Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is one of the most exciting destinations in Vietnam. If you are a lover of adventure and wild places, then Phong Nha should be high up on your to-visit list. Even if you don’t think of yourself as adventurous, there are so many ways to experience the beauty of the area.
Read more: The best tourist spot in Vietnam: The marvelous walking route conquering “Ha Giang White Cliffs”
This guide on things to do in Phong Nha has been tried and tested by our team and the travellers who pass through our doors, so you know you’re in good hands.
Take a boat cruise to Phong Nha Cave
There are hundreds of caves, caverns and tunnels in Phong Nha National Park, each with its own name and adventure level. The first to be opened to the public became Phong Nha Cave and is probably the most popular.
The mouth of Phong Nha Cave is actually the exit of a long underground river and you reach it by boat. The 30-minute journey up the Son River offers fantastic views of the park and makes for an impressive arrival. Let your eyes adjust to the dark inside the cave and watch in awe as the low ceiling opens up to a giant cavern. You’ll have the opportunity to disembark for a while and explore more on foot before returning to the boat and the dock.
Meander through Paradise Cave
As soon as you enter Paradise Cave, you’ll quickly understand its name. Seemingly, every inch of this 31km long cave is adorned with stalagmites and stalactites of every size and shape imagineable. Visually, this has to be one of the most beautiful caves in the whole park.
The raised walkway extends 2km through the cave, winding past the rock formations which are lit by soft lights. You could easily see the cave in an hour but it’s nice to savour the views on a slow walk through.
Our Phong Nha National Park Tour includes a visit to Paradise Cave.
Face your fears in Dark Cave
Adrenaline inducing Dark Cave forces you to tackle some pretty common phobias, including fear of heights, the dark and small spaces. But, it may just be the most fun you can have in a cave anywhere!
After a thorough safety briefing, you’ll climb up a tower to then zipline over the river to the cave entrance! You’ll then jump into the water to swim into the cave. It will be almost dark by the time you reach dry land so you’ll pop your head torch on and head deeper in on foot. The final part of the adventure is squeezing through a narrow passage to reach a small cavern full of mud. Enjoy your cave mud bath and then head back out into the river for a play on the assault cause that hangs over it!
Our Abandoned Valley Tour includes all the adventures in Dark Cave.
Dip in the bright blue waters of Tra Ang Cave
You really shouldn’t leave Phong Nha without taking a dip in one of the rivers or lakes in the caves themselves. Tra Ang, with its bright blue water, is an amazing place to do so and you are able to swim through an amazing 600m of it. With head torches and life jackets on, it is a safe but thoroughly exhilarating experience!
Our Phong Nha National Park Tour and Ma Da Valley Tour both include a swim through Tra Ang Cave.
Go on a caving expedition
Son Doong Cave – the largest cave yet discovered – may be out of most traveller’s budget but, fear not, there are plenty of other multi-day caving trips you can take. Including trekking, camping, cave swimming and exploring, these trips are an amazing way to immerse yourself in the wild nature of Phong Nha.
Our Hang Over expedition explores deep into the park to explore 3 amazing caves visited by few tourists.
Outside the Caves
Trek through the valley
It’s not just inside the mountains that you should explore. Take a trek in the open air through valleys and forests and you’ll be able to reach some of the more little-visited caves, as well as discover the diverse flora and fauna. Enjoy picnics and swimming by quiet rivers and discover a world few others get to see.
Grab a coffee by the river
Stop by one of the many cafes, restaurants or hotels on the riverside in Phong Nha town and order yourself a coffee. Enjoy it slowly as you watch the world go by and the fishermen go back and forth along the wide river, with those gorgeous mountains in the background.
Refuel with an epic BBQ at the Pub with Cold Beer
Take a scooter out of the park and over to the Pub with Cold Beer for an epic BBQ of chicken or pork skewers. This increasingly popular spot has made a name for itself with the motorbike travellers of Vietnam and is a lovely family run place with amazing food and, of course, cold beer.
Swing in a hammock with a beer in hand
After all your adventures, we recommend is to check into a place like Jungle Boss Homestay or Wild Boar Eco Farm and grab yourself a hammock. Order a beer, relax and soak in the views of rice paddies and mountains, remembering the amazing caves hidden inside.
Learn how to farm with the locals
Both the above guesthouses are also working farms and will happily show guests a thing or two about farming in Vietnam. Jungle Boss has an organic farm that focuses on sustainable agriculture, while Wild Boar Eco Farm is a little more rugged.
We hope this blog has given you some ideas for things to do in Phong Nha! If you’d like us to help book your trip, using our experienced partners and amazing industry discounts, then get in touch today!
Read more: 16 vietnam beautiful places to visit: How many places have you been? (Part 2)
The best center Vietnam tour: Tour in Vietnam