Phong Nha Tour - Places to go and activities to do

Unlike some peaceful destinations, Phong Nha is known as an adventurous place. This place is famous for a lot of beautiful mountains and caves. Let’s see where you should go and what you should do in Phong Nha in this article.

Go camping and visit caves

Caves in Phong Nha range from the tame to the tremendous. For conservation reasons, local authorities restrict access to the larger caves. Some tour companies have exclusive rights to take travelers inside certain caves, while others are open to all. Son Doong looms large as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, but don’t let that overshadow the allure of Phong Nha’s other treasures. 

Entrance to Rat Cave in the Tu Lan cave system

Entrance to Rat Cave in the Tu Lan cave system

Son Doong Cave

Son Doong is the world’s largest cave, with stalagmites that compete in height with London’s Big Ben. An expedition to Son Doong takes four days with camping spots set up on scenic parts of the trail. This is the most challenging and costly expedition in the area, and often booked out months in advance.

Tu Lan Cave

The Tu Lan cave system lets you wade, swim, climb and crawl through a seemingly never-ending network of tunnels. If you enjoy floating down underground rivers and burrowing through tight passageways, this is the cave system for you. Tours of Tu Lan range from one-day moderate trips to full-on, four-day expeditions.

Hang Va and Nuoc Nut

Exploring the interiors of Hang Va 

Exploring the interiors of Hang Va 

Famous for their striking stalagmites and picturesque rock pools, Hang Va and Nuoc Nut are ideal for a two-day tour. The trip is short but challenging, as you’ll need to navigate razor-sharp rocks and clamber over karst passes to access the caves. Hang Va is undoubtedly the highlight, especially from January to March when the rock pools are at their fullest.

Pygmy

Exploring Pygmy Cave, the world’s fourth largest, involves a challenging three-day expedition complete with abseiling and climbing. En route you’ll swim underground rivers in Tiger Cave and wade through jade-coloured ponds in Over Cave. 

If you haven’t the time or budget for Son Doong, Pygmy Cave provides a great alternative at a fraction of the price. For tours of Pygmy Cave, visit the Jungle Boss website.

Hang En

Camping inside Hang En Cave

Camping inside Hang En Cave

A moderate, full-day trek through the national park brings you to Hang En, the world’s third largest cave. Expeditions in Hang En include an overnight stay out in the jungle or at the cave entrance, beneath thousands of darting swallows.

Phong Nha Cave, Paradise Cave

Boats drift through Phong Nha Cave

Boats drift through Phong Nha Cave

Phong Nha Cave and Paradise Cave are the most popular attractions in the national park. Both of these are enjoyable, straightforward half-day tours, easily booked via your hotel. 

The entry to Phong Nha Cave features a journey along the river, while in Paradise Cave, a series of wooden walkways lets you explore safely. If you’re traveling with kids, both of these caves will allow them to join the fun.

Kayak

For an alternative way to see Phong Nha Cave, try a kayaking tour away from the crowds. Hang Toi, just a few kilometers away, also presents a fun selection of activities, including kayaking, swimming and zip lining. 

Planning your own kayak adventure? Oxalis and Victory Road Villas rent kayaks for independent trips along Phong Nha’s picturesque river.

Walking and Hiking

Hiking through the jungle is a highlight of Phong Nha

Hiking through the jungle is a highlight of Phong Nha

The scenery in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is like nowhere else in Vietnam. If caving doesn’t appeal, hiking is a rewarding way to encounter Phong Nha’s lush landscape. 

Organized hiking tours are the best way to explore, as local experts will take you along hidden trails unknown to other travelers. If you love wildlife, consider a night tour, or pay a visit to animal rescue centers on a two-day hiking eco-tour. Jungle Boss is one of the top hiking tour outfits in the area.

Cycling and Motorbike Tours

The National Park in Phong Nha

The National Park in Phong Nha

Go deeper into the countryside as you navigate narrow lanes, crisscross rice paddies, and traverse streams. Many hotels provide free bicycle rentals for riding around town. 

To see more of the countryside, head towards the Ho Chi Minh Highway to Bong Lai Valley. This picturesque area is home to farms, viewpoints and swimming holes. It’s a 15-kilometer loop through peaceful pastoral scenery. 

If you’re an avid cyclist, try taking on the paved roads of the national park -- just be sure to have a proper mountain bike, map and plenty of water. For a more engaging experience, book a cycling tour with local guides who can show you unmapped paths and introduce you to farmers and villagers. Feeling leisurely? A motorbike tour will let you take in the scenery without breaking a sweat.

 Huong Giang