swims a passage on the right leads to more fine caving and another exit in a streambed. This streambed leads to another cave Hang About which is an upstream feeder into Hang Ho. Downstream in Hang Ho is excellent caving in beautiful smooth polished limestone. A number of swims are passed until the exit of Hang Ho is seen. At this entrance, huge trees around 60m high grow at 45 degrees due to the draught that emits from the cave. Following the stream bed downstream from Hang Ho is very difficult due to the incredibly slippy nature of the rocks.
Around 500m from the exit of Hang Ho the water sinks in a cave which has not been pushed to a conclusion. A little further down the valley a huge boulder slope is come across and a small entrance can be found into the main continuation of the HVS called Pitch Cave. This entrance is difficult to find and a much larger one can be found by climbing up and around to the left facing downstream. This large dry entrance leads into Pitch Cave which is a huge rift over 60m high for most of its length. A stream is then reached which can be followed down a few climbs to a sump. Just before the stream is reached a 30m pitch up leads to a high level passage and an exit over the sump. However it is not possible to climb this pitch without rigging from the top. A difficult bypass in dense jungle can miss out most of Pitch Cave and if one can find the small entrance to Pitch Cave in the Col (Vandal’s entrance) it is possible to bypass the pitch. After Pitch cave a very steep descent where a rope is useful leads to another stream bed where the water from Pitch Cave exits. This water sinks in boulders but on the right of the streambed and 10m above the water is one of the many entrances to Hang Duat.
This fantastic Cave is very complex with many levels of development. At just under 4km long Hang Duat is a truly fabulous Cave with sections of active stream way and higher levels which give the name to this cave which translates as Maze Cave. There are a number of exits to Hang Duat but if the main downstream passage is followed a huge chamber is reached where an exit to the left can be taken. In low water conditions a short duck can be passed to lead back to the streambed and the main exit to Hang Duat. The next section of streambed is again very slippy and after another 500m an inlet on the right is picked up which is fed from another important cave called Hang Dai Cao. This section of the HVS has many tiger prints around the cave entrance which adds to the excitement of caving in this area.
Hang Dai Cao is the cave we used as a base camp to explore most of the upstream HVS. It can be reached from road 20 in around a 4 hour walk which many of the jungle guides know and use the entrance a camp for there excursions in the jungle. Hang Dai Cao is another splendid cave and is another feeder into the main HVS. The water in Hang Dai Cao comes from an unknown source and the upstream exits have not been fully checked out for further prospects. Hang Dai Cao is an excellent cave for camping in and we have used it as a base on many expeditions.
Downstream of both Hang Duat and Hang Dai Cao is 2km of streambed which is again slippy but leads to the impressive entrance of Hang Ba. This is an extremely large bit of passage typical of the HVS. At 1km long Hang Ba so named because of its 3 large entrances on the downstream exits. Much of the cave can be done by climbing on boulders above the water and taking the largest exit. However swimming is easier and it is very spectacular to exit from the middle entrance with daylight entering from high level ovens. This amazing place exits in a huge enclosed do line with large cliffs surrounding a large lake with a nice beach. After another short section of cave called Arch Cave which is only 100m long the main downstream entrance to Hang Vom called Panthers entrance is seen. A 500m swim is the easiest way to reach this quite spectacular place.
The next section and the final and longest in the HVS is without doubt one of the great sections of cave anywhere in the world. At over 15km long this section has both huge river passage often over 50m high and wide as well as huge high level passage with enormous star formations. After around 200m from the Panthers entrance a large fast flowing river is met which powers out from a sump. This is thought to be from Ruc Caroong and around 8km away. Much cave awaits to be discovered in this missing section and a diving expedition is planned for 2009.
Downstream the cave increases in size with the roof and walls often out of sight. After just over 1km using a large shelf to traverse the passage a huge left hand bend is reached where due to the immense size of the cave passage the way on is very confusing. This area has not been fully checked out and a return may yield further passage. After another 500m the passage suddenly changes character and a 10m wide canal with a 350m swim called the hall of bright carvings is followed until again daylight can be seen. Only 100m separates this exit from the next entrance. This leads into the main upper river gallery. After around 2km an inlet on the right is reached called Pretentious inlet which was used as a camp in the initial exploration of the system.
Downstream of this inlet the cave is generally 50m wide and high at least and is followed for around 4km of splendid passage involving many swims and cascades to emerge at the Daylight Beckons.
This is where an enormous shaft around 240m high enters and is a splendid location. Because of the daylight entering here it was possible to see the walls and roof of the huge cave and high on the right hand wall downstream a large high level passage can be entered by climbing on a shelf. This passage is very large with excellent formations. As it is around 50 to 100m above the river passage it is mainly dry but in the wet season water does flow in this passage which is quite a sobering thought. This continues for around 6km in huge passage before exiting at the base of a cliff. Nearby the exit to this section of cave another cave called Hang Me Bon Con can be found which has over 800m of high level passage with excellent formations which must connect with the rest of the high level passage in Hang Vom but has not yet been connected.
Back at the daylight shaft the main river passage continues in fine style for another 2km to finally reach the immense exit of Hang Vom (Arch Cave) This exit has an enormous lake the 4th largest underground lake in the world and the sight of the jungle and the huge entrance which is around 80m high and over 100m wide is without doubt one of the greatest locations I have ever had the pleasure to see.
Hang Vom is a truly a remarkable cave system and it is hoped that with further expeditions planned more of this amazing cave will be discovered in the near future.
At this time There are no tours organized to this cave
We would like to thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for such a delightful trip. Your agency made all of our dreams come true. All the drivers were incredibly safe and we were impressed by all three of our guides Van, Viet, and Tom. All guides went above and beyond what they were asked to help us track down meaningful locations. We were also touched by your act of kindness in helping my mother celebrate her birthday with the beautiful flowers and cake.
We will make sure to comment on this and more in our review of your agency. We will definitely recommend your agency to all of our friends traveling to Phong Nha. We received all and more than what was promised. Thanks for your kindness, flexibility, professionalism, and courtesy.
With grateful hearts,
Tiece on behalf of the Adams/Evans/Ziemer party from USA
I would like to thank your company for a wonderful trip to the Ethnic village and caving. Our guide, Tommy, was excellent and we cannot express our appreciation to him for all he did for us. He was polite, considerate and so knowledgeable. He had a wonderful sense of humour and we thoroughly enjoyed being with him. He is an asset to your company and a fine young man. Please tell him that we wish him and his wife all the best for the birth of their child. The bus driver, Thang, was also very good. I just had an issue with one of the home stay in the village which has been explained to you.
We left Vietnam with wonderful memories made possible by your company. Thank you.
Moira Clark from Germany
I want to thank you so much for helping me and guiding me through this process. Your generosity and responsiveness made me book with Phong Nha Caves Tour 3 days from Hanoi and recommend it to Ms Claudia, my coworker. Ms Claudia and her husband and my family and I had a great time together in Phong Nha, trekking and discover both caves paradise & dark cave. Thank you so much.
My family and I had a wonderful time in Vietnam.
I will return to Vietnam in next year with a friend and I am very much looking forward to getting to know Vietnam a little more in depth. We have decided to book the same Phong Nha National Park Tour, because of your excellent choice in the company. Thank you.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
Audrey Metzger from USA.
Rose was very organised and did extremely well with very short notice. Thank you for a wonderful trip
We’re back in Sedney, arrived yesterday night.
Today I’m at work in my office.
Asap I’m answering to the feedback you as below – I can anticipate we’re satisfied with the second part of travel in the South and definitely appreciated the tour in Phong Nha.
In the meantime I can send you the photo we took in your office in Hanoi.
Mark Barry from Australia
Dear Ms. Van Van,
You did a wonderful job at organizing an this wonderful trip for my family to Phong Nha National Park
On behalf of our group, thank you once again for all your support for our holiday to Phong Nha. It was a most enjoyable trip and Dang was excellent as was our driver.
Thank you also for the kind souvenirs. It was very thoughtful of you.
We will definitely be happy to recommend your company and should we be looking to travel to Phong Nha again , we will contact you.
Dark cave tour
I was just reading through my emails the past few weeks and pleasant memories of Vietnam floods me when I see your emails.
Your company is the best company I’ve worked with so far, that includes ANY company.
Me and all the kids had a blast, the itinerary was perfect, the weather cooperated with us.
What made this trip particularly special is my special respect and admiration for Vietnam and the Vietnamese people. The Vietnamese people are one of the nicest, honest, resourceful and hardworking people on Earth.
I might tell to friends and my family book the trip in Phong Nha with you. I just don’t know when for now.
Thank you again for everything and congratulations to you and your company.
Phong Nha Botanic Garden, part of the UNESCO-recognized Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh. The garden is home to Gio (Wind) Waterfall, Vang Anh Lake, a prototype exhibition house, a propagation section, and pristine forest patches. Its diverse flora provides a rich habitat for various species of birds and mammals.
Coming to the destination, tourists can takes part in a guided plan tour along 3-kilometre path or enjoy the scenery such as Gio waterfall, Vang Anh lake with the fresh blue water. Tourists can also learn and observe many species of wildlife in the wild and semi-wild area or set up camp to observe wildlife as night falls.
The sacred ‘Hang Tám Cô’ (The Cave of Eight Ladies) is a popular stop for those traveling on Road 20 in the central province of Quang Binh. People often drop by to light incense for the souls of eight young pioneers of the Vietnam People’s Army. The women starved to death in 1972 in a rock cave when they were hiding from U.S. raids U.S. bombs caused an immense rock to fall over the only exit of the cave that the women were hiding in. Great efforts to rescue the women were in vain. Soldiers stationed nearby recalled that they heard cries for help resounding from within the cave. The voices were steadily weaker day after day and stopped after the ninth day.
Locked to death
The tragedy involving the eight women occurred on November 14, 1972 when U.S. fighters dropped bomb after bomb on the 16km milestone as on previous days. Eight women aged 18-20, who hailed from the central province of Thanh Hoa to repair roads in the area, had to shelter themselves in a rock cave. After a series of bombs were dropped on the area, a colossal rock fell and completely closed off the only mouth of the cave. Screams for help were heard. Three caterpillars were sent to pull the rock aside, but the efforts were fruitless. Blowing up the rock was a possibility, but it would certainly have killed the women inside the cave. Rescue soldiers outside passed a plastic pipe through slots of the rock cave into which they poured soup and water, although they were not sure if it ever reached the girls.
Nine days later, people outside heard the volunteers for the last time. The war ended that year and a temple was built near the cave to honour the eight and others who died keeping the road, Road 20, open.
In 1996 the Government used explosives to remove the rock and found bones and hair.
The Temple and the cave beside the road 20, The road was completed in 2014. It facilitates transport to the historic cave and traffic from Quang Binh to neighboring Laos. Regular commuters on Route 20 are local villagers, teachers assigned to the villages, and border soldiers. Sometimes, tourists, explorers, and young people on camping trips also visit the spot to offer incense to the dead.
There are no entrance fees
This is very small cave but it a very sacred place for Vietnamese and they not allow tourist come inside, you can see from outside of the cave.
At this temple they not allow you wear shorts or short dress whether you’re male or female. so you have borrow a sarong or something to cover your knees when entering temples.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park was recognized by UNESCO as the World Natural Heritage site based on the criteria of geology and geomorphology in 2003 an in 2015, the UNESCO recognized this site as the World Natural Heritage for the second time, based on biodiversity and ecological criteria.
The most beautiful and well-known caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang are Phong Nha, Tien Son, Paradise, Dark Cave, En Cave, Khe Ry and Son Doong Cave – the largest cave in the World.
The total area of the national parks is 343,300 hectares, including 123,300 hectares of the core area and 220,000 hectares of the buffer zone. Phong Nha is known as the “kingdom of caves,” with many mysterious landscapes, and magnificent caves like castles in the heart of limestone mountains.
There are about 300 large and small caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, divided into three main systems: Phong Nha cave system, Vom cave system and Ruc Mon cave system.
All the caves open daily from 07:30-16:00
– Phong Nha cave costs 150,000 VND ($7) per person to enter. You will also need to hire boat to access the cave which costs 360,000 VND, the cost of which can be shared between up to 12 passengers. You’ll need at least two and a half hours, round trip for Phong Nha cave, with an additional hour to add on Tien Son Cave. The boat fee for Phong Nha and Tien Son combined is 400,000 dong, the admission fee to Tien Son Cave is 80,000 dong.
– Paradise cave costs 250,000 VND ($11.50) per person (ticket for non-polluting electric golf cart to the base of the stairs entrance to the cave). You’ll need at least two and a half hours to visit
– Dark cave you’ll need at least two and a half hours for all activities: Zipline, mudbath, kayaking… price included: entrance fee, mudbath, zipline, kayak and all equipment to the cave
High season (from 01st February to 15th September): 450.000 VND per person
Low season (drom 16th September to 31st February): 250.000 VND per person
Children ( from 90 cm to 1,3 m): 150.000 VND per person
– Nuoc Mooc Spring Eco Trail: 80,000 VND for ticket
– Botanic Garden: 40,000 VND
– Hang En cave, Tu Lan Cave and Son Doong cave you must follow the tours
Phong Nha – Ke Bang – Best Tangible Heritage Site in 2015
This award is a part of Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) 2015 for the best tour operators, hotels, resorts, airlines and heritage sites of 5 countries in Mekong Sub-region, including Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. The awards aim to recognize and honor the contributions of tourism enterprises in Mekong Sub-region, at the same time create incentives for enterprises to strive for higher achievements.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park has a total area of 343,300ha and belongs to districts of Quang Ninh, Bo Trach and Minh Hoa, 50km to the northwest of Dong Hoi City.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang is compared to a huge geological museum owning global meaning and value. The major tectonic phases and fault, fold movements of the Earth’s crust 400 million years ago formed in Phong Nha – Ke Bang high mountain ranges, depressed sedimentary basins, underground rivers and grottos in limestone mountains.
Due to locating in the area with a high average rainfall, water is absorbed to run inside limestone mountains in Phong Nha – Ke Bang over tens of million years to erode rocks and create numerous caves in the area. Phong Nha – Ke Bang is considered as “Kingdom of caves” with about 300 large and small caves, divided into three main systems: Phong Nha Grottos, Vom Caves, and Ruc Mon Caves. Many famous beautiful caves and grottos have been put into operation in tourism, such as Phong Nha Grotto, Tien Son Grotto, Thien Duong Grotto, Toi Cave…, especially Son Doong Cave is considered as the largest cave in the world with 200m in height, 200m in width, at least 8.5km in length.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is home to 2,400 species of higher plants, 140 animal species, 356 bird species, 97 reptile species, 47 amphibian species, 162 fish species, and 369 insect species, many of which are listed in Red Books of Viet Nam and International Union for Conservation of Nature, such as sao la (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), mang lon (Megamuntiacus vuquangensis), mang Truong Son (Muntiacus truongsonensis), Ha Tinh langur… Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park was recognized as World Natural Heritage Site two times in July 2003 and July 2015 by UNESCO.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park- A world Natural Heritage recognized by UNESCO
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is located to the north of the majestic Truong Son Range in central Quang Binh Province. It protects one of the world’s two largest karst regions with several hundred caves and grottoes. Its name derives from Phong Nha cave, the most beautiful one, with numerous fascinating rock formations, and Ke Bang forest. The plateau is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in Southeast Asia.
Geographically, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (PNKBNP) is located in central Vietnam, about 500km south of the capital, Hanoi, within the Quang Binh Province.
The western boundary of the Park partially forms Laos-Vietnamese border, which is only 42km from the sea. The Park is found within the geographical co-ordinates of 170 20′-170 48′ N and 1050 46-1060 24′ E in Bo Trach and Minh Hoa Districts.
Recognition by UNESCO in 2003
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was first nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. The dossier submited to UNESCO was for the recognition of Phong Nha nature reserve as a world natural heritage under the name “Phong Nha Nature Reserve”. The reason given for the nomination was that this nature reserve satisfied the criteria of biodiversity, unique beauty and geodiversity (criteria I and iv).
It was recognized as a world natural heritage site at the UNESCO’s 27th general assembly session being held in Paris in June 30th – July 5th, 2003. At the session, delegates from over 160 member countries of UNESCO World Heritage Convention agreed to include Phong Nha-Ke Bang park and 30 others worldwide in the list of world heritage sites. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park meets with criteria viiii in accordance with UNESCO’s appraisal scale since it displays an impressive amount of evidence of earth’s history and is a site of importance for increasing human understanding of the geologic, geomorphic and geo-chronological history of the region.
Phong Nha is part of a larger dissected plateau, which also encompasses the Ke Bang and Hin Namno karsts. The limestone incontinuously demonstrates the complexity interbedding with shales and sandstones. This, together with the capping of schists and apparent granites has led to a particularly distinctive topography.
Looking into the caves, you may recognize discrete episodic sequences of events, leaving behind various levels of fossil passages, formerly buried and now uncovered palaeokarst (karst from previous, perhaps very ancient, periods of solution); evidence of major changes in the routes of underground rivers; changes in the solutional regime; deposition and later re-solution of giant speleothems and unusual features such as sub-aerial stromatolites. The location and form of the caves suggest that they might owe much of their size and morphology to some as yet undetermined implications of the schists and granites which overlay the limestone. On the surface, there is a striking series of landscapes, ranging from deeply dissected ranges and plateaux to an immense polje. There is evidence of at least one period of hydrothermal activity in the evolution of this ancient mature karst system. The plateau is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in SE Asia.
The oldest evidence of human occupation of the area are Neolithic axe heads and similar artefacts found in some of the caves. There are some relics of Ham Nghi King, a final King of the Nguyen dynasty before the French colonial period, at the Maria Mountain in the north of the Park. Currently the Arem, Ma Coong and Ruc ethnic groups live in two villages in the core zone of Phong Nha Ke – Bang National Park. Until 1962 these indigenous people lived in the forest in houses made of bamboo and leaves or in the caves, living from forest products and hunting. They used simple tools and their clothes were made from the bark of a toxic forest tree (Antiaris toxicaria) and lianas.
Since 1992 the Government of Vietnam has set up two new settlements for these 475 people, who are the two smallest ethnic groups in Vietnam. These people are familiar with a number of economically valuable species, especially precious timber such as Mun and Hue (Diospyros spp., Dalbergia rimosa), and oil-extraction from species such as Tau (Hopea hainanensis) and many medicinal plants. The Phong Nha Cave has long been a site of religious and touristic importance, with an old Cham Temple discovered in the cave and it was a site of worship in the ninth and tenth centuries. During the war with the USA the Phong Nha – Ke Bang forest and caves were a garrison and weapons store for the Vietnamese army.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is of high conservation value as one of the largest areas of intact forest habitat remaining in Vietnam. As part of a continuous forest block with the neighbouring Him Namno Biodiversity Conservation Area in Laos it forms one of the largest areas of forest on limestone karst in Indochina. The presence of tall lowland forest, which is regionally threatened as a habitat type, in the National Park increases the area’s conservation value.
The number of tourists has increased dramatically since the park was listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Tourism activities in the area are the responsibility of the Trading and Tourism Department of Quang Binh province, with 280 international standard rooms in the province and 8 vehicles with capacities of 4 to 15 seats for tourist transportation. The forest guards of Son Trach commune in Bo Trach district are placed on tourist security duty.
Quang Binh Province has invested into upgrading the Phong Nha-Ke Bang visitor site to turn it into one of major tourist destinations in Vietnam.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Multiple eco-tourist projects have been licensed for development and the area is being heavily developed by the province to turn it into a major tourist site in Vietnam. Phong Nha Ke Bang is part of a tourism promotion program called: “Middle World Heritage Road” which includes the ancient capital of Hue, the Champa relics of My Son, the city of Hoi An, nha nhac and the Space of Gong Culture in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Coming to this National Park, tourists in Vietnam travel can join interesting tourist activities which are organized by Vietnam travel agencies located in the locality and there are various types that the tourists can choose:
Tour for expedition of caves and grottos in boats and with professional cave expedtion means.
Ecotourism, discovering the flora and fauna in this national park in the Ke Bang Forest.
Mountain climbing: There are extreme sloping mountains here with a height of over 1,000 m, which is a real challenge for adventurous climbers.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
In order to facilitate the increasing flow of tourists to the site, the Dong Hoi Airport was constructed and is due to be operational at the end of 2008.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang, together with Ha Long Bay and Fanxipan of Vietnam, is listed as a candidate for 7 new world natural wonders vote. As of February 12, 2008 it ranked 10th in the voting list.
Phong Nha displays an impressive amount of evidence of earth’s history. Paying a visit to Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park, visitors joining tours in Vietnam not only increase their understanding of the geologic, geomorphic and geo-chronological history of the region but also take part in interesting tourism acitvities which make them relaxed and comfortable.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park, a must see place in Vietnam
Located in Bo Trach district, Quang Binh provice, more than 500km from Hanoi and just 50km from Dong Hoi city. Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park is one of the most amazing national parks in Vietnam you should visit. The highlights of this park are amazing Phong Nha cave (Water cave), Tien Son cave (Dried cave) and mysterious Paradise cave.
Traveling to Phong Nha, travelers will have an opportunity to take the beautiful boat trip on Son river to visit Phong Nha cave (Water cave) – the world heritage site. This cave is known as one of the oldest Karst Mountain in Asia which formed more than 400 million years ago. This is the longest underground river system of more than 7km long and 50 meters height, the largest area of the cave is 145m. Phong Nha cave is also called fairy cave because of different shape and size of stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave.
Not far from Phong Nha cave, visitor can explore Tien Son cave, it is located in 200m above the sea level with 1km long, this cave also has thousand of stalagmites and stalactites natural shaped in different fairy-tail formations. Exploring this cave, visitors can visit about 400m with light system only because underground of this cave is quite dangerous.
Only 18km from Phong Nha cave is Paradise cave. It is considered as “The Eden on the earth” with naturally primitive feature, this cave looks like a landscape painting very attractive to travelers. Getting inside the cave, travelers will very surprised because of the special stalagmites, stalactites system with sparkling, mysterious beauty, out of human beings imagination.
Being one of the most highlight tours in Ho Chi Minh trail, this trip is a great way for travelers to see what happen in the background of national park, and be sure that travelers will have unforgettable time when visiting this park in their Vietnam holiday.
The Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in central Quang Binh province received its second UNESCO recognition on July 3.
At a conference held in Bonn, Germany, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee approved the addition of two natural sites in its World Heritage List – the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Viet Nam and the Cape Floral Region Protected Area in South Africa.
It is the second time that the Vietnamese park received UNESCO recognition, the first time in 2003 for its geological and geomorphologic values.
In 2009, information of the park’s biodiversity was submitted to the UN agency, but the files were returned. Viet Nam was asked to solve issues related to the integrity, protection and management of the heritage.
The site’s new profile includes more geological and geomorphological data. Since 2012, the park area increased from 85,754ha to 123,326ha under a decision by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to adjust its boundaries.
The new information on the park’s biodiversity and ecological and biological processes won it the latest recognition.
The UN agency said: “With this extension, the site shares a boundary with the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos.
“The Park’s landscape is formed by limestone plateaux and tropical forests. It features great geological diversity and offers spectacular phenomena, including a large number of caves and underground rivers.
“The site harbours a high level of biodiversity and many endemic species. The extension ensures a more coherent ecosystem while providing additional protection to the catchment areas that are of vital importance for the integrity of limestone landscapes.”
The characteristic of this national park are its karsts that are millions of years old, and said to be most valuable in Southeast Asia. It has majestic landscapes with a spectacular cave system, abundant biological diversity and many historical and cultural relics, and underground rivers.
The park, located in Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province, is home to nearly 2,934 species of fauna and flora.
In 2014, Quang Binh welcomed around 2.8 million tourists, including 43,000 foreigners, an increase of 129 percent compared to the previous year.
In the first three months, the number reached more than 56,000, and the province expects to welcome a total of 3.3 million guests this year.
A cave festival entitled “Quang Binh – Kingdom of the Caves,” will be organised from July 15 to 21.
Many interesting activities such as the launch of new tourist destinations, promotions and tourist discounts and farm trips will be held during the event which is part of efforts to promote local culture, tourism and the uniqueness of the caves to attract both international and domestic investors and tourists.