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Revision as of 02:08, 7 October 2011
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is in Quảng Bình Province, in the north of the Central Coast region of Vietnam.
Flora and fauna
Airplane: Currently, the closest service is via Vietnam Airlines to Dong Hoi, check their website for latest fares and flight times.
Train: Several arrivals and departures at Dong Hoi daily from as far away as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, only a few hours from Hue.
Bus: A local bus goes from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha for 40,000 VND. It departs at 14:00 from Nam Ly bus station. The bus back to Dong Hoi leaves Phong Nha at 8:00, so you have to either stay overnight or try to go back with one of the tour buses (they may even take you to Dong Hoi for free).
Motorbikes: Motorbikes can be rented for 150,000 VND from hotels in Dong Hoi. It takes about 1 hour via a highway that has little traffic: the Phong Nha cave is about 45 km from Dong Hoi and the Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave is about 70 km from Don Hoi.
Taxis: can be hired from hotels/resorts, airport or train station in Dong Hoi. About 1 hour on a highway with cars, oxcarts, motorbikes, buses, trucks.
Tours are available from Hue.
Hotels in Dong Hoi can arrange day trips to the park.
Phong Nha and Tien Son Caves: It costs 40,000 VND for the entrance fee to see each cave (80,000 VND for both) and 250,000 VND (~USD 12.50) to rent a boat for up to 14 people to visit both caves (or 220,000 VND for the boat to only one of the two caves). You can share a boat with other tourists that show up. Renting a boat is a requirement as there is no other way to get to the caves. Caves are exquisite and very large. It is about 45 km by road from Dong Hoi and takes about an hour by motorbike. More information on Wikipedia: Phong Nha Cave and Tien Son Cave.
Nuoc Mooc Spring Eco Trail: 50,000 VND for ticket. Transportation can be negotiated to take you there from Phong Nha village. Buy ticket at the hut under the sign off the road, then wander the bamboo bridges and paths along both sides of the river/rapids. Go back to see where the river springs up out of the ground. This is also on the road to the Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave.
Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave: Newly paved road off the main HCM Highway provides car/motorbike/bus access. Buy 120,000 VND ticket to enter; the fee includes an English speaking guide. Just after that, separate >>optional<< ticket for non-polluting electric golf cart to the base of the stairs (if nice weather, walk along the new path of about 1.6 km instead). Approx. 500 stairs up to entrance of cave, another 100-200 stairs down inside. Stunning, tastefully lit cave features along 1.1 km of new (spring 2011) wooden pathways. It is about 70 km by road from Dong Hoi and takes about an hour and a half by motorbike. Some claim that this is among the most beautiful caves in the world. More information here on Wikipedia.
Bicycling and kayaking, swimming at allowed points along the rivers.
Thien Duong Cave: Along with the new road, several restaurants -- at the site entrance, as well as at the top of the 500 stairs! -- were being built for visitors in Spring 2011.
- Vung Hue, Phong Nha-Son Trach-Bo Trach (2nd Place past the Car Park at the Boat station to Phong Nha.). Good solid local food at a fair price and they are friendly even if lacking much English. They don't get silly with the price for foreigners.
- Phong Nha Farmstay, Thon Hoa Son, Xa Cu Nam, Huyen Bo Trach, Tinh Quang Binh (8km south of Phong Nha Town (Ringing us prior to arrival is easiest as we are out of the way)), ☎ 0523675135, . We have Private Rooms upstairs @ 35USD and downstairs are 25USD. Dorm Beds in the Homestay next door are 8USD each per night. There are early morning flights daily to and from Ha Noi to Dong Hoi with Vietnam Airlines Quiet cheap of booked in advance and takes less than an hour. From Saigon there are Lunch time flights some days of the week. To and from Ha Noi you can also get an overnight sleeper train which takes approx 10 hours if the wind is blowing in the correct direction and the stars are aligned. I do like the train however. The over night Buses are best avoided if you value your life. Transfer from or to Dong Hoi by private car is 400,000VND at the train station or the airport each way. Getting to from Phong Nha to the south. There are local buses that leave daily from Phong Nha Farmstay’s front door to Hue (150,000VND 4hrs) and Da Nang (220VND 6hrs) at 5:30am The same Buses leave Da Nang and Hue at 1pm on the return trip. Not Comfortable but a fast and cheap and cultural experience Private car "DMZ Highlights Transit Tour" to and from Hue is 2,300,000VND stopping at Vinh Moc Tunnels, Ben Hai River Museum and Tam's Cafe for Lunch. Please see the following Links for info on the destinations included in the "DMZ Highlights Transit Tour" to and from Hue. http://www.tamscafe.co.nr/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Hai_River http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinh_Moc_tunnels http://www.frommers.com/destinations/hue/D48592.html If others are going to or from Hue that day they can share the 2,300,000VND cost of the car and driver. You can decide when and how you move south or north from here once your here if you like. We can help with some great suggestions as can other travellers staying here. If others are going to or from Hue that day they can share the cost of the car and driver. You can decide when and how you move south or north from here once your here if you like. We can help with some great suggestions as can other travelers staying here. We will have some great tours and "do it yourself options" here to entertain you too and full Bar facilities, Restaurant and a Pool (All menu prices are on the web sight). Also see http://www.oxalis.com.vn/GL/en/home/ and http://phong-nha-cave.com/ for more info on tours. We arrange some of our tours through Oxalis Adventure tours as they are a local company we support. Ben Ben and Bich www.phong-nha-cave.com firstname.lastname@example.org Ben 0944759864 Bich 0976425332 8-35USD.
In Dong Hoi, there is a range of hotels/guesthouses, as well as at least one beach resort. About 1 hour travel time from Dong Hoi to the park.
At least two idyllic options very close to the park:
- Chay Lap  - clean, quiet, no frills homestay, excellent Vietnamese home cooking, outdoor showers, will set up trekking bicycles and kayaks for you. Website has a great map of activities in and near the park.
- Phong Nha Farmstay, Cu Nam Village in Bo Trach, ☎ 0944759864, . Comfort out in the rice paddys. Run by English speakers. Laidback, backpacker idyll. Experience local life or chill out. 8-35USD.
Check park regulations first, or go with an organized tour. Park rangers are very suspicious of undocumented visitors overnighting in the park.
Be cautious driving on the road to/from Dong Hoi; avoid night driving.
Bring mosquito repellent.