Phong Nha – Ke Bang has been no doubt a familiar name to most of people in Vietnam as well as those outside the country. Recently, it has also been an absolutely stunning place where the largest cave in the world, Son Doong cave, is located. People so far seem to only know about Phong Nha Cave or Paradise Cave but don’t often spend time taking a trip to the whole system of this national park. With this article today, you can gain some useful information to prepare for the challenging upcoming trip to one of the most amazing and wonderful cave system in the world.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is located in the middle of the Annamite Mountain Range in Quang Binh province and shares its boundary with the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in the Lao PDR to the west. The property comprises an area of 123,326 ha and contains terrestrial and aquatic habitats, primary and secondary forest, sites of natural regeneration, tropical dense forests and savanna and is rich in large, often spectacular and scientifically significant caves.
Designated a Unesco World Heritage site in 2003, the remarkable Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia, formed approximately 400 million years ago. Riddled with hundreds of cave systems – many of extraordinary scale and length – and spectacular underground rivers, Phong Nha is a speleologists’ heaven on earth. What’s more, it is also home to Son Doong Cave, discovered in the early 1990s and confirmed as the biggest cave on the planet only in 2009.
Being a new tourist destination, getting to Phong Nha will require a little more planning than usual. There are planes, trains and some buses that will drop tourists off in Dong Hoi city – the nearest urban area. Once reaching Dong Hoi, travelers will have to carry on to Phong Nha. It would be great if they have their own private transportation or they are on a tour. If not, tourists can rent a car with driver with price ranging around 800,000 VND or take a motorbike taxi, which costs about 200,000 to 250,000 VND.
Located in the north of Central Vietnam, Quang Binh, the province in which Phong Nha Ke Bang is located, has the same climate conditions as the rest of the whole area: tropically hot and humid. The hottest months are from June to August, which is also the best time to visit Phong Nha. The rest of the year, it will be cold (from December to February) or raining and therefore flooding (from August to December). Therefore, tourists would highly recommend to carefully prepare for the trekking tours in case they want to discover the amazing beauty of Phong Nha – Ke Bang.
Thanks to its wonderful climate, this national park include a wide range of ecosystem and biodiversity including forest with moist evergreen forests, jungle and other rare flora. It is also home to 140 mammal species belonging to 31 families and 10 orders. Having to say, there are many species in Vietnam documented in the Red Book and World Red Book that are currently at risk of extinction and being actively protected in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park.
Visiting Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park is not all about enjoying the beautiful landscape. That is to say, Phong Nha – Ke Bang is home to many ethnic groups, including the ethnic minorities Bru – Van Kieu and Chut. These ethnic groups all have their own culture, resulted in many cultural events that distinct each group. Thus, visitors travelling to this place will not only be satisfied by the landscape and the beauty that the nature created, but also have the opportunity to learn about the unique cultures and historical monuments that all have their own interesting and meaningful stories.