Wonderful limestone caves in the Phong Nha - Ke Bang
Phong Nha Cave is located in Ke Bang limestone mountain which is about 50 km to the Northwest from Dong Hoi town. From Dong Hoi, you travel by car to Son Trach commune, and then sitting on a boat on Son River for 30 minute to arrive the cave. Some years ago, this area was just a red soil road with mud in the rain and dirt in sunny days, a place where bombs and mines destroyed everything without leaving out a branch of tree, an ear of grass. Nowadays, that street blows a new vitality into this wild and pristine land.
Visit Phong Nha cave, you can imagine lots of things from the forms of stalactite.
It seems that as nature creates human, it protects them as well. Lots of battles have undergone but Phong Nha Cave remains there in pristine beauty as it was millions of years ago. The peaceful villages are interspersed in bamboo groves and red roofs on riversides. The girls and women call for boats on the wharf; boats carry passengers coming and going on the river. They greet each other by their own local languages, which stirs up the wharf. When boats docking is also the time for tourists to start their journey to discover a maze between daily life.
Phong Nha Cave includes many branches with the length of up to more than 20 km. up to now, people have just found out the longest branch which is a part of an underground river called Nậm Aki, of which Son River is the revealed section in the ground. The underground river is in the area of Pu-Pha-Dam Mountain which is about 20 km to the South from there. In front of the cave, the natural landscapes are fascinating with a number of strange and exciting images appeared, inspiring people’s creativities. People named the beautiful scenes here as Phong Nha, which mean teeth of wind. In high water season, water in Son River raises, covering the cave entrance, so tourist boats cannot enter. It’s rumoured that more than 100 years ago, the young king Ham Nghi was lurking here with some other close officials and in there he called for Can Vuong revolution.
It remains several rivers flowing peacefully inside.
The cave entrance is of 20m wide, 10m high with heaving stalactites. Passing the entrance, the cave looks like a bowl upside down on the water. The water is clear and smooth as a mirror. The deeper inside the cave, the fader the lights are and they then disappear. Together with the sound of rowing is the sound of gongs. Natives here said that it is the sound of music in party of Mountain God resounding. The main Cave of Phong Nha Cave includes 14 compartments connected to each other by a water corridor lasting for 1500m long. From the 14th compartment, we can follow other narrower corridors to enter more deeply to lager but more dangerous compartments, where the process of limestone weathering continues. Boats go against the water currents for around 800m to reach Shallow Water Cave where water is less, giving the way to sands and stones. Stalactites from above decumbent while stalagmites growing up from ground like trees with strange shapes inspiring imagination.
People can start to explore Phong Nha cave by boat.
Different from other tourist attraction in Vietnam, Phong Nha is located in a primary forest of Ke Bang which seems to be pristine and pure. In the eyes of tourists, the locals here are in their own different style: “they behave friendly with the character of rustic farmers and not see tourists as a source to earn money. That’s the thing making Phong Nha more attractive to visitors”.