Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, the absolutely stunning place where the largest cave in the world, Son Doong, is located, is one of those must-visit bucket list places. Mountains, lakes, caves, jungles; this place has it all.
Phong Nha is still new to tourism, so the natural beauty still remains. We went during the rainy season and it was SO empty! Yes, it did rain a lot, but we got to see what we wanted to without all the crowds!
Where to Stay?
We stayed at this place in the middle of town. Our room had a balcony that had the best views! We booked it on Airbnb, it’s called Hang En Hotel, for $14CAD/night. It was a decent room, but it was clean and that’s all that matters! Our hosts were super nice and didn’t speak English, but Google Translate helped us out.:)
Where to Eat?
Phong Nha Underground
We went here for a rushed lunch, as we had a flight to catch, but we both got burgers and omg, it was delicious! They also have coffee and small noms like cookies, and other pastries.
Phong Nha Coffee Station
This place has the BEST coffee and very good breakfast menu. We went here every morning. If you’re craving the normal healthy western breakfast, this is a good option!
Jamie was under the weather for the whole day, so we didn’t really eat anything local, but just walking down the streets, all the food smelled delicious!
What to Do?
Whether you have a week or just two days in Phong Nha, there are some specific places that you should definitely prioritize!
The Paradise Cave
Paradise Cave is the longest dry cave in South East Asia with a length of 31.4 kilometres. You can easily explore the first kilometre by yourself, but if you want something adventurous, you can take the one-day tour of Paradise Cave that includes a trek of seven kilometres in total. We just walked through the cave on our own, sometimes it’s nice not doing tours. There is something nice about doing certain things on your own time and speed.
If you want to do a tour, I would suggest asking your host or finding a tour company online.
Unfortunately, that was the only cave we got to see, it did rain a lot, so they ended up closing the other 2 caves. The other caves that you can see are The Dark Caves, Phong Nha and Tien Son Caves. Keep in mind the prices are all over the place, and certain things will be more expensive.
Walking & Hiking
If doing the caves doesn’t interest you, do some hiking! Organized hiking tours are the best way to explore.
Cycling Or Motorbike Tour
Go deeper into the countryside as you navigate through narrow lanes, pass beautiful rice fields, and surround yourself with nature! You can cycle in and around town on your own with rentals from your hotel. Buy a local map to plan your own route along the national park’s paved roads. Just drive around! Before our long travel day, we took the bike out for a little ride and we came across a beautiful river and just the best views!