Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
The Kingdom of Majestic Caves
The Kingdom of Majestic Caves
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. The park is home to a system of over 300 large and tiny caverns, including the world’s largest known cave, Son Doong. Nature has endowed the province of Quang Binh with a majestic natural landscape that is sure to amaze visitors from all over the world. To learn more about this fascinating natural wonder, keep on reading.
A gem of Quang Binh Province
In Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, the harmony of the Son River, the dry caves, and the wet caves combine to produce a mesmerizing watercolor painting. This is one of the world's oldest and largest tropical limestone complexes, covering more than 200,000 hectares and containing a system of more than 300 large and small caves buried with many unique and attractive features.
The Park was designated a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003 for its geological and geomorphological features, and again in 2015 for its biological features. It is a popular destination for visitors interested in these fields.
In terms of geological value, the National Park has a variety of tunnels, wildlife, climate, ecosystems, and landscapes. The geology, geomorphology, as well as diversity of the biological system of this Vietnamese National Park are all results of the Earth's crust formation. A large number of fauna and floral species have also been recorded in the property, adding more value to the ecological environment of the park.
The national park system throughout the country, particularly Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, is helping to preserve Vietnam's ecosystem. As a result, this is an ideal tourist destination for visitors to explore both the stunning scenery and the cultural significance of Phong Nha-Ke Bang.
Cave systems in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park
Cave systems in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha Cave
Phong Nha is the most famous cave in the area, with a surveyed length of about 8 km and a concentration of underground rivers that are among the longest in the world.
To enter this magnificent cave, visitors will have to board a watercraft and walk down the Son River to the entrance of Phong Nha cave. You will notice a cool, pleasant atmosphere when you visit the cave, especially in the summer when the temperature is just around 18°C to 22°C. The Son River's two banks have an extremely beautiful landscape that resembles a painting of water.
Visitors can admire the amazing natural beauty of First Cave by getting off the boat at a depth of more than 600 meters. Explore the Bi Ky, Co Tien and Cung Dinh caves to witness multicolored stalactites. Going deep inside the cave, visitors can listen to the wind-blowing melody of the mountain god and admire the majesty of the corridors covered with limestone and sparkling stalactites. In here, the feeling of excitement of exploring the mouth of a giant monster has kept visitors from wanting to leave.
Among various stunning caverns in Phong Nha Ke Bang, Dark Cave is a location with a lot of unique features and significant tourist potential, making it the perfect vacation spot for adventurous people. It's possible to say that Dark Cave is one of the most appealing destinations that visitors should attempt when traveling to Phong Nha.
The cave entrance is 40 meters high and 20 meters wide. With a length of 5,258m and a height of 80m, Dark Cave is both a water cave and a dry cave like many others in the area. The British Royal cave expedition named the cave "Dark Cave" because the "dark light" inside is so intense that it appears to be tangible.
Before we can reach the cave, we must cross a river. We can do this by canoe or by roping a 300-meter length of rope. This is a popular tourist attraction because it offers panoramic views of the cave and its beautiful rock formations.
Numerous creatures, including bats and swallows, find sanctuary in the cave, which is still in immaculate condition and contains hundreds of stalactite columns with distinctive shape. In particular, Ha Tinh langurs, one of the primates classified in the Red Data Book of Vietnam, find cote in the surroundings of the cave. Because of the close proximity to the river and the consequently high humidity, the stalactites in Dark Cave are heavily coated in moss, giving them a distinctive green hue.
Tra Ang Cave
The cave is well-known to visitors for its magnificent natural features: 40-meter wide and 50-meter long with naturally-formed stalactites and stalagmites. In addition, the beautiful natural scenery, cool water, and a little sandy beach area also contribute to honor the majestic beauty of this place.
Beside, Tra Ang cave hides a “natural swimming pool” named Ma Da lake which belongs to Ma Da valley. The valley is large and relatively flat, and is surrounded by vast primeval forests with many rare types of trees. The quiet river flowing at night adds to the valley's poetic atmosphere. The valley is bordered by beautiful limestone mountains, and the stream winds its way until it empties into the Tra Ang River.
Son Doong Cave
The Son Doong cave was declared the largest cave in the world in 2009 – 2010 and has been a world-renowned adventure tourism destination since 2013. Due to its majestic beauty, splendor, and many other wonderful qualities, Son Doong cave adventure tourism activities consistently attract both local and international tourists.
Son Doong Cave is claimed as the Great Wall of Vietnam for its tall stalactite wall. The wall step is quite flat and vertical, making it ideal for climbing. You have to go through a slightly muddy cave to reach this Great Wall. Climbing the 90-meter-high wall is not an easy feat, even for experienced climbers. Visitors must use safety equipment and follow the instructions of professional guides.
Aside from its immensity like the Great Wall, one of the cave's most intriguing features is the Valley, where the ceiling of the cave has openings for light to enter. The apparition of daylight in the cave's interior led to the development of a distinctive underground forest ecology. A visit to this cave is frequently referred to as an effort to ascend the underworld's Mount Everest.
The maximum number of participants in such an expedition is 10 people plus knowledgeable guides to assist visitors. Son Doong Cave has quickly established itself as one of the most intriguing tourist destinations in the world for those who enjoy adventure. In 2017 and 2018 every date was fully booked for months in advance.
Hang En Cave
Hang En is one of the largest caves in the complex of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. The roof of this cave has three gates and is up to 1.6 km long, 100 meters high and 170 meters wide. Hang En is the third largest cave in the world, after Son Doong Cave and Deer Cave in Malaysia.
Currently, the photo of Hang En is famous for drawing the most attention. If you search for information about this cave on the Internet, an image of a bivouac lying at the bottom of a rather large cave will appear. You will surely be surprised by the harmonious beauty between the jade color of the lake and the yellow color of the sand. All create a romantic scene inside the majestic cave.
Tents are set up here to spend the night on a broad bottom that has been smoothed by water and a tranquil bend of an underground river. Swallows that nest in the depths of the Hang En cave will soar over our heads as soon as the sun rises over the stones on the ceiling of the cave. The journey to the previously mentioned Son Doong cave also includes camping here.
Tu Lan Cave
Visitors must traverse the spectacular terrains of grasslands, lush valleys, dense tropical woods, steep mountain slopes, or swim through subterranean rivers in order to explore the Tu Lan Cave System. Tu Lan Cave is seen as a very lyrical, serene, yet equally impressive scenery, compared to other natural landscapes of the world. Moreover, Tu Lan was chosen as the main scene in the Hollywood movie Kong: Skull Island by renowned director Jordan Vogt-Roberts because of the exceptional natural beauty.
The Hang Tien Cave, the largest in this area and home to incredible rock formations, is also a part of the Tu Lan Cave system. Because of the otherworldly forms and shapes that were discovered here, it has been dubbed a "fairy cave."
Hang Va Cave
Unlike other caves in Vietnam and many parts of the world, the stalactite columns at Va Cave - Nuoc Nut Cave are formed from hard objects (wooden branch, sand grain, ...) at the bottom of the lake. Over time, rising water carries calcium, which attaches to these hard objects to form columns of stalactites. Such stalactites vary in shape and sizes, creating an other-worldy, alieny environment that cannot be found elsewhere. This is the ultimate destination for photographers or geology enthusiasts to experience a hidden valley surrounded by century-old limestones.
Considerations for cave exploration
If you choose Phong Nha - Ke Bang national park as your next destination, you should carefully consider how much time you want to spend there. Other important factors to consider include your physical condition and the cost of the trip.
The amount of time you spend at the national park will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the caves you want to visit, the activities you want to do, and the time of year you visit.
Your physical condition is also an important factor to consider when planning a trip to explore these caves. Some have very challenging trails that require a high level of fitness, while others have more moderate trails that are suitable for people of all fitness levels. If you are not sure how fit you are, it is always a good idea to start with a shorter, easier trail and then work your way up to more challenging trails as you get more comfortable.
The cost of a trip to a national park will vary depending on the places you visit, the time of year you visit, and the activities you do. You should also factor in the cost of transportation, food, and lodging when planning your trip. Read: Travel Essentials - Your Complete Guide to Southeast Asia.
The amount of time you have is evident, but the challenging terrain will put the level of fitness to the test of visitors. Although this is a scenic tour, the visitor's safety during the journey is still a top priority. Because of this, it truly pays to make well-considered decisions and prepare physically in advance for any upcoming challenge.
The world is a vast and beautiful place, full of wonders to explore. If you're feeling bored or restless, why not embark on an adventure? There are countless places to see and things to do, from hiking in the mountains to exploring ancient ruins. And if you're looking for something truly unique, consider visiting a place like Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, the massive limestone karst ecosystem. With its towering ceilings and otherworldly beauty, these majestic caves are sure to take your breath away. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore this natural wonder of Vietnam!