The Dong Hoi caves can be found approximately seventy kilometers to the northwest of Dong Hoi City. While this may seem quite far, it can easily be done in a day, even if you spend hours at the caves when you reach your destination.
There are two famous Dong Hoi caves and they are Paradise Cave and Dark Cave, Phong Nha Cave. The former is a gorgeous cave filled with the most amazing stalactites and stalagmites, while the latter is a deep dark hole that can only be explored with the assistance of a headlamp.
While you can make the journey to the Dong Hoi caves on your own, we recommend that you take one of the many different tours there. This ensures that you do not get lost on your way to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which is where these two Dong Hoi caves are located, and that you have plenty of time to see everything at each of the caves.
Most tour buses will pick you up at your hotel in Dong Hoi by eight o’clock in the morning, so you can reach the caves by nine o’clock. Paradise Cave is usually the first one on the list, because it is the most popular of the two caves and gets crowded as the day continues on. This cave has excellent lighting and it is easy to get to the underground river and pool via the walkways.
To reach this Dong Hoi cave from the parking lot, you will need to board an electrical car and ride to the base of the cave. You will spend approximately two hours within this cave, appreciating the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the Thien Ha Waterfall, Thap Lien flowers, and so much more. Make sure you take a swim before you exit the cave, because the water is quite refreshing!
Right before noon, you will be whisked away to a local restaurant where you can dine on many of the traditional dishes. At one o’clock in the afternoon, it will be time for you to enter the second of the Dong Hoi caves, which is the Dark Cave.
We recommend making sure your headlamp has a fresh set of batteries in it, so your light doesn’t go out halfway through this cave system. Your time inside the Dark Cave will be spent looking at the many different fossils, zooming along the zipline, taking a mud bath, and doing a little swimming. There is also an adventure bridge that you can try to tackle if you think you are up to the challenge. Just know that hardly anyone masters the bridge during their visit!
By five o’clock in the evening, you will be boarding the bus to go back to your hotel in Dong Hoi. Your day at the Dong Hoi caves will be just a memory that you can remember for a lifetime. You will want to wash your bathing suit immediately upon your arrival at your hotel, because the odors from the water and the mud will linger and will not come out if left sitting for any length of time. That is definitely not the memory you want to remember, or cherish, from this amazing adventure!
If you do not take a bus tour out to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, you may find that you have plenty of time to see some of the other three hundred plus caves throughout the area. A couple of the other Dong Hoi caves that are usually chosen include Phong Nha Cave and Son Doong Cave.
You can also explore the beautiful park but know it will take you some time to see just a fraction of the stunning features within. Therefore, if you want to see multiple things within the park, and the surrounding area, you may want to postpone your trip back to Dong Hoi and stay near the park for a few days.
So many people choose to skip over the Dong Hoi caves during their visit to Vietnam. The reasons vary, but mostly it is because these caves are too far from where they are staying and because they don’t know if they are worthy of their time. Well, we can tell you that the journey to these Dong Hoi caves is very worthwhile and that you will love every minute you are inside them. In fact, you may love the Dong Hoi caves so much that you decide to make a return visit to Vietnam just to explore them one more time!