Phong Nha | see and do guide

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Paradise (Thien Duong) Cave, Phong Nha - Ke Bang

| 29 Aug 2012

Map

Map
Paradise (Thien Duong) Cave, Phong Nha - Ke Bang
Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park
07.30 - 16.30
250,000VND

Map
Our rating
29 Aug 2012

Paradise Cave has only been open to travellers since 2010 and it really does live up to its name and all the fuss. This is an awe inspiring cave that's been well set up for visitors. Come early, late or during lunchtime and avoid public holidays. Crowds can put a dampener on enjoyment of the place.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

The opening of Paradise Cave to travellers in 2010 has created another powerful tourism magnet in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. While you should take the opportunity to visit all the main caves (Phong Nha, Tien Son and Paradise), if for some reason, you can only visit one, definitely make it Paradise Cave.

The world's largest cave, Son Doong, is only an option for those with time (3 nights) and money ($3000US) to spare.

Paradise Cave is both naturally stunning and well managed (especially by the lax tourism standards of Vietnam's other World Heritage sites - think Halong Bay). The lighting is subtle, the 1km walking platform is well constructed with good lookout space. And the cave is well protected from overexcited tourists That's all incidental to the incredible beauty of the cave.

Paradise Cave was only discovered in 2005. When the global caving fraternity cast their eyes over it, they knew something special had been found - both in beauty and scale.

The cave is 31kms long and at times reaches up to 100 metres. The 1km path that is open to travellers is filled with exquisite formations.

 

Travel tips
Paradise Cave is around 30kms from Son Trach town where Phong Nha Caves are located. Allow 3 hours for a leisurely tour as there is quite a bit of climbing - either along steps or longer path - to get to the cave's entrance. A normal level of fitness and mobility is essential. Do your best to avoid crowds. If it's busy here (as it is most weekends and during summer holidays), the large crowds may spoil the experience. Buggies convey travellers the 1km pathway to the base of the mountain for 60K VND one way and 100K return. There's still lots of walking to be done once you get there though. No matter what, be ready for a climb and a few kilometres of walking.

If you're feeling fit and weather permits, head out by bicycle. You can make a nice loop that includes Paradise Cave, some rural scenes and the magnificent National Park.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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