camping in son doong cave
Camping in Son Doong Cave

Thanks to geographical features, climate and along with the formation of the residential community in the process of social mobilization and development through many different periods which have created the system of values about rich natural tourism and attractive for Quang Binh province. Joining with Living Nomads points to the names of 9 caves that are currently being exploited for tourism in Quang Binh province (also known as Phong Nha Caves system) that you can explore.

1. Phong Nha Caves

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The magnificent scenery in Phong Nha Caves.

Located in the Ke Bang limestone mountaineous area, Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province, 50km distance far from northwest of Dong Hoi city, Phong Nha Caves is considered “Nam Thien De Nhat Dong” (means “The most beautiful cave of Vietnam”), are sheltered by tropical forests.

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Boating to the Phong Nha Caves
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The picturesque way to Phong Nha caves.
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The picturesque way to Phong Nha caves.

From Son River, you will have to go more than 30 minutes to reach Phong Nha Caves. With a length of 7,729m, 83m deep, 50m high with many branches and large and small caves, including Bi Ki cave, Tien cave and Cung Dinh cave. This is a type of underground caves that water flows inside in the mountains with many characteristic stalactites. Legend has it that the stalagmites drooping down from mouth of the cave which have made the poetic name “Phong Nha”, meaning “The wind blows through the teeth”.

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phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)
The magnificent scenery in Phong Nha Caves.

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)
The magnificent scenery in Phong Nha Caves.

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

phong nha cave quang binh (1)

2. Tien Son Cave, Tiên Sơn Cave (Fairy Cave) or Dry Cave

Dong Kho (or Dry Cave)
Dong Kho (or Dry Cave)

Tien Son Cave or Dry Cave is a beautiful and famous cave in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. The road to the Tien Son Cave is a crooked road on the middle of the mountain, at a high about 200 meters of above sea level. The entrance to Tien Son Cave is located about 1,000 meters from the entrance of Phong Nha Cave, the cave was discovered in 1935. Originally, local residents called this cave is Dong Tien (Fairy Cave) due to its fairy and mystical beauty. Later, when the Phong Nha Cave was found that is a type of water cave, so Tien Son Cave is called “Dry Cave”.

tien son cave phong nha quang binh (2)

tien son cave phong nha quang binh (2)
The castle of stalactites

Tien Son Cave has a length of 980m and although not connected together but Tien Son Cave and Phong Nha Cave are parts of a common cave system. Tien Son Cave is considered as the castle of stalactites with thousands of colorful stalactites.

3. Thien Duong Cave (Paradise Cave)

dong thien duong paradise cave phong nha quang binh (6)
Underground Imperial Palace

Was dubbed the “Underground Imperial Palace”, Dong Thien Duong (Paradise Cave) is one of the most magnificent and magical wonders in the world. The cave lies hidden deep inside the UNSECO World Natural Heritage — Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, an ancient cattical terrain, dating from 350 to 400 million years ago.

dong thien duong paradise cave phong nha quang binh (1)

dong thien duong paradise cave phong nha quang binh (1)

dong thien duong paradise cave phong nha quang binh (1)

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dong thien duong paradise cave phong nha quang binh (6)
Stalactites in Paradise Cave

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Thien Duong Cave is located at Km 16, from the western edge branch of Ho Chi Minh road about 4km, in Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province, 70 km far from the central of Dong Hoi city to the northwest, 25km far from Phong Nha Cave, the transportation is very convenient. The Paradise Cave entrance fee is about 120,000 to VND 250,000 (£3.70-£7.80 / $5.60-$11.80).

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Stalactites in Paradise Cave
dong thien duong paradise cave phong nha quang binh (6)
Stalactites in Paradise Cave
dong thien duong paradise cave phong nha quang binh (6)
Stalactites in Paradise Cave

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Exploring Thien Duong Cave (Paradise Cave)
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The river inside the cave

4. Dark Cave (Hang Toi)

Dark Cave (Hang Toi)
Dark Cave (Hang Toi)

Dark Cave was discovered very early by local people during the years of war against the U.S. and were used by the locals and army as the shelter to avoid bombs. In 1992, The British Royal Cave Research Association surveyed, mapped and measured, the results reveal Dark Cave with a horizontal length of 5,558m, a depth of 80m, a height of 50m.

Dark Cave (Hang Toi)
Entrance to to Dark Cave
Dark Cave (Hang Toi)
Dark Cave is very deep
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Inside the Dark Cave (Hang Toi)

Dark Cave owns the exotic beauty, more strange than all else caves. Although it is said “dark cave”, but not really dark at all. The light from the outside cleverly creeps into the cave, illuminate the cliffs with a few waves of the sun light, reflecting the shimmering water surface. All like the most beautiful natural painting of the scene.

Experince mud bath in the Dark Cave
Experience mud bath in the Dark Cave

5. Thuy Cung Cave (Thủy Cung Cave)

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Entrance to the Thuy Cung Cave

To reach Thuy Cung Cave, you have to cross the immense grass hills to go to the Dau Rai primitive forest with hundreds of ancient trees, with size of trunk over three, four people hug. Then, go backward Tien stream to Nuoc Lan Cave (Nước Lặn Cave in Vietnamese) is the back entrance of Dark Cave. With the specialized items of equipment were provided by Phong Nha – Ke Bang Tourism Center, you will have a chance to discover more than 500 meters of pristine Nuoc Lan Cave. Once back out, you can enjoy lunch with wild vegetables, fish, barbecue, rice, gravy …

thuy cung cave quang binh (4)

From Nuoc Lan Cave, visitors continue crossing the forest to go to Thuy Cung Cave with strange blue water color. After a night of camping in Thuy Cung Cave, in the morning you will admire the dawn between the Sinh Ton Valley (Survival Valley) more than 2,000 hectares, surrounded by extremely spectacular limestone mountains ridges and immense evergreen primitive forests.

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Tourists are bathing in Thuy Cung Cave
Tourists are bathing in Thuy Cung Cave
Tourists are bathing in Thuy Cung Cave

6. Tam Co Cave (The Eight girls cave, Tám Cô Cave)

The Eight girls cave tam co quang binh (1)

Tam Co Cave is located in Tan Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province. 55km far from Dong Hoi City to the North West, this small cave marks the great sacrifice of young people in the resistance war against American.

The Eight girls cave tam co quang binh (1)

The Eight girls cave tam co quang binh (1)

The story of Tam Co Cave is perhaps even more tragic than Nga Ba Dong Loc (Dong Loc intersection way). Many people came here did not hold back tears when hearing the narrator told the story of the sacrifice of eight young volunteers, aged 18-20, with the same hometown in Hoang Hoa district – Thanh Hoa province in November 1972 at this “coordinates of fire” – Road 20 Quyet Thang.

The Eight girls cave tam co quang binh (1)

The Eight girls cave tam co quang binh (1)

7. Tu Lan Caves System (Tú Làn Caves System)

Tu Lan Caves System
God’s eyes

Tu Lan Caves System is located in Tan Hoa village, Minh Hoa district, Quang Binh province. 70km far from Phong Nha to the northwest, including 8 caves, was discovered in 2009, continues discovering more 4 valleys in 2012. Tu Lan Caves System has the main cave system – Tu Lan Cave and additional caves are Song Cave, Uoi Cave, Chuot Cave, Hung Ton Cave, Kim Cave, Tu Lan Cave, Ken Cave and To Mo Cave.

Tu Lan Caves System (6)

Tu Lan Caves System
Entrance to the Tu Lan Caves System

Tu Lan Caves System

Tu Lan Caves System (6)
To Mo Cave
Tu Lan Caves System (10)
A large stream inside the cave

The Tu Lan Caves system is still preserved intact, saving the hidden secrets of the majestic nature in the limestone mountains, underground rivers and endless waterfalls. To be able to contemplate what the hands of the motherland are shaping up, you will have to cross the rugged mountains, crossing the jungle, walking among the vast green valleys, slipping muddy slides, and swimming through the rivers of cold water below 20 degrees Celsius. With the magical beauty of stalactites, the mystery of the underground river plus wild and pristine nature of the mountains and forests will make you unforgettable when once you have come here.

Tu Lan Caves System (6)

Tu Lan Caves System (6)

Tu Lan Caves System

8. Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave, Én Cave (Hang En)

Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (3)
Camping in the Hang En Cave

Traveling to Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in this season, you will not be overwhelmed by the majestic beauty of En Cave (Hang En), this is the third largest cave in the world. More especially, exploring Hang En takes only two days and a night, which is great for those who love adventure but don’t have much time.

Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (3)
The entrance of the cave is extremely large
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Camping in the Hang En Cave. There is a beach inside the cave.
Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (3)
There is a beach inside the cave.
Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (3)
There is a beach inside the cave.
Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (3)
Camping in the Hang En Cave

En Cave has a total length of 1,645 m across inside a mountain and have three gates, located in Southeast and Northwest direction along the flow of Rao Thuong stream. En Cave is rated by National Geographic magazine (U.S.) as one of the most greatest and magnificent caves in the world. Especially, En Cave has its own ecosystem and climate, with a primitive forest and a beautiful river which giving visitors the unique experiences.

Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (2)
The entrance of the cave is extremely large

Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (3)

Hang En Cave, Swallow Cave (3)

9. Son Doong Cave

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A rock formation shines beneath a skylight in Hang Son Doong. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)

Located deep in the remote mountainous region of Central Vietnam, for millions of years, Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest natural cave, after being discovered in 2009, has stimulated the curiosity of travelers all over the world come to discover and contemplate. Son Doong Cave has an estimated length of 5 km, a height of 200 m and a width of 150 m.

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Son Doong cave, Quang Binh

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son doong cave tours trip travel phong nha ke bang national park attractions (1)
A photographer climbing in Hang Son Doong. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)

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VIETNAM – MAY 01: A cascading waterfall in Hang Son Doong. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)
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The Hand of Dog stalagmite in Hang Son Doong Cave. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)
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A Hang Son Doong explorer navigates an plant-covered cavescape. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)

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hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (1)

hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (1)

hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (1)

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The sunlight illuminate through the cave.

hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (1)

hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (1)

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The forest-shrouded entrance to Hang Son Doong. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)
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Cascading water in Hang Son Doong. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)
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Hang Son Doong explorers navigate an algae-covered cavescape. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. (Photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic/Getty Images)

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hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (12)

hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (12)

hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (12)

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park vietnam trekking camping tours 2
Son Doong Cave. Image ryandeboodt.com

According to Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Son Doong Cave could contain inside a large blockhouse in Manhattan, USA, in the equivalent of a 40-storey high skyscraper. Inside the cave is a separate creature world, where light passes through the “filters” from the mouths of the sinkholes above and clouds accumulating near the ceiling of the cave creating high humidity. The stalagmites in Son Doong rise up to nearly 80 meters. The lime stones have the size of a baseball are lie scattered throughout the cave floor. This magnificent scenery situated deep underground shows that the world is still has many beautiful landscapes to explore for human.

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hang son doong cave phong nha ke bang national park vietnam adventure trip (1)

Camping in Son Doong Cave
Camping in Son Doong Cave
camping in son doong cave
Camping in Son Doong Cave

See more Phong Nha – Ke Bang National park travel guide at here.

Living Nomads celebrates and is inspired by explorers and their passion for travel, curiosity about the world and unique points of view. Travel is eye-opening. Curious. Daring. Fun. We are here to help you travel better, cheaper & longer! Discover the art of traveling anywhere you want.

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