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05 June 2021

Dong Hoi - Viet Nam - a trip to the Kingdom of Caves

Hello Folks ✌️ 

Oooo... it's June already. And this article is ... my 50th. WoW!

The last two weeks must have been intense for you. Visiting the island of Palawan and then jumping to Shanghai for sure grabbed your time ...

What if today we will visit the central part of Viet Nam?

How about a trip to the Kingdom of Caves?

The pandemic situation in Asia has become somewhat complicated. In several places, mainly in Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, the increase in infections is significant, reaching several thousand a day. The situation is similar to the one that was recently in Europe.

Consequently, it is still impossible to travel between the countries of Southeast Asia. We can, however, travel around Viet Nam. Therefore, I have planned a few days trip to the north, to the central part of the country.

It was an intense trip from which you could already read articles about Bana Hill and the Golden Bridge and about my visit to Hoi An, the city of lanterns. If you missed it, just click on the links above.

Today I will share my impressions of staying in the first of two, and one of several caves in Quang Binh province. They all belong to the Phong Nha Ke Bang cave complex which is also a National Park entered on the UNESCO World Heritage list.



Underground palace

Paradise Cave is one of the most beautiful caves in the world, if not the most beautiful. It is accompanied by: Phong Nha Cave (about it soon in a separate article) and Son Doong Cave, to which tickets are purchased one year in advance and the entry price is up to $ 5,000.

The entire park was created to protect the region with 300 caves with a total length of 126 km and the ecosystem of limestone forests.

But we will not waste too much money, so I invite you today to visit Paradise Cave, the longest in the world.

Paradise Cave, also called the "underground palace", is one of the wonders of the wonderful and most magical world of caves. Located deep in the Phong Nha Ke Bang World Natural Heritage National Park, it is dated around 350 to 400 million years old.

Paradise Cave is a newly discovered cave in Viet Nam and has been recognized as the largest complex of this type in the world. This interconnecting cave system was discovered by scientists at the British Cave Research Association with the participation of local residents. It is the most beautiful cave in the Phong Nha Ke Bang area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was discovered relatively late, in 2005. It took five years to pave the way for tourists and cavers. Paradise Cave opened to the public in September 2011.

Surrounded by wooded karst peaks, this is a stunning cave system in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, 32 km long, of which approximately 7 km has been accessed but  900m for mass visits.



Get in 

The scale of the cave is breathtaking.

The entrance to the cave is somewhat hidden among the trees and is small, suitable for one person.

The wooden staircase widens gradually and plunges into a cathedral-like space with huge stalagmites and stalactites. They are embedded so that you can pass through huge stone blocks stacked on top of each other. You will surely be amazed by the spacious and magical spaces inside the entire cave.

It's worth getting here early to avoid the crowds. During peak hours (early afternoon), tour guides lead numerous, noisy groups of tourists. They use megaphones to control them. A cacophony of sounds.




Use the wooden steps and explore the cave by walking along the promenade for approximately 1 km. Then, head to the largest space in the cave to see the breathtaking formations. Here you can spend an hour or two staring at every nuance and color variation of the cave formations.

The height of the Paradise Cave can reach 100 m. At its widest point, it is as much as 150 m wide. The limestone formations are also more spectacular than in Phong Nha Cave.

Interestingly, in 2012, a new species of scorpion was discovered here - Vietbocap thienduongensis.



Go further, even 7 km

For more extraordinary experiences, you can continue the 7 km cave tour, but only with a local guide. If you order such an excursion, remember to bring a headlamp, necessary for exploring the cave. If you are lucky, you can see the eyeless cave fish that are part of the local ecosystem.

The 7km exploration of Paradise Cave (VND 2,650,000, minimum two people) which includes swimming in an underground river (there is a boat if you can't swim) and lunch under a 'skylight' that shines through the sun can be booked through the “Phong Nha Farmstay ”or at the hotel where you are staying.


Simply the "paradise"

For me, this cave is unlike anything I've seen before. Looking at the vaults, walls, limestone formations and unusual colors, I was charmed by its beauty.

British cave explorers were impressed by the beautiful and spectacular stalactites and stalagmites inside this cave. Hence its name - "paradise".

After a few detailed comparisons, the cave experts, specialists and researchers concluded that the limestone formations of the Paradise Cave are among the most spectacular they have ever seen in their life.

According to experts, the Paradise Cave is even more beautiful and magnificent than Soon Doong and Phong Nha. I agree with this opinion.



A bit about the costs

Located in the heart of Phong Nha Ke Bang, in Quang Binh Province, Paradise Cave is the longest cave in Asia and in the world. With its magical stalagmite beauty, it is considered a masterpiece of nature with myriads of millennial stalactites hidden deep in the earth.

To get to the entrance, walk or drive about a kilometer from the parking lot. Electric trolleys (ticket price one way / round trip 15,000 / 25,000 VND) transport visitors quickly and efficiently. There is a further 600 m from the trolley stop to the entrance to the cave - it is a slight climb to overcome the 200 m difference in elevation. At 30 degrees Celsius you can sweat. Fortunately, the inside of the cave is cool. Entrance tickets to the cave: 250,000 VND (125,000 for children).



Regret to leave

Paradise Cave enjoys a growing popularity among tourists all year round thanks to its beautiful splendor. Ranging from rarity, diversity, size to unique cave formations.

You will experience even more amazing experiences when visiting the cave in the early morning.

Avoid visiting this cave during the rainy season which runs from September to December.

Time to step out of the pleasant, cool interior of Paradise Cave.

You need to cool down after the amazing views.


Cảm ơn bạn!

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