This post covers some great things to do in Phong Nha! It was one of my favourite spots in Vietnam so hopefully this list will help you make the most of it.
About Phong Nha:
Phong Nha was one of the most heavily bombed areas during the Vietnam War because it was part of the supply route from North to South Vietnam. People hid in caves during the day and did all the work at night, even farming.
It is now a peaceful place, surrounded by gorgeous nature and with a surprising amount of activities for tourists.
Hiring an easyrider in Phong Na for one day was 11 pounds. You can rent your own for less, or borrow a bicycle from your hostel.
NOT TO BE MISSED:
The cave was discovered in 2005 by the British cave association. 1km of the massive 36km cave is open to tourists. No list of things to do in Phong Nha would be complete without this mighty cave network!
This place has to be seen to believed. I’ve seen a LOT of caves while travelling and frankly? This one ruined all the others for me! It really is like walking into another planet – the most otherworldly place I’ve experienced. Unfortunately, I found it very hard to photograph – the scale of it is beyond what my camera can take in.
The limestone formations loom all around you, and the artificial lighting creates a mystical effect.
Other Things to do in Phong Na:
HIRING A SCOOTER OR EASY RIDER TO TAKE YOU ROUND PHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARK
The loop is scenic and gorgeous! It’s an amazing way to see some of Vietnam’s best landscapes, still untouched by the swarms of tourists who surrounded other areas such as Ha Long Bay.
PHONG NA CAVES BOAT TOUR
It was strange to think of people hiding in the caves during the war, whilst bombers outside targeted the entrance to the cave. They even had to bring the supply bridges inside the cave during the daytime! The stalactites and stalagmites were incredible, like giant ominous jellyfish.
A more ‘activity-based’ cave experience in which you zipline into the cave and walk through deep, deep mud wearing a headlamp. Apparently all that mud is good for your skin though, who knows. They say only bring clothes you don’t mind getting ruined!
There’s a waterfall you can swim in but we just went to the viewpoint – it was so pretty.
GRAB A BICYCLE AND HEAD TO ‘DUCK STOP’ & PUB WITH COLD BEER
‘Duck Stop’ is literally a place where a guy owns lots of ducks and gives feed to tourists so the ducks all run at them. Sound weird? It’s one of the top-rated attractions in Phong Nha with glowing reviews all around. If you fancy a giggle, it’s the place to go.
At the same time, you can head to ‘Pub with Cold Beer’. Apparently, it got the name after some tourists got sick drinking beer with ice on a hot day (the water is not drinkable in Vietnam) so a fabled local one day bought a fridge! Thus, the Pub With Cold Beer was a must-visit for any tourists who fancied a drink.
Easy Tiger is a great hostel in the heart of Phong Na – and you can take advantage of it even if you don’t stay there. For people staying, it had a jungle theme and pool and loads of food options on sight. But best of all, every morning at around 09:15 they do a talk about everything there is to do in Phong Na – and everyone is welcome! They encourage backpackers to share costs together, which made it easy for me as a solo. They will tell you all the activities, how to get to them, and provide maps along with the best places to hire scooters or bicycles.