Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has the oldest limestone karst mountains in Asia, dating back 400 million years. The scenery is spectacular, and the mountains conceal extraordinary caves and mysterious underground rivers. The park, which is in central Vietnam close to Laos, is UNESCO listed, and home to some wonderful wildlife, including a number of endangered species like the Asian Black Bear.
In the past, this area has been somewhat cut off, however a recent increase in accommodation and guided tours has made the park more accessible for travellers. This is fortunate indeed, as the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has incredible scenery, and plenty to see and explore.
The most easily accessible, and therefore most popular caves, are Phong Nha Cave, Dark Cave and Paradise Cave. However ‘easily accessible’ is a relative term, and even access to these caves can include a boat ride, zip-line, kayak or even a swim. This makes the park an exciting option for those seeking adventure.
Away from the caves, there is also fantastic trekking within the national park. Only a small section of the park is open to visitors, as this region was badly affected by the America-Vietnam war, leaving behind potential unexploded ordinance; therefore a guide is required for trekking. However there is plenty of wildlife in the park, including a vast array of bird species as well as macaques and langurs. Heading out into the countryside around the park is also a lovely way to get more off the beaten track and enjoy rustic, rural Vietnam.