Must-Experience Attractions in Phong Nha

The beauty of Phong Nha

Where Beauty Meets Buzz: Situated among the awe-inspiring karst mountains of Central Vietnam, Phong Nha is a town that effortlessly combines enchanting natural beauty with a lively and inviting atmosphere. Whether you're an avid adventurer enticed by the charm of discovering hidden caves or a relaxed traveler in search of a peaceful getaway, Phong Nha has something to delight everyone.

Enchanting Landscapes: The landscape surrounding Phong Nha is truly a masterpiece of nature's artistry. The majestic karst mountains, shaped over millions of years of erosion, stand tall and proud above the fertile plains. With their rugged peaks and lush slopes, they create a breathtaking backdrop to the town. Flowing through the valley, the Son River adds a touch of serenity to the scene with its shimmering turquoise waters.

Explore the Underground Wonders: Phong Nha is widely known for its Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to more than 300 caves just waiting to be explored. From the breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites of Paradise Cave to the secret chambers and ancient Buddhist artifacts of Phong Nha Cave, each cave reveals a fascinating world of its own.

A Town that Comes Alive at Night: As the sun sets below the horizon, Phong Nha's downtown turns into a lively hub of activity. Restaurants offering delicious Vietnamese and international dishes can be found along the streets, their tempting aromas filling the air. Vibrant bars extend onto the sidewalks, filled with the laughter and conversations of both locals and tourists. Whether you're craving a refreshing cocktail, a craft beer, or a traditional Vietnamese coffee, you'll discover the ideal place to relax and enjoy the ambiance.

Beyond the Town Limits: Explore the wonders that lie beyond the town of Phong Nha! Embark on thrilling treks through lush jungles, glide along the Son River in a kayak, or pedal through the charming countryside. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the nearby villages and immerse yourself in the genuine warmth and hospitality of the local people.

A Place to Remember: A visit to Phong Nha is an incredible experience that will leave you in awe of its natural beauty, fascinated by its cultural richness, and filled with energy from its vibrant zest for life. So, get ready, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to be charmed by this hidden treasure of Vietnam.

Why Phong Nha?

FASCINATING HISTORY

In 1995, the Archaeological Institute of Vietnam discovered that the Phong Nha cave is possibly one of the most important archaeological sites in the area. Back in 1899, a French missionary named Léopold Cadière extensively studied the customs and culture of the local community living along the Son River. In a letter sent to the École Française d’Extrême-Orient, he passionately expressed, "The remaining artifacts here hold great value for history. Preserving them is truly assisting science."

It's not widely known that Central Vietnam, particularly Phong Nha, faced severe destruction during the American War. Phong Nha village endured relentless bombings due to its strategic location along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. However, the indomitable spirit of the locals remained unyielding, and their resilience was unmatched. Phong Nha is blessed with the world’s most colossal caves, and the villagers sought refuge in these caves to protect themselves from the relentless attacks. Even the caves themselves were not spared from the devastating bombings. Nevertheless, the people of Phong Nha persevered through adversity, drawing strength from the surrounding natural wonders and facing challenging times with unwavering determination. They utilized the mighty Son River for transportation of troops and supplies, while also finding sanctuary and concealing weapons in the dense jungles and caves. Remarkably, some locals even transformed unexploded bombs into decorations for their homes, serving as a constant reminder of their resilience and fortitude. The timeless beauty of Phong Nha could never be destroyed; instead, it instilled hope and happiness in the hearts of its people.

Following the war, hunting and farming became the primary livelihoods for the local community, slowly revitalizing the village. The historical significance of Phong Nha is best understood through sincere conversations with the local people, who hold invaluable knowledge and stories to share.

LOCAL PEOPLE & LIFESTYLE

The incredible energy of the friendly locals and the overall vibrant atmosphere of this place will make your travel experience in Phong Nha truly unique. The people of Phong Nha are known for their respect, resilience, and warm hospitality. From the moment you arrive in this magical destination until the day you leave, you'll be surrounded by positive vibes, genuine smiles, and joyful laughter. You'll have a wonderful time interacting with the local children, who are eager to learn and explore new horizons. Phong Nha owes its current charm to the thriving tourism it attracts, which is another reason why the locals feel immensely happy and fortunate to connect with visitors and ensure they have the time of their lives in Phong Nha.

Both men and women in Phong Nha are hardworking individuals who appreciate the opportunities they have. The locals have diverse occupations, including fish farming, running restaurants, providing accommodations, and offering tours to tourists. The people of Phong Nha lead a simple yet fulfilling lifestyle.

CULTURE & DIVERSITY

Don’t be surprised if you get invitations for family dinners right off the bat. It’s part of the culture to be very welcoming towards guests and treat them like family. The people of Phong Nha remain connected with their family throughout their lives. The connection is such that you’ll see families with three generations living under the same roof – sitting at the same table, talking about their day, sharing laughter and meals. It is also very common to see groups of friends hanging out and drinking the popular local rice wine, which will be followed by a fun-filled night of karaoke! The friendly culture of Phong Nha is indeed reflected on a daily basis and you’re sure to find yourself becoming one with it soon.

You’d be surprised to know that the remote Phong Nha village is full of diversity. People from different communities gathered to form the single community of Phong Nha. Despite religious and cultural differences, the people live with incredible unity and mutual respect.

WONDERFUL CELEBRATIONS

All local festivals are celebrated with great passion, and we would be thrilled to have you join us in these traditional festivities. Your Phong Nha travel experience will be even more memorable if you happen to visit during the exciting boat race events that take place on the Son River twice a year. During this event, you will have the opportunity to witness the incredible camaraderie of the locals as they race their iconic Dragon Boats, and you will truly feel immersed in the action.

Guided tours in Phong Nha

1. Hang Son Doong: The Ultimate Adventure Tour!

Descend into the Earth's Majesty: Explore Son Doong Cave, the world's largest cave by volume. Rappel down a 90-meter wall into the belly of the Earth, surrounded by ancient limestone formations that whisper tales of prehistoric times.

Beyond the Ordinary: A Unique Multi-Day Expedition: Forget day trips and guided tours. Son Doong demands more. Trek through dense jungles, wade through subterranean rivers, and camp amidst towering rock formations that dwarf skyscrapers.

A Challenging Playground: Prepare to test your limits as you navigate slippery slopes, challenging rock walls, and hidden chambers. Each twist and turn reveals breathtaking beauty, from colossal stalagmites to lush, prehistoric gardens thriving in the perpetual twilight.

More Than Just a Cave: A Connection to Earth's Ancient Past: Son Doong is a portal to Earth's ancient history. Explore the depths where prehistoric humans sought shelter and encounter unique ecosystems that have thrived in isolation for millennia.

Ready for the Call of Adventure? Answer the call of Son Doong Cave, a world-class tour that pushes boundaries and leaves lasting memories. Book your expedition tour with Oxalis Adventure now.

See more information about the Son Doong cave expedition at here.

2. Hang Ba Deep Jungle Expedition tour

Embark on a journey into Vietnam's ancient wilderness with the Hang Ba Deep Jungle Expedition tour! This multi-day experience takes you to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with hidden caves, lush jungles, and breathtaking landscapes.

Challenge Yourself, Embrace the Wild: Calling all adventure seekers! This expedition is for those who want to explore true wilderness. Prepare to trek through rainforest, conquer challenging climbs, and rappel into caves, all surrounded by the sounds of the jungle.

Unleash Your Explorer Spirit: The Hang Ba tour reveals natural wonders. Discover six magnificent caves, each holding secrets of a forgotten world. From Hang Ba's grand chambers to Light Cave's enchanting beauty, every turn unveils a new masterpiece created by nature.

More Than Scenery: This expedition is not just a physical challenge; it's a journey of discovery. Learn about the park's unique ecosystem, encounter rare wildlife via camera traps, and gain a deeper appreciation for nature's delicate balance. Return with breathtaking photos and a newfound respect for the planet's power and beauty.

A Responsible Adventure: Hang Ba Tour prioritizes sustainability, ensuring minimal impact on the park's fragile ecosystem. Camp in the jungle, but always at a respectful distance from wildlife habitats. Learn responsible exploration practices and become a steward of this natural treasure.

Ready to Answer the Call of the Wild? If you crave an adventure that pushes your limits, fuels your wanderlust, and creates lasting memories, the Hang Ba Deep Jungle Expedition awaits. Bring your wonder, lace up your boots, and prepare to be humbled by the magic of the Vietnamese jungle. Book this tour with Oxalis in advance to secure your spot.

See more information about Hang Ba Deep Jungle Expedition tour at here.

3. Hang Va Cave Expedition

Experience the incredible wonders of Hang Va Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. This thrilling two-day adventure takes you through lush jungles, rugged terrain, and deep inside the cave itself.

Highlights: Breathtaking cave formations: Be amazed by the majestic "cone" stalagmites and the mesmerizing emerald-green waters.

Perfect for photographers: Capture the cave's enchanting beauty with its unique lighting and captivating shadows.

Learn and discover: Expand your knowledge about the cave's diverse ecosystem, rare bat species, and fascinating geological processes.

Environmentally-friendly adventure: Embrace sustainable tourism practices and help preserve the cave's delicate environment.

Unforgettable journey: Secure your spot now and join us on this extraordinary expedition that promises memories to last a lifetime.

Don't miss out on this unforgettable adventure! Book your Hang Va Cave expedition with Oxalis Adventure today!

4. Hang En Cave Adventure (Part of Son Doong Cave Expedition)

Prepare for an enchanting journey into Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. Hang En Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the highlight of this tour.

Beyond the Ordinary: This isn't just a cave; it's a gateway to another world. Over two incredible days, you'll trek through lush jungles, conquer challenging climbs, and camp beneath towering rock formations.

A Playground for Adventure Seekers: Hang En is for the bold. Prepare to push your limits as you navigate rocky terrain, wade through underground rivers, and rappel down cliffs. The rewards are immense - each twist and turn reveals breathtaking beauty.

More Than Just a Cave: Hang En is a glimpse into Earth's ancient past. Discover hidden chambers with Buddhist relics and encounter unique ecosystems that have thrived in isolation for thousands of years. It's a humbling experience that fosters respect for our planet's power and beauty.

Ready to Answer the Call of Adventure? If you crave an unforgettable journey that challenges you and leaves lasting memories, join the Hang En Cave expedition with Oxalis Adventure. Pack your sense of wonder, lace up your boots, and redefine exploration. Book now!

Do it-yourself activities in Phong Nha.

1. Phong Nha Botanical Garden

Nestled in Phong Nha, Vietnam, the Phong Nha Botanical Garden is a 40-hectare eco-adventure playground that showcases the region's rich flora and fauna.

Immersive Escape: Experience the untamed beauty of the Vietnamese jungle as you explore pristine forests, hidden valleys, and vibrant orchids. Discover cascading waterfalls and sun-dappled meadows teeming with wildlife.

Beyond the Flora: Encounter playful gibbons, graceful deer, and learn about the intricate web of life within the ecosystem.

Adventure for All: Enjoy leisurely strolls or challenging treks with panoramic vistas. Hike to Gio Waterfall or cross the suspended rope bridges.

More Than Just a Visit: Join guided tours, participate in workshops, or relax in the open-air pavilion.

A Call to Nature Lovers: Whether you're a botanist, hiker, or seeking tranquility, the Phong Nha Botanical Garden offers an unforgettable adventure.

Entrance fees: 40,000VND/person

2. Ozo Park in Phong Nha

Nestled in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam, Ozo Park offers an exhilarating eco-adventure experience. Explore the lush landscapes, soar through the treetops, and create unforgettable memories.

Playground in the Canopy: Swing through the jungle canopy on thrilling ziplines, conquer rope bridges, and navigate aerial obstacles. Enjoy 5 hectares of pristine forest and breathtaking views.

More Than Thrills: Discover hidden nature trails, take a dip in the clear stream, or relax in a hammock amidst the tranquil sounds of the jungle.

Fun for All Ages: Ozo Park welcomes adventure seekers of all ages. Kids can enjoy the dedicated play area, while adults can tackle more challenging courses. Experienced guides ensure safety and comfort.

Sustainable Adventure: Ozo Park practices responsible tourism, minimizing impact on the environment. Your visit supports the conservation of this natural landscape.

General Admission: Adults (18+): Prices range from US$8.15 to US$10.00; Children (5-14): Prices range from US$3.89 to US$5.00; Children under 5: Free admission.

Packages: Ozo Park offers various packages including admission, activities, and sometimes meals. Prices vary depending on the activities and inclusions.

Examples:

+ Ozo 7: 2-day camping trip with forest exploration, meals, and activities. Prices range from US$130 to US$150 per person.

+ Ozo Tree Top Package: Access to ziplines, rope bridges, and aerial obstacles. Prices range from US$20 to US$30 per person.

3. 8-ladies cave memorial site

Nestled amidst the karst mountains of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam, the 8-Ladies Cave Memorial Site is a solemn tribute to eight young women who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.

During a US bombing campaign in 1972, eight female volunteers sought refuge in the cave but were tragically sealed inside by a falling rock. Despite rescue attempts, they did not survive.

Today, the 8-Ladies Cave is a pilgrimage site for locals and visitors. Inside, an altar with incense sticks, flowers, and photographs of the fallen heroes can be seen. The cave walls bear a mural of the women and inscriptions with their names and ages.

Visiting the 8-Ladies Cave is a moving experience that honors the sacrifices made during Vietnam's history. It offers a chance to reflect on life's fragility, courage, and the importance of preserving memories.

In addition to its historical significance, the cave showcases the region's natural beauty with its karst formations and vegetation.

Remember to dress modestly and respectfully, maintain a quiet demeanor, and be mindful of the sacredness of the location. Photography is allowed, but respect the site's significance.

Explore the 8-Ladies Cave for a humbling and unforgettable experience that highlights the strength, sacrifice, and enduring spirit of humanity.

Note: Dress modestly and respectfully; Maintain a quiet and somber demeanor; Respect the sacredness of the location when taking photographs, No admission fee for visitors.

4. Paradise Cave

Step into a natural cathedral of stunning formations in Paradise Cave, Vietnam's Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Journey into Beauty: Explore kilometers of hidden chambers adorned with shimmering formations, creating an ethereal landscape.

Geological Wonder: Learn about the sculpting process and discover unique flora and fauna thriving in this otherworldly environment.

Accessible Adventure: Convenient access with an electric buggy and well-maintained pathways for all ages and fitness levels.

Cost of Paradise: Entrance fees for 2024: Adults: 250,000 VND ($8.6 USD); Children (1.1 - 1.3m): 125,000 VND ($4.3 USD); Children under 1.1m: Free

5. Nuoc Mooc Ecotrails

Located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam, Nuoc Mooc Eco Trails offer a paradise for nature lovers. Experience the beauty of the jungle, encounter wildlife, and enjoy peaceful waterfalls.

A Symphony of Emeralds: Imagine trekking through ancient rainforests with vibrant mosses and ferns. Sunlight filters through the trees, creating patterns on the forest floor. Discover stunning landscapes, from towering karst mountains to valleys with rice paddies. The trails provide captivating views.

More Than Just a Hike: The trails cater to all adventurers. Choose from leisurely strolls along streams to challenging climbs with breathtaking vistas. Swim in the Mooc Spring or explore hidden caves. Spot playful gibbons and majestic hornbills.

Unlocking Adventure's Doorstep: The Nuoc Mooc Ecotrails are easily accessible, located 2 kilometers from the Dark Cave. Affordable entrance fees encourage exploration for all:

+ Adults: 80,000 VND (approximately $3.6 USD)

+ Children (under 13): 40,000 VND (approximately $1.8 USD)

6. Dark Cave and Ziplining

Welcome to Phong Nha, Vietnam, where adventure awaits underground and in the treetops. Prepare for an exciting journey into Dark Cave, a natural wonder sculpted by nature, followed by a thrilling zipline ride through the jungle, offering stunning views from above.

Explore the Mystery of Dark Cave: Leave the surface world behind and enter the cool, mysterious Dark Cave. This is more than just a cave; it's a journey into the depths of the earth, filled with towering stalactites and hidden chambers that reveal ancient wonders. With only lanterns to guide you, experience the raw power of nature as you navigate through narrow passages and discover shimmering formations bathed in ethereal light.

Experience Flight and Adventure: But the excitement doesn't end in the darkness. After emerging from the cave, get ready for a thrilling zipline adventure. Feel the adrenaline rush as you glide through the lush canopy, soaring above the treetops and witnessing the breathtaking beauty of the jungle from unique perspectives.

Options for Every Explorer: Dark Cave and zipline adventures are available in different combinations to suit your preferences and thrill level. Choose from:

+ Dark Cave Exploration: Enjoy a guided tour of the cave's wonders, with options for swimming in hidden pools and even mud bathing.

+ Zipline Adventure: Select from multiple courses of varying difficulty, offering exhilarating rides and stunning viewpoints.

+ Combo Packages: Combine the Dark Cave exploration with the zipline thrills for an unforgettable experience.

Affordable Excitement: Adventure doesn't have to be expensive. The entrance fees for the Dark Cave and zipline experiences are reasonable:

+ Dark Cave Exploration: Prices vary depending on the chosen option, ranging from approximately $7 to $12 USD.

+ Zipline Adventure: Prices vary depending on the chosen course, ranging from approximately $15 to $25 USD.

+ Combo Packages: Combine both experiences for a discounted price, starting from around $20 USD.

7. Blue Diamond Camp

Located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam, Blue Diamond Camp offers a unique experience for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Choose from day trip packages starting at 480,000 VND or unforgettable overnight camping experiences from 1,100,000 VND.

Immersed in Nature: Surrounded by pristine forests and the Blue River, Blue Diamond Camp is a peaceful retreat where you can wake up to birdsong and sleep under the stars. With majestic karst mountains as your backdrop and stunning green landscapes as far as the eye can see, every moment here is picture-perfect.

Day Trip Adventures: Short on time? Blue Diamond Camp welcomes you with exciting day trip packages starting at 480,000 VND. Kayak down the Blue River, explore dazzling caves or embark on a challenging jungle trek. Each adventure reveals the park's breathtaking beauty, leaving you feeling exhilarated and refreshed.

Overnight Camping Bliss: For the ultimate nature experience, choose an overnight camping package starting from 1,100,000 VND. Set up your tent amidst the whispering trees, gather around a campfire under the starry sky, and let the tranquility of the jungle envelop you. Enjoy activities like kayaking, swimming in hidden pools, guided nature walks, and wildlife spotting. Disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with the wonders of nature.

Sustainable and Responsible: Blue Diamond Camp is committed to sustainability and responsible tourism. With minimal impact on the environment, the camp allows you to appreciate the beauty of the jungle while helping to preserve it for future generations. Learn about the park's unique ecosystem, get involved in conservation efforts, and leave with a deeper appreciation for this natural treasure.

Answer the Call of the Wild: Whether you're seeking a day trip escape or an overnight adventure, Blue Diamond Camp is ready to welcome you. Bring your sense of adventure, put on your walking shoes, and prepare to be captivated by the magic of Phong Nha. This is more than just a camping experience; it's a chance to connect with nature and be transformed.

8. Chay Lap Farmstay

Nature Relaxation: Swap your backpack for a hammock at Chay Lap Farmstay. Stay in charming bungalows or unwind by the infinity pool with hill views. Enjoy fresh air, local meals, and the countryside.

Gateway to Adventure: Chay Lap Farmstay is your launchpad for thrilling expeditions. Plan zipline adventures, cave explorations, kayaking trips, and bike rides through rice paddies with the help of knowledgeable staff.

Beyond Accommodation: At Chay Lap Farmstay, experience hands-on workshops on Vietnamese cooking and sustainable farming. Immerse yourself in the region's cultural heritage through music performances and storytelling evenings. It's an authentic Vietnamese experience.

Your Adventure Refuge: Whether you're an experienced trekker or a first-time explorer, Chay Lap Farmstay welcomes you. Regroup and celebrate after your Phong Nha exploits while enjoying rural Vietnam's beauty.

Special Offer: Join Oxalis Adventure tours and get a discounted rate of 1 million VND/room/night for 2 persons.

9. Oxalis Adventure

In Vietnam's Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Oxalis Adventure reigns as the ultimate pioneer of adventure caving. It is the first company to bring spelunking thrills to this stunning landscape and has maintained its position as the champion of Phong Nha adventure experiences.

History of Adventure: Founded in 2011, Oxalis started with a passion to share the secrets of Phong Nha. It has since grown into a company that offers unique and boundary-pushing cave tours, including the famous Hang Son Doong, the world's largest cave.

Unforgettable Experiences: Oxalis goes beyond being the first and the biggest. Their expert guides, many from the British Vietnam Caving Expedition, prioritize safety and knowledge. From easy cave walks for families to multi-day expeditions, Oxalis caters to all thrill seekers.

Environmentally Conscious: Oxalis is committed to responsible tourism and protecting Phong Nha's fragile ecosystem. They implement strict sustainability practices and actively participate in conservation efforts.

Experience the Legacy: Oxalis is the name for adventure in Phong Nha. Whether you're an experienced caver or a first-timer, Oxalis welcomes you with open arms, expert guidance, and a passion for exploration.

Tips:

+ Book your Oxalis tour in advance, especially during peak season.

+ Choose the tour that matches your experience level and desired thrills.

+ Trust Oxalis' experienced guides who prioritize safety and responsible practices.

Join Oxalis and discover the heart of Phong Nha. The legacy of adventure awaits!

Where to stay in Phong Nha?

When visiting Phong Nha, choose accommodation that enhances your travel experience by immersing you in the local traditions, food, people, and nature.

Phong Nha offers a wide range of options for accommodation, including hostels for relaxation, homestays for a local experience, luxury hotels, and rustic resorts for an authentic Phong Nha adventure.

The accommodation in Phong Nha is so extraordinary that it will make you want to stay here forever in the Adventure Capital of Asia. Don't forget to check out our top 10 hotels in Phong Nha!

FARMSTAY & RESORT

Farmstays & Resorts in Phong Nha are not just accommodations, they’re a different experience altogether! Here, you get to soak in the warmth of Mother Nature and get closer to the culture, while enjoying the luxurious vibe of a resort. Some of these resorts are located slightly away from the town, to make sure you get the most peaceful experience. Imagine relaxing on a pool-side hammock, surrounded by fields and ethnic villages, with a drink in hand as you watch the sunset; the rustic resort accommodations in Phong Nha make this a reality.

You’ll fall in love with the beauty that envelopes the accommodation in Phong Nha. The most amazing rustic resorts in Phong Nha are Chay Lap Farmstay, Phong Nha Farmstay, Nguyen Shack – Phong Nha Eco Resort and Phong Nha lakehouse resort. The prices at rustic resorts are usually higher than hostels, homestays and hotels; however, the rates are quite reasonable and absolutely worth it.

HOTELS

For many people, a hotel is the first thought that comes to mind when thinking of accommodation while travelling and rightly so! The hotels in Phong Nha are one of a kind and will give you the perfect taste of luxury and let you enjoy tradition. Their prices are slightly higher than that of the hostels and homestays. The great news is, the way some of these hotels are designed and located, you’ll be very close to nature and can relax completely.

The top hotels in Phong Nha are Oxalis Home, Son Doong Bungalow and Victory road villas. These hotels will give you the best views to wake up to, along with unmatched comfort, professional staff, lip-smacking delicious food and fun activities like kayaking!

HOMESTAYS

It’s normal to feel homesick every now and then if you’ve been wandering, this is where homestays step in and make you feel at ease when you’re away from home. Homestays in Phong Nha are extremely popular for their ability to make you feel at home and part of a family in Vietnam. You’ll get a great insight into the simple lifestyle of the Phong Nha locals, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with the local family hosting you.

Almost all homestays are very affordably priced. The best homestays in Phong Nha are Sy’s Homestay, Thao Nguyen Homestay, Tuan Garden House and Song Que Homestay. These homestays will let you be a part of the family dinners, share stories and laughter.

Phong Nha homestays are growing in number, with each offering quality services to guests. Among these wonderful homestays, there are some that stole our heart with their perfect location, facilities and things on offer.

Check out the newest nine Homestays in Phong Nha!

HOSTELS

Hostels are a great accommodation option if you’re travelling with friends! Hostels in Phong Nha are known to have a really lively atmosphere and you’re always sure to find travellers with incredible and inspiring stories. You’ll easily find travellers here from different walks of life and also, you’ll also receive a lot of information about Phong Nha, like places to visit and things to do. The food and drink are always cheap and the staff at the hostels of Phong Nha are known to be the friendliest. The most popular hostels in Phong Nha are Gecko and Mango Hostel. All these hostels have a wonderful reputation for giving customers a special and fun experience; moreover, they are very reasonably priced and easy going.

How to get to Phong Nha?

The popularity of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has been skyrocketing of late, and it has made traveling to Phong Nha much easier than it used to be.

If you have any questions regarding transfers or need help deciding your best means of transportation before, or after, an Oxalis Adventure tour, please do not hesitate to contact an Oxalis Travel Specialist for their recommendations regarding your travels.

Please be aware that all suggested bus, train and airline companies, and their agencies, operate entirely independently of Oxalis Adventure. The following information is given in good faith, and Oxalis Adventure accepts no responsibility for the service provided by any other company.

AIR TRAVEL

Air travel is the fastest way of travelling for anyone in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). With less than two hours flight time, Dong Hoi city is just a stone’s throw. Note that if you choose to fly, then you will have to book an additional transfer from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha. We are happy to offer you a private transfer between Dong Hoi and Phong Nha in a 4-seater car for VND640,000 each way.

International flights are an important consideration for those travelling from around the world. There are several international airports within Vietnam: Hanoi (Noi Bai International Airport); Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat International Airport); Da Nang (Da Nang International Airport).

If you fly into Saigon, you will need to take another flight to Dong Hoi Airport to reach us. If you fly into Hanoi, you can reach us by flight, bus or train. From Da Nang, you can reach us by bus or train. Please see more information regarding domestic travel further below.

Hanoi to/from Phong Nha

Of course, the fastest mode of transport is to fly direct: Hanoi to Dong Hoi – this is just a 1 hour and 25-minute flight. However, you have to factor in the time travelling to the airport (1 hour from the Old Quarter). It is best to check the Vietnam Airlines website or Bamboo Airways ahead of time to ensure an available flight on your desired travel dates. Otherwise, we suggest using the train or bus. Note that if you choose to fly, then you will have to book a transfer from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha.

Ho Chi Minh City to/from Phong Nha

A more practical way between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Phong Nha is to take a flight with either Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific or VietjetAir, to Dong Hoi City (located a 45-minute drive from Phong Nha). From Dong Hoi, you will need to book an additional transfer to Phong Nha. We are happy to offer you a private transfer between Dong Hoi and Phong Nha in a 4-seater car for VND640,000 each way.

Bus or train travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phong Nha is not recommended; consider booking your air ticket in advance or book a ticket to Hue/Da Nang and then travel to Phong Nha by bus/train.

Note: For international customers, please note that we cannot advise you regarding border crossings/visa regulations, etc. if you are entering or exiting Vietnam by bus or motorcycle.

BUS TRAVEL

Travelling by bus is a great way to meet travelers going to the same destination! The buses are sleeper-type, air-conditioned, and occasionally have wi-fi if you are lucky. There is a small toilet at the back of the bus and you will make quick stops along the way, where you’ll find basic toilet facilities. Most bus companies stop directly in Phong Nha. Therefore, the bus option is becoming a popular choice among travelers.

(Please be aware that all suggested bus, train, and airline companies, and their agencies, operate entirely independently of Oxalis Adventure Tours. The following information is given in good faith, and Oxalis Adventure Tours accepts no responsibility for the service provided by any other company).

Hanoi to/from Phong Nha:

It is relatively easy to reach Phong Nha from Hanoi, and vice versa. Most bus companies will now stop directly in Phong Nha. Therefore, the bus option is becoming a popular choice among travelers, as it saves on the additional transfer required from Dong Hoi (the closest train station and airport to Phong Nha).

Ninh Binh to/from Phong Nha

Ninh Binh is located on the way from Hanoi to Phong Nha, so you can use the same bus to arrive at Phong Nha.

Ha Long to/from Phong Nha

If you’re planning to travel by bus from Ha Long, please note that you’ll be dropped at Dong Hoi and not Phong Nha directly. From Dong Hoi, you will need to book an additional transfer to Phong Nha. We are happy to offer you a private transfer between Dong Hoi and Phong Nha in a 4-seater car for VND640,000 each way.

Hue to/from Phong Nha

Hue is located just a few hours’ drive from the jungle and caving capital of Vietnam. It is a relatively convenient route with buses on offer from a number of companies.

Da Nang (Hoi An) to/from Phong Nha

Da Nang is the biggest city in central Vietnam, with beautiful beaches, mountains and only a 45-minute drive from the UNESCO world-heritage town of Hoi An. It is a 7-hour bus journey between Da Nang and Phong Nha.

TRAIN TRAVEL

Trains are an enjoyable way to travel and see the countryside. They are especially comfortable if you purchase a ticket in a soft-sleeper cabin. There are only 4 beds in the cabin, so there is enough room to sit up or lie down. A hard-sleeper cabin does not provide enough room to sit up, and there are 6 beds per room. Overnight trains are also a good option as you not only get somewhere to sleep for the night, but also avoid missing out on one day of adventure.

Unfortunately, train schedules cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, if you plan to take part in any 1-day tour, we advise that you travel directly by bus, arriving in Phong Nha, on your tour commencement date. Or, if you choose to fly, or travel by train, you should plan to arrive in Phong Nha a day before the tour commences.

You can check the train schedule via the Vietnam Railways official website http://dsvn.vn (English/Vietnamese) or visit https://www.baolau.com to book your train tickets in advance.

PRIVATE TRANSFERS

We offer private transfers from/to Phong Nha to/from some destinations as below.

Dong Hoi City to/from Phong Nha

- Car: 4-seater; Price: VND 640,000/car/one-way

- Car: 16- seater; Price: VND 900,000/car/one-way

- Car: 29- seater; Price: VND 1,500,000/car/one-way

Hue to/from Phong Nha

- Car: 4-seater; Price: VND 2,500,000/car/one-way

- Car: 16- seater Price: VND 2,700,000/car/one-way

- Car: 29- seater Price: VND 3,800,000/car/one-way

Da Nang to/from Phong Nha

- Car: 4-seater; Price: VND 3,300,000/car/one-way

- Car: 16- seater; Price: VND 3,800,000/car/one-way

- Car: 29- seater; Price: VND 5,400,000/car/one-way

Hoi An to/from Phong Nha

- Car: 4-seater; Price: VND 3,800,000/car/one-way

- Car: 16- seater; Price: VND 4,400,000/car/one-way

- Car: 29- seater; Price: VND 6,000,000/car/one-way

Note: Please indicate the number of passengers when booking a private transfer with us.

See more of how to get to Phong Nha with our Arrival & Departure Guide.

Useful Travel Information & Tips

TRANSPORT

The best way to truly experience Phong Nha is to explore it on two wheels, whether it be a bicycle or a motorcycle. Bicycle and motorbike rental services are available throughout the town, and the staff at your accommodation can assist you with this. If you are interested in exploring the national park by motorbike but lack riding experience, it's easy to hire a local guide who can take you around (with you riding on the back of the bike). We highly recommend Thang's Phong Nha Riders: +84 (0) 164 659 0719 – Thang. Alternatively, you can book a bus or a cab if you wish to travel to nearby towns or cities like Dong Hoi.

The most common form of taxi in Phong Nha is a "xe ôm" or motorbike taxi. Most hotels and hostels have contact numbers for "xe ôm" drivers if you need a local taxi. It's important to note that most drivers do not speak English.

LOCAL CUISINE

The speciality of Phong Nha, in terms of food, is Thit Nuong (barbeque meat). You can find it almost anywhere in Phong Nha, with choices between chicken, beef and pork. It is served with local flavoured chutney and the taste is absolutely lip-smacking! Apart from Thit Nuong, you can find almost every Vietnamese dish and plenty of Western options, thanks to the numerous restaurants and hotels in the area.

DRINKING WATER

It is not advisable to drink tap water in Phong Nha. Along with the common risks of drinking tap water in a developing country, tap water in Phong Nha contains high amounts of limestone, calcium, and other minerals. Please drink bottled or boiled water.

NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT

The people of Phong Nha are big into entertainment and have a massive karaoke culture. It’s a unique experience to be part of a karaoke party after returning from a tiring adventure tour in one of the caves. This is an amazing way to let loose and end your day with fun and frolics! Phong Nha also has various hostels, bars and even has two cool nightclubs, namely Andy’s Disco Bar and Hair of the Dog, should you wish to put on your dancing shoes after taking off your trekking boots. Everything is quite cheap, and you can expect to spend about VND80,000 ($4 USD) per hour (excluding drinks).

MONEY

Travelling to and spending some days in Phong Nha is relatively easy on the pocket, considering the kind of exquisite experiences you’ll have here. That being said, you’ll find ATMs here, namely the Sacombank ATM, Agribank ATM and the Vietinbank ATM. These ATMs accept all international cards, so don’t sweat it. Some shops or restaurants accept card payment and might not have change for big notes – VND500,000 – so try carrying small denominations of money while you’re out and about.

MARKET

The market in Phong Nha is located along the main road, just between the Best BBQ Pork & Noodle Shop in the World and the Phong Nha Tourism Center. The market can seem a little chaotic, but it’s worth checking out, especially if there’s anything you need.

Bring small bills with you, and don’t expect anyone to speak English. Everyone in the market is very friendly, but you can expect stares if you are a foreigner. Unfortunately, you can also expect that in some places you will receive a “foreigner price”.

Feel free to bargain in the market and enjoy winding your way through the back where the freshest fruits and veggies lie. The market is best visited around 6 – 9 AM. It is open until about 11 AM, and then closes for a few hours until the afternoon. It opens again around 2 PM until about 6 PM (hours vary at different times of year and at vendors’ discretion). You will be able to find basic things such as hats, socks, flip-flops, raincoats and snacks, etc., but not proper trekking gear.

MAP

Do yourself a favor and pop into one of our Oxalis Adventure offices (downtown or by the riverside), where you can pick up a decent map of the area. Our friendly staff will be happy to point out to you popular places to eat, what to do, and can explain to you more about the must-sees of the area.

SAFETY

Phong Nha is unlike any other place and your travel experience here will be the safest you ever had. The whole of Phong Nha is like one big family and everyone is extremely respectful and friendly towards tourists. The locals have your back at all times, and they’ll go to any extent to protect you and your interests in all kinds of ways. However, in the event of an emergency, here are the emergency telephone numbers (the country code is +84):

113 – Police 115 – Fire 114 – Ambulance

Phong Nha Police Station: +84 (0)232 3677009

Đồng Hới Police Station: +84(0)232 3822142

Quảng Bình Immigration Office: +84(0)232 3828648

MEDICAL CARE

Only very basic medical care is available in Phong Nha, mostly for common ailments. There is a small medical clinic located near the entrance of the town (no English spoken at the clinic). If you are in need of more serious medical care, you will need to move to Dong Hoi Cuba Hospital (1 hour transfer) or even Hue International Hospital (4 hour transfer). The locals will not let you feel alone in times of need, and they’ll make sure you get medical attention as soon as possible.

Phong Nha Hospital (more like a medical clinic) phone number: +84 (0)232 3677047.

PHARMACY

There are several pharmacies located near the market, just off to the left. They are open from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM and sell basic medicine for flu, headaches and stomach aches, as well as iodine, but very little for urgent or serious medical care.

RAINY SEASON

Rainy season usually starts around mid-September and persists until mid-November every year and extreme weather might occur, especially floods. Floodwaters remain high for up to a week at a time. Some of the tourism activities are closed at this time of the year, so make sure to check the weather forecast and information from tour operators prior to travelling to Phong Nha. There are some tour operators that run tours even during this season. We, however, don’t recommend it at all and will not be running any adventure tours during this time.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

There are several major holidays in Vietnam:

Tet Holiday: typically in late January or early February (varies based on the lunar calendar)

April 30: Reunification Celebration

May 1: Labor Day

September 2: Independence Day

Please note that transportation is extremely difficult to arrange around major holidays, especially Tet. You must arrange up to one month in advance or you will be paying premium prices for private transfers or possibly end up getting stuck in town if you don’t have any transport arranged. There are plenty of accommodations and shops open around town during Tet Holiday and you’ll have an unforgettable experience if you are lucky enough to be invited into the home of a local family, which is quite likely to happen!

The Oxalis Experience.

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Whether you prefer long treks, camping in a cave, sleeping under the stars in the jungle, swimming underground in river caves, explore the huge dry caves or just taking an exploratory day trip, Oxalis Adventure Tours can provide the right amount of adventure just for you.

Soft adventure

Overnight tours

Multi-day packages