One of the best day trips you can do while visiting Vietnam, especially Hue City, is going to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. This massive national park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can be found within the districts of Minh Hoa and Bo Trach. This entire park was created to preserve the natural beauty within it.
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A few things that visitors like yourself will find when exploring Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park include an extensive eco-system and at least three hundred caves and grottoes. One of the more popular caves is Paradise Cave, but that doesn’t mean others like Dark Cave Phong Nha are not as amazing. While Paradise Cave has an underground river and pool, Dark Cave is known more for its adventurous qualities.
Dark Cave Phong Nha was ironically not discovered until 1990, but the locals and tourists haven’t wasted any time making it one of the most visited caves within the park and the country. There are no lights within this cave and that is where it got its name. Therefore, as you walk along the six kilometers, you will see nothing but darkness except where your headlamp shines directly in front of you.
You can only enter Dark Cave Phong Nha a with a guide, which is good news, because it means you will not get lost or injured during your adventure. As you walk through the cave, your tour guide will share the history of the cave. You will want to spend a lot more time than you can inside Dark Cave Phong Nha, but the best part of your adventure has yet to begin.
Since you entered the cave from the back, you will need to hop into a kayak and paddle the rest of the way to where the zipline is located. After a ride on the zipline, you will need to release yourself into the water for a short swim back to where you will join your guide. The water is a little on the cool side, but it will feel refreshing during this heart racing experience.
One of the best experiences you can have inside Dark Cave Phong Nha though is taking a mud bath. In order to do this, you must walk down a narrow passageway until you reach the area where the mud bath area is located. There are many fossils along the way, so you may find yourself stopping multiple times to try to see them in the practically darker than dark cave.
You may want to skip the mud bath at first, but once you see other people doing it, and start to understand how good the mud is for your skin, you will stop hesitating. You may want to take another swim in the cold water before tackling your last challenge of this tour. That challenge includes crossing the adventure bridge, which was constructed during the Quang Binh Cave Festival.
Not too many people are up to the challenge of this adventure bridge and only a couple people make it across every single month. You are more than welcome to try it during your visit, but don’t be too disappointed if you simply cannot finish!
At the end of your tour, you will feel exhilarated, exhausted, and hungry! This is the time to find a seat inside the Dark Cave Restaurant to grab a bite of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. If you are not that hungry yet, you can simply grab a drink and sit down for some much-needed rest!
One tip we have for your Dark Cave Phong Nha adventure is to make sure you have a headlamp on with a fresh set of batteries. This will ensure that you have light the entire time you are inside. It is also important to know that there are tight quarters inside the cave, so you may want to think twice about visiting if you suffer from claustrophobia. It is doable, but you may want to have a close friend with you that can keep you calm as you experience everything this cave has to offer.
Before you enter the Dark Cave Phong Nha, you must leave all your valuables outside. There are lockers to put everything you may have brought with you in, but you may want to leave most of your things back at your hotel room.
When you leave the Dark Cave Phong Nha, you will want to wash your bathing suit as soon as you get back to your room. Failure to do so will result in a stained and smelly suit that you will never be able to wear again. Although, it will always allow you to remember your time in the Dark Cave Phong Nha!
You will remember every moment you spend in Dark Cave Phong Nha, even without a camera, since they are best left outside away from the mud. This is one destination you must add to your Hue City vacation list of things to do, especially if you want an experience that you cannot have anywhere else in the world.