phong nha cave
Source: Phongnhaexplorer

From the ancient texts & signs in the cave, it is said that the Phong Nha Cave was discovered by local people thousands of years ago. It was not until the 19th century that expeditions started to explore and study the cave. In 1990, the British Cave Association recorded 07 best ones of Phong Nha Cave, including:

- The longest dry cave

- The highest and widest cave dome

- The most beautiful underground lake system

- The largest and most beautiful dry cave

- The most magnificent and beautiful stalactites 

- The longest underground river in Vietnam

- The widest and most beautiful coastline & sandbar


cave phong nha

Source: Internet

Phong Nha comprises many dry caves and water caves. The 2 most popular ways of discovery:

- Self-explore the first 1.2 km of the whole cave

- Booking a tour with Xuyen Son Ho tour to explore the remaining 4.5 km of the cave

I - Phong Nha Cave highlights

1 - Son River - The road leading to Phong Nha Cave

phong nha cave vietnam

Son River - Source: Phongnhaexplorer

Sitting on a boat to explore the Son River winding around the limestone ranges, tourists have a chance to admire the pristine beauty of the surroundings and enjoy the fresh and cool air. The great sound from the birdsong & wind blowing, combined with the freshness of nature will help your mind be more relaxed. The on-boat journey along the Son river will take about half an hour to get to the entrance of the cave. 

2 - The system of stalactites in Phong Nha Cave Vietnam 

After entering the cave, the boat's engine will be turned off and the boatman will use his hands to paddle and slowly ride the boat along the water flow to get inside the cave. You can explore one of the most majestic stalactite systems inside an underground cave. The colorful stalactites with different shapes and sizes are one of the most impressive points of Phong Nha Cave. 

The unspoiled stone chambers and corridors of the cave are covered with stalactites sparkling in the colors of the torch lights, creating a magical and strangely charming space. You can try to gently tap on the string of stalactites shaped like a piano key to hear the guitar-like sound, combined with the murmur of water inside Phong Nha Cave to form a piece of strange music. Based on the inscriptions on the wall, stone statues, Buddha statues, pottery pieces, and pieces of coal, the explorers have confirmed the ancient age of this cave.

3 - The system of auxiliary caves, stopping points inside the cave

phong nha cave and paradise cave

Bi Ky Cave, Tien Cave, and Cung Dinh Cave - Source: Internet

As one of the most famous caves in Vietnam, the cave of Phong Nha offers an extremely impressive sub-cave system, in which Bi Ky cave, Tien cave, and Cung Dinh cave are the must-see points. 

- Bi Ky Cave is about 130m long and as wide as a large hall with a layer of fine sand below and a series of beautiful stalactites.

- In your Phong Nha Cave tours, Tien Cave (Fairy Cave) is a nice place to visit. Inside Hang Tien, there are several cliffs that look like fairies with long hair and shiny yellow.

- Cung Dinh Cave with many stalactites like the throne, extremely sophisticated "carved" by nature.

- Xuyen Son Ho (Xuyen Son lake) is the last stop of the cave, about 4500m from the cave entrance. Covering a large area of hundreds of square meters, the lake is so stunning with clear water all year round. It looks like a big jade inside the cave. 

4 - Phong Nha Cave map

II - Phong Nha Cave tours scheduled to explore the first 1.2km 

Review: The first 1.2 km from the entrance is so easy for exploring by boat trip.

Tour length: 2-3 hours

Ticket price: 150,000 VND/person ($6.5) and only applicable for guests over 1.3m tall 

Boat rental fee: 550,000 VND/boat ($24) for up to 12 people


- Buy a ticket at Phong Nha boat station - Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province

- Phong Nha wharf is about 4km from the entrance to Phong Nha Cave. A boat trip will take you from the wharf to the cave entrance.

- At the entrance of the cave, tourists can slowly admire the beauty of the cave’s inside

- After the first 1.2km, the boat turns around

- After about 300m from the cave entrance, the boat stops for you to walk & explore the dry part of the cave which stretches about 300m long.

- Follow the route along the dry cave, and you get back to the cave entrance of Phong Nha Cave.

→  If you have more time, you can buy tickets to visit Tien Son cave. 

+ Ticket selling counter is located right at the entrance of Phong Nha. 

+ Ticket price: 80,000 VND/person ($3.5) (only for over 1.3m tall visitors).

From the ticket counter, you climb 583 steps - equivalent to a distance of 1000m, to reach the entrance of Tien Son cave. Tien Son cave is a completely dry cave, with an impressive stalactite system, no less than Phong Nha Cave Vietnam.

- Outside of the cave, there are many street vendors selling snacks and soft drinks (fresh water, sugarcane juice, fruit juice,...).

→ If you do not visit Tien Son cave, you get on the boat to return to Phong Nha wharf.

→ Food and places to eat: After Phong Nha Cave day tours, you can visit Son Doong restaurant right near Phong Nha wharf to fill your stomach with delicious local dishes such as braised pork belly, roasted shrimp, fried bamboo shoots with garlic, boiled vegetables, crab soup,...


phong nha cave or paradise cave

Roasted shrimp, fried bamboo shoots with garlic - Source: Internet

Note: On high-water-level days, visiting the cave is interrupted. You should contact the management of the cave in advance for more information - Hotline 0918503456. 

III - Xuyen Son Lake Tour - Exploring 4.5 km of Phong Nha Cave

Review: This is a tour exclusively for visitors who want to discover more about the cave. This tour requires good health. 


- The tour is not suitable for pregnant women and children

- This tour is only available from mid-November to mid-September (not available from mid-September to mid-November due to floods)

Tour cost: 1,600,000 VND/person ($69), including transportation, lunch, Phong Nha Cave entrance fee, boat rental fees,...

Tour length: from 6 to 7 hours from 8am to 2pm or 3pm

Some tour operators: 

Phong Nha - Ke Bang Tourism Center

- Hotline: 0918841455

- Website:

Phong Nha Adventure Travel Co., Ltd

- Hotline: 02326528868

- Website:

Reference schedule:

- You get free pick up to Phong Nha wharf

- Listen to instructions

- Practice kayaking in front of Phong Nha Cave for about 10 minutes

- Kayaking 

- After about 2 hours of boat rowing and admiring stalactites, you get to Xuyen Son Lake. At the lake, you have time for swimming. 

- Having lunch

- Rowing boat to Bi Ky Cave, Tien Cave, Cung Dinh Cave

- Back to the pick up point and the tour ends. 

It can be seen that the beauty of Phong Nha is a masterpiece of nature. Visiting Phong Nha Cave Vietnam, having a boat trip along the poetic Son River, immersing yourself in the magnificent beauty of the stalactites system inside the cave, and enjoying the echoes of the cliffs and streams, are the great things that you should not miss out on. It must be a great pity if you miss this majestic cave on your trip to Vietnam

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Being born and living here in Vietnam, I got a chance to see lots of beautiful places, try countless great dishes, & experience many interesting things in places I visited. And It's so great to share all things I know about Vietnam to you.

Giang Pham — Giang Pham



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