1. Paradise Cave, April 2018. Arguably the highlight of central Vietnam, Paradise Cave is an essential stop on any itinerary around the country! After all, this is the longest dry cave in Asia at a staggering thirty-one kilometers. The cave’s public access section covers just one of those kilometers, but fear not… it’s still a jaw–dropping experience. Seen one cave seen em’ all? No!!!
2. Paradise Cave, April 2018. The cave was discovered in 2005 by a local man foraging for bamboo! I’m trying to imagine him returning home to his wife: “Alright love, guess what I found?” Set deep in the heart of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, uncovering the cave’s vast and complicated networks of tunnels was a huge project. Happily, The British Cave Explorers Association was up to the job.
3. Paradise Cave, April 2018. The general access section leads visitors through the cave via a dimly lit, one-way boardwalk. At the end you simply turn around and retrace your steps. It’s impossible not to be stupefied as you gaze up at the vaulted, cathedral-like ceiling with its incredible array of spear-like stalactites.
4. Paradise Cave, April 2018. With its shifting color formations and the often intense glare of the boardwalk’s intermittent spotlights, you’ll need photography skills far better than mine (not too difficult) to capture anything resembling the full glory of the cave. Definitely one of those you had to be there experiences.
5. Paradise Cave, April 2018. My visit to Paradise Cave came through a tour by the excellent Nam Long Hotel in Dong Hoi City. As ever in Vietnam, you have to be careful with your choice of tour operator and sometimes it pays just to go independently. However, for a bit of comfort and convenience, Nam Long provides a minibus from Dong Hoi City. Entrance tickets are secured on your behalf, as is the electric buggy ride up to the half-kilometer path that leads up to the cave entrance.
Nam Long offers a variety of tour combinations for Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. The daylong tour I took paired Paradise Cave up with the equally fascinating Phong Nha Cave. All in all I paid 1.5 million VND (£35/€40/$46).
Interested in this tour? Have a quick peek at my article on Phong Nha Cave.
For more on the region, why not leaf through My 5s on the nearby city of Dong Hoi.
Like these? Then why not check out many more My 5s from all over Vietnam.