Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park located in the coastal area of north-central Quang Binh province is about 500km to the south of Ha noi and 180km to the north of Hue. It was listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2003 for geological values. Phong Nha-Ke Bang is home to 300 different grottoes and caves, including the largest cave in the world. It is dubbed as “The kingdom of the cave“.
Phong Nha Cave was regarded by British Caving Association as the top cave in the world due to its being the highest and longest cave, having the longest underground river, the broadest and most beautiful fine sand beaches inside the caves, and the most spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. Morever, Phong Nha is also well knowPhong Nha Ke Bang from Hue
n for its variety of flora and fauna. It is a real heaven for people who want to admire the impressive primitive beauty of nature.
In Phong Nha, you will explore the cave on boat. It is the only way to get inside the mouth of the cave, where you can admire the surrounding glorious natural works. One boat costs 300,000 VND but you can share it with up to 13 other tourists. The entrance ticket is sold at the same place as boat ticket and costs 120,000 VND.
How to travel from Hue to Phong Nha Ke Bang
In order to travel to Phong Nha from Hue, you need to reach Dong Hoi, the closest town to Phong Nha, which is about 45km away from the site. The distance between Dong Hoi and Hue is 160km so it is suggested that you get to Dong Hoi the day before and leave it the day after your jungle and caving adventure in Phong Nha Ke Bang to have enough rest. There are many transport ways you can choose such as private car, bus, or train.
Travelling by train between Hue and Dong Hoi takes about 3 hours. Trains connecting these two places are available both during daytime and nighttime. The fare is no more than 250,000 VND.
Please be noted that you should book a taxi to Phong Nha from hotels/resorts, airport or train station in Dong Hoi. It costs around 500,000 VND and takes about 45min-1 hour of travelling.
Traveling by bus is a cheap, reliable and flexible options for everybody. Busses connecting Dong Hoi and Hue as well as other destinations such as Hanoi, Dong Ha, etc are available.
Be aware that the routes, timetables and fares change according to the travelling companies and the time so you had better book with an agent beforehand at the place of your departure.
There is packaged bus for your convenience. Daily bus of VM Travel that leaves Hue at 7am is an example. The cost is 600,000 VND/person including air-con, lunch at a local restaurant, boat trip in Phong Nha cave, entrance fee, tour guide, water on bus and tourist insurance. Besides, you can ask for mid-way stop for photo taking or sightseeing.
The road the National Park are narrow and winding in places so if you are confident with your riding experience, rent a bike to enjoy the most of landscape of the park.
It takes about 1 hour to reach Phong Nha via the Ho Chi Minh highway. Renting fee applied by hotels in Dong Hoi lies between 150,000 to 250,000VND.
Note that you should choose a good motorbike from a reputable rental and thoroughly consider the cost and other details related to the vehicle’s quality and maintenance.
You can also hire a private car with an English speaking driver, a local with understanding and knowledge about the area. This choice allows you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery more than if you were driving and navigating for yourself.
The price for private car is $94 for 4-seat cars, $114 for 7-seat ones and $134 for 16-seat vehicles.
Attractions on the way
On the way from Hue to Phong Nha, tourists can stop at the DMZ and admire many attractions like Ben Hai river, Hien Luong bridge, Vinh Moc tunnel,…
Ben Hai River is one of the notable Vietnam rivers. It is the official dividing point between North and South Viet Nam from 1954 to 1975. 5km either side of the river was declared a demilitarized zone but in fact it experienced some of the heaviest fighting during the Vietnam War. The river offers beautiful landscapes, especially if you travel downstream by boat to admire.
Hien Luong Bridge was constructed during the war, crossing Ben Hai. The bridge was built from steel by the French in 1950. There was a small museum on the northern side of the bridge where you could learn a bit about the history of the area.
Vinh Moc Tunnels were built as an evacuating place for local people and revolutionary soldiers to avoid bombings during war. Thereby, tourists can feel the value of peace that soldiers brought to us.