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How to Plan a Vietam Cave Tour? the Ultimate Guide for 2024

Known for its dense woodland and stoic hills, Vietnam is a land of beautiful terrain. And if you look beyond its surface, the country has much more to offer.

From underground stalagmites to exotic stalactites, Vietnam has some of the largest and most spectacular caves in the world. Most of the Vietnam caves are limestone caves. These caves offer a unique and unforgettable experience for adventurous travelers who want to explore the hidden wonders of Vietnam.

However, when it comes to exploring these caves—you need to know a lot of things. What are these things? Let's have a look at them in this comprehensive guide.

The Highlights and Main Locations of Vietnam Caves

In Vietnam, most of the famous caves are located in Phong Nha-Ke National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province of the north central coast region of Vietnam.

Vietnam Phong Nha-Ke National Park
Vietnam Phong Nha-Ke National Park

Among all the caves in the national park, Hang Song Doong, Phong Nha Cave, Paradise Cave, Dark Cave, and Tu Lan Cave System are the most popular caves that we are going to recommend.

But before that, how to get to Phong Nha-Ke National Park?

Well, to get to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, you have two options:
By Air: The fastest and most convenient way is to take a direct flight from Hanoi to Dong Hoi City, which is the nearest city to the park. The flight time is about one hour. Then you can take a taxi from Dong Hoi airport to the park, which will take about an hour as well.
By Train: The cheaper but longer way is to take a train from Hanoi to Dong Hoi City, which will take about 10 hours. You can choose from different classes of seats or cabins, depending on your budget and comfort level. Then you can take a taxi from Dong Hoi railway station to the park, which will also take about an hour.

The Most Famous and Deepest Caves in Vietnam You Must Visit

Following is a list of the most famous and deepest caves in Vietnam you must visit, along with essential details to plan your adventure:

1). Hang Son Doong
Location: Quang Binh Province, within Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Travel Length: Approximately 9 kilometers.

Highlights and Features
Hang Son Doong, also known as Son Doong Cave, is the largest known Cave in the world. Though Hang Song Doong is a 3-million-year-old cave in the central part of Vietnam, it was first discovered in 1990 by Ho Khanh, a local farmer who was seeking shelter from a passing storm in the jungle. Then, in 2009, Hang Son Doong became known worldwide after a group of cavers from the British Cave Research Association noticed the sound of an underground river flowing out of a large hole in the limestone.

Vietnam Hang Son Doong
Vietnam Hang Son Doong

Formed of Permian limestone, the main Song Doong Cave is 38.4 X 106 cubic meters by volume. It is more than 5km long, 200m high, and 150m wide, and contains some of the tallest known stalagmites in the world, which are up to 70 m tall. Inside the Cave, you'll find stunning stalactites, underground rivers, and unique geological formations.

How to Reach: Hang Son Doong is accessible via guided tours from the park's entrance. The journey often begins with a trek through lush jungles.

2). Phong Nha Cave
Location: Quang Binh Province, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Travel Length: Approximately 7.7 kilometers.

Highlights and Features
Phong Nha Cave is also a cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, the same as the Hang Song Doong. It has been voted as one of the most beautiful caves in the world for the longest underground river, the highest entrance, and the most beautiful dry Cave and lake.

Vietnam Phong Nha Cave
Vietnam Phong Nha Cave

There are also a large number of spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, and long water grottos in Phong Nha Cave. It is also famous for the many shapes of stalactites and stalagmites ranging from tree-like to cloud-like.

As Phong Nha Cave is also located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park as Hang Song Doong. So please refer to the guide above.

How to Reach: Accessible by boat from Phong Nha Town. After arriving at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, you can have a boat ride from the tourist center to visit the Cave. The boat ride is a special course to visit Phong Nha Cave. It will give you a glimpse of the local life and countryside before you enter the Cave. The ride will last around 25 minutes until you reach the entrance.

3). Paradise Cave
Location: Paradise Cave is located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, 60km northwest of Dong Hoi City. The Cave is 31km long, 72m high, and 150m wide, and it is the longest Cave in the national park. It is located at an elevation of 200m above sea level, near the west branch of Ho Chi Minh Highway.
Travel Length: Approximately 31 kilometers.

Highlights and Features
Paradise Cave lives up to its name. The limestone formation of Paradise Cave is much more spectacular than others, and there are also many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. In addition, Paradise Cave owns a breathtaking magical structure. Based on these features, the British cave explorers were impressed and named it Paradise Cave.

Vietnam Paradise Cave
Vietnam Paradise Cave

How to Reach: Please refer to the guide above and arrive at Dong Hoi City first. Then, according to the experienced tourists, it will be convenient to ride a motorbike to Paradise Cave. Rent a motorbike from a travel agency for about 100k VND a day and open a map APP on your phone; you will have a really free trip to the destination. Besides, golf carts are available for tourists to take.

4). Dark Cave
Location: Also within Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province.
Travel Length: Approximately 5 kilometers.

Highlights and Features
Dark Cave, also known as Hang Toi, is the most popular and attractive Cave for adventurers in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Unlike other caves, you have to plunge down a 400 m zip-line to reach the cave entrance. You have to wear a miner helmet with the light on and have a barefoot walk through the narrow and muddy crevasse.

Vietnam Dark Cave
Vietnam Dark Cave

It will be a really challenging trip for those who are physically weak, but if you walk to the end of the crevasse, there is a natural mud bath waiting for you. There are also many ancient fossils to be found. Every step will be a struggle of squelching, but it will be an impressive experience.

How to Reach: Dark Cave is just next to Phong Nha Cave, so you can refer to the guide above to arrive at Phong Nha Cave and then transfer to Dark Cave on foot.

5). Tu Lan Cave System
Location: In Tan Hoa Village, about 70km northwest of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, you will find the Tu Lan Cave System.
Travel Length: Various caves within the system offer different experiences, with lengths ranging from a few hundred meters to several kilometers.

Highlights and Features
The Tu Lan Cave System is a network of interconnected caves, each with its own allure. There are more than 10 caves in this limestone cave system with stalagmites and stalactites, as well as waterfalls and underground rivers.

Vietnam Tu Lan Cave System
Vietnam Tu Lan Cave System

How to Reach: If traveling in the Tu Lan Cave System, you will start your trip with a countryside hike, then swim through 2 river caves before entering the valley. You may also trek through the jungle surrounded by limestone mountains, so it will also be an adventurous trip for those who prefer challenging and exploring tours.

How Many Caves Should You Visit During a Vietnam tour? How to Add?

When planning your Vietnam adventure to explore its captivating caves, the number of caves to visit largely depends on your schedule and interests.

Here are some insightful suggestions on how to approach your cave exploration:
Allocate Time for Cave Exploration: Typically, it's advisable to set aside at least half a day or a full day to explore the main caves of Vietnam. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the unique beauty and features of each Cave without feeling rushed.
Consider Your Interests: Your choice of how many caves to visit should align with your interests and the pace of your trip. If you prefer a more leisurely exploration, focusing on one or two caves can provide a richer experience. However, if you're an avid cave enthusiast, you might opt for a more extensive itinerary.
Quality Over Quantity: Keep in mind that it's often more rewarding to thoroughly explore a few caves than to rush through many. Each Cave offers its own distinct charm and wonders, so taking the time to savor them can make your experience more meaningful.
Guided Tours: Many caves, especially the more remote ones, may require guided tours for safe and informed exploration. So, consider hiring a tour guide. At IndoChina Tour, we offer predefined itineraries that include specific caves, making your selection process easier.

When is the Best and Worst Time to Take a Vietnam Cave Tour?

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a typical tropical monsoon climate of northern Vietnam. So, here are the ideal and less favorable times to plan your cave exploration:
Best Time - Dry Season (November to April): This period, spanning from late autumn to early spring, is generally considered the best time to visit Vietnam's caves. The weather is typically dry and cool, making outdoor activities and cave exploration comfortable. During this time, the water levels in caves are often lower, allowing for easier access to many underground wonders.
Worst Time - Rainy Season (May to October): The rainy season in Vietnam can bring heavy downpours and increased humidity. This weather can lead to higher water levels in caves, potentially limiting access to some areas. Slippery trails and muddy conditions can make outdoor activities less enjoyable.

If you want an entire Vietnam tour including a cave exploration, you can choose the suitable time according to the best and worst time to Vietnam

best time to Vietnam cave tour
November to April is best time to Vietnam cave tour.

What to Wear for a Vietnam Cave Tour? Tips for the Vietnam Cave Tour

Proper attire and gear are essential for a comfortable and safe cave exploration adventure in Vietnam. Here are some valuable tips on what to wear and bring for your cave tour:

1. Light and Moisture-Wicking Clothing: Opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing that keeps you dry and comfortable. Quick-drying materials are especially useful if you anticipate getting wet during your cave visit.
2. Long Sleeves and Pants: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin from potential scratches, insect bites, or contact with cave surfaces. Lightweight, breathable fabrics are ideal for the region's climate.
3. Sturdy Footwear: Choose sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good traction. Waterproof hiking boots or comfortable sneakers with grip are often suitable for cave exploration. Make sure they're broken in and comfortable for walking on uneven terrain.

1. Headlamp or Flashlight: A reliable headlamp or flashlight is essential to navigate the dimly lit cave interiors. Ensure you have extra batteries or a backup light source.
2. Helmet: Some caves may require helmets for safety. Check with your tour provider to see if they provide helmets, or consider bringing your own if you have one.

Protection from the Elements
1. Rain Jacket or Poncho: If you're visiting caves during the rainy season or anticipate encountering water, a lightweight, packable rain jacket or poncho can keep you dry.
2. Sun Protection: Don't forget sun protection items like sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunscreen, especially if you have outdoor portions on your cave tour.

Additional Tips
● Bring a small backpack to carry essentials like water, snacks, extra clothing, and your personal items. Keep it lightweight for easy mobility.
● Depending on the Cave and the time of year, insects may be present. Pack insect repellent to ward off bites.
● Staying hydrated is crucial, so carry an adequate supply of water. Energy-boosting snacks like granola bars or trail mix can keep you fueled during your adventure.
● Don't bring any valuables into the caves—they could be lost during trekking.

When you are in the Cave, please don't take independent action if you have a cave tour with friends or companions. It will be pretty dangerous; you may get lost or even have life risks in the natural environment.


Vietnam cave is absolutely worth visiting and have a lifetime memorable adventure there, especially the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park with the largest cave in the world.

Now, do you know how to plan for a Vietnam cave tour? If you are still get something worried, feel free to contact us at and we will be glad to help you solve all the trouble with a perfect arrangement. Just wait for your wondrous cave exploration in Vietnam!

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