A Complete Guide To Exploring Phong Nha Vietnam

Phong Nha Ke Bang Travel Tips

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Phong Nha Ke Bang is one of the most popular attractions in Vietnam. This natural gem of Vietnam is home to some of the most stunning caves in the world, such as Son Doong Cave.

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

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 will 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.

how to get from Hanoi to Phong Nha Vietnam

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.

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Jetstar offer regular service from Ho Chi Minh to Dong Hoi Airport, and the journey takes 1 hour 35 minutes.

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.

Phong Nha Vietnam Travel Guide


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.

Some of the main attractions in Phong Nha Ke Bang are Phong Nha Cave, Paradise Cave (động Thiên Đường), Dark Cave (Hang Tối), Mooc River (Suối Nước Moọc), and Botanical Garden.

Mooc River Phong Nha Vietnam


What are the best Phong Nha Ke Bang Tours to take?

Tour to Phong Nha from Hue

Many travelers decide to take day trips from Hue to Phong Nha Ke Bang instead of staying in the area.

By joining the tours, you can have a great chance to explore breath-taking natural wonders in Phong Nha and observe the rock formation. 

The most common day trips will take you to explore Phong Nha cave or Paradise cave.

Paradise Cave Phong Nha Vietnam


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 2020. Applied from 15/06/2020

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 car:

  • 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

best thing to do in Paradise cave Phong Nha Ke Bang Vietnam

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.

best things to do in Mooc River Phong Nha Ke Bang Vietnam

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 about Dark Cave

best things to do in Dark cave Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

f) Phong Nha Botanical Garden entrance fee

  • Adults: 40,000 VND per adult
  • Children: 20,000 VND per child

-> Read more about Botanical Garden

best things to do in Botanical garden


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.

best things to do in Phong Nha Ke Bang


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. 

best places to stay in Phong Nha

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 visit most of the attractions.

During the rainy season, the water level may cover the cave entrance, and it can be dangerous to participate in activities.

Phong Nha Vietnam


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, it rises and falls depending on the amount of 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.

best things to do in Phong Nha Ke Bang Vietnam

The rainy season (from September to March next year) is affected by the Northeast monsoon, so the average annual rainfall is from 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 visit the dry caves (Tien Son Cave, Paradise Cave) regularly.

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

Tet holiday in 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 Vietnam travel guide


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 some 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.

There are some typical dishes from Phong Nha mountain forests, such as deer meat and mountain goat.

what to eat in Phong Nha Ke Bang