Phong Nha - World's Largest Caves
Phong Nha Caves are the largest in the world and one of the best things to do in Vietnam.
Once considered miles off the beaten track, the Phong Nha Caves in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park are unlikely to remain little-known for long. The recent discovery of the world’s largest cave and improved access and accommodations will make sure of that.
Take the time to discover these incredible geological wonders. Splash out be amongst the first to take a week long trek into Son Doong (Mountain River) Cave – officially the world’s largest – with Oxalis, the only company currently licensed to operate tours in the cave. Only 220 permits to enter the cave have been granted for 2014, so you can guarantee no madding crowds!
If you are not one of the lucky few to secure a permit, fear not! The Phong Nha cave system comprises over 300 caves and grottos, including the spectacular Thien Duong or Paradise Cave. Voted by National Geographic as the world’s most beautiful cave, Paradise Cave holds some of the most extraordinary geological formations you are ever likely to lay eyes upon under this earth. Well worth the 600m climb and the subsequent 500 steps down into the deep!
After your hectic day of caving and exploring the natural beauty of the national park, relax at Phong Nha Farmstay with its lively yet soothing atmosphere, great restaurant, bar and swimming pool, or enjoy the quiet respite of Pepperhouse Homestay with its traditional houses nestled amongst the family’s pepper plantation.
Unfortunately, the limited number of 2014 permits for Son Doong Cave are already fully booked. However, there is an alternative option: the Tu Lan Cave System, which is also breathtaking and huge. Tu Lan, about 70km northeast of Phong Nha, was discovered in 2009 and consists of eight caves. For more information, visit the Tu Lan Cave System Tour run by Oxalis.
Photo Credit to Ryan Deboodt