How to explore Phong Nha Ke Bang Vietnam?
This Phong Nha Ke Bang Guide covers all the information you need to know before traveling to Phong Nha Ke Bang Vietnam, including
- How to get to Phong Nha
- How many days to spend in Phong Nha
- Best places in Phong Nha
- Tour review
- Attractions’ admission fees
- Phong Nha Ke Bang map
- Best place to stay in Phong Nha
- Best time to visit (Weather, rainy season, holidays)
- Getting around Phong Nha
- What to eat and drinks
- Phong Nha market
How to get to Phong Nha Ke Bang
The location of Phong Nha National Park is very convenient for travelers. You can easily get to Dong Hoi by plane, train, or bus.
How to go to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park from Dong Hoi?
Phong Nha is located in Bo Trach, about 50km from Dong Hoi city, Quang Binh, Vietnam.
Most transportation methods will take you to Dong Hoi city center, so you need to take a taxi or private transfer from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha Ke Bang.
Please read my Dong Hoi to Phong Nha guide for more information.
From Hanoi to Phong Nha
Traveling from Hanoi to Phong Nha Ke Bang by bus is one of the most common options. However, traveling by train will bring you more comfort because the distance is quite long.
You can also fly from Hanoi to Dong Hoi as well, and it’s easy to book direct flights with Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, and Jetstar.
Please read my Hanoi to Phong Nha travel guide to know more about the options.
From Hue to Phong Nha
From Hue, you can take a train to Dong Hoi or a direct bus to Phong Nha, and the journey takes about 4 hours 30 minutes.
There are several daily tours from Hue to Phong Nha that you can join.
Please read the Hue to Phong Nha travel guide to know more about the options.
From Ho Chi Minh to Phong Nha
The best way to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phong Nha is flying.
You can also experience the scenic train ride from Ho Chi Minh to Dong Hoi.
Vietnam Railways offer daily trains from Saigon to Dong Hoi station, and the journey may take from 21.5 hours to 25.5 hours, depending on the train.
How many days should you spend in Phong Nha?
Depending on your travel plan, you may visit Phong Nha in one day or more.
To cover the primary attractions in Phong Nha Ke Bang, you should spend at least a week in the area.
A week would be sufficient if you’re into exploring caves.
Where are the best places to visit in Phong Nha Ke Bang?
Phong Nha Ke Bang is home to several large and small caves, and it will take ages to explore all of them. However, you can visit some famous caves and areas during your trip.
What are the best Phong Nha Ke Bang Tours to take?
Phong Nha cave, Paradise and Dark cave
There are two most popular tours in Phong Nha that you can take:
Tour to Phong Nha from Hue
If you’re in Hue, you can take day trips to Phong Nha.
By joining the tours, you can have a great chance to explore breath-taking natural wonders in Phong Nha and observe the rock formation.
How much is the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park entrance fee?
This is a list of ticket prices for Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park 2022.
a) Paradise Cave Entrance fee
- Adults: 125,000 VND per adult
- Children from 1.1m to 1.3m: 65,000 VND per child
- Children with height under 1.1m are exempt from sightseeing tickets.
Service of electric cars:
- 4-seat electric car: 60,000 VND/ 1-way or 100,000 VND/ round trip
- 6-seat electric car: 90,000 VND/ 1-way or 150,000 VND/ round trip
- 8-seat electric car: 200,000 VND/ round trip
- 14-seat electric car: 350,000 VND/ round trip
b) Phong Nha Cave Entrance fee
- Adults: 75,000 VND per adult
- Children with height under 1.3 m are exempt from sightseeing tickets.
- Phong Nha cave boat tour: 550,000 VND per boat with life jackets, carrying up to 12 guests, including children.
c) Tien Son Cave Entrance fee
- Adults: 40,000 VND per adult
- Children with height under 1.3 m are exempt from sightseeing tickets.
- Sightseeing boat for Phong Nha Cave and Tien Son Cave: 550,000 VND / 1 boat / 12 guests with life jackets
d) Mooc River fee
Ticket service package (Including Spring bathing, Kayaking, Life jacket, Paddle, Rescue fee)
- Adult: 140,000 VND per adult
- Children: 70,000 VND per child
Tickets to visit:
- Adults and children from 1.3m or more: 40,000 VND per person
- Children with height under 1.3m are exempt from entrance tickets.
e) Chay River – Dark Cave fee
Below is the entrance fee of the Dark Cave.
- Adults and children over 1.3m: 299,000 VND per ticket (All services are included: zipline in Dark Cave, zip line river, games, kayaking, Mud bathing in Dark Cave …)
- Children (90cm – 1,3m high): 97,000 VND / person (no zip line swing, kayak use with parents). Includes: discovery and mud bathing in Dark Cave, discovery and safety equipment, underwater games (not including thrills)
- Children: Free (under 1 meter high, only use the children’s pool)
Read more: Dark Cave travel guide.
f) Phong Nha Botanical Garden entrance fee
- Adults: 40,000 VND per adult
- Children: 20,000 VND per child
Read more: Botanical Garden guide.
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park map
Below is the map of tourist places in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park so that you can visualize the location of the attractions.
Where to stay in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park?
A homestay is an exciting choice for those seeking a local experience while enjoying stunning nature.
I recommend staying at Phong Nha farmstay. I had a fantastic time relaxing next to the pool while watching the sunset at the farm stay.
On the other hand, Central Backpacker Hostel is an excellent choice if you’re looking for great parties and interesting time with fellow travelers.
Read more: 10 tips for booking a great stay.
When is the best time to visit Phong Nha?
The best time to visit Phong Nha is during the dry season (April to August) because you can see most attractions.
The water level may cover the cave entrance during the rainy season, and it can be dangerous to participate in activities.
When is the flood season in Phong Nha Ke Bang?
The flood season in Phong Nha Ke Bang usually starts around mid-September and lasts until mid-November each year.
Although the floods here do not last long, they rise and fall depending on the rain.
Occasionally, the flood level can remain high for about a week.
Therefore, you should check the weather forecast before traveling to Phong Nha if you would like to visit Phong Nha caves from September to November.
Phong Nha Weather
As Quang Binh has the monsoon tropical weather and is always affected by the climate of both the North and the South, Phong Nha Ke Bang weather is divided into two distinct seasons:
The dry season (from April to August) is a great time to explore the cave systems in the heart of the natural heritage of Phong Nha Ke Bang.
While the temperature outside is around 36 to 37 ° C, the temperature in the caves is always at 20 to 21 ° C.
The rainy season (from September to March next year) is affected by the Northeast monsoon, so the average annual rainfall is 2,000mm to 2,300mm each year.
On rainy days, the flood of Son River rises and covers the gate of the caves, so tourist boats cannot come to Phong Nha Cave (Động Nước/ Water cave).
However, travelers can regularly visit the dry caves (Tien Son Cave, Paradise Cave).
Tips: Please check the weather forecast in advance and bring comfortable clothes.
Is it good to travel to Phong Nha on the Tet holiday or during the holiday season?
No. It’s not the best idea to travel to Phong Nha Ke Bang on Tet holiday or other holiday seasons because the attractions may not open or the open hours are affected.
Here are some of the main holidays in Vietnam
- Tet Holiday (Feb 2nd to Feb 10th): It changes from year to year depending on the lunar calendar
- April 30th and May 1st: Liberation Day and Labor International Day
- September 2nd: National Day of Vietnam
Please note that it’s challenging to arrange transportation methods during the Tet Holiday.
You will need to plan your trip for at least one month and pay a higher price for a private car; otherwise, you may get stuck in the town. Also, there are not many activities to do in Phong Nha during that time.
Vietnamese people usually spend time celebrating with family during the Tet holiday. You can read more about traditional things to do on the Tet holiday in Vietnam to have more information.
How to get around Phong Nha Ke Bang?
Due to the danger of driving a motorcycle, we do not recommend renting a bike if you are not an experienced driver.
If you would like to enjoy exploring the National Park by motorbike but don’t have any driving experience, you can easily hire a local person to take you on a bike tour.
Do not drive a motorbike to the national park in the evening because there are no street lights, which can be hazardous.
Some people drive without lights at night, and you may have an accident without any warning.
If you go out in the dark, we advise you not to go further than the Botanical Garden. Also, please wear a helmet when riding a motorbike and fasten your seat belt if you drive a car.
Bicycles are usually free at hotels and hostels in Phong Nha Ke Bang. You may check with your hotel in advance before booking the room. Also, you can rent bicycles at Easy Tiger or other places in the area.
Motor-taxi, or Xe ôm, is a particular way to get around cities in Vietnam. You can ask your hotel to book a motor taxi for you if needed.
Phong Nha Market
The market in Phong Nha is located on the main street near the Phong Nha – Ke Bang Tourist Center. You should bring cash when shopping here and don’t forget to bargain (You can do it at any other market in Vietnam).
The best time to go to the market is around 6-9 am because the market is the most crowded. Many stalls are closed from 11 am to 2 pm for a lunch break, then open until 6 pm, depending on the time of year.
What to eat in Phong Nha Ke Bang?
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park has a diverse system of primeval forests and rivers, and the water source is clean and fresh, flowing from the limestone, so special dishes here have a unique flavor that cannot be found anywhere.
You can try tasty local dishes such as bighead carp, river shrimp, grilled broodstock fish, and grilled chicken. Especially, don’t forget to try the famous delicious eel.
Typical dishes from Phong Nha mountain forests are deer meat and mountain goat.