Phong Nha, Vietnam
One of the raddest places I have been able to visit is Phong Nha in Vietnam.
Get a group together and rent a car for the day or get mopeds if you feel safe driving. Start your day adventure at the Dark Cave.
You begin the day zip lining into the entrance of the cave. Watch out for the dirt patch as my ass scraped and smacked right into it. From there you swim and walk about 1km with your headlamp and life jacket until you reach the entrance of the muddy crevice. Only about a few feet wide, knee deep in mud, you use all your body strength to pull each foot up and take one step in front of the other until you get to a mud bath. This mud bath is very buoyant and you can actually float. It's impossible to sink! It was so much adventurous and absolutely beautiful!
From the mud cave you swim back into the main area and find your kayaks, where you kayak through the beautiful river to an obstacle course. If you have ever seen Wipe Out on TV it's kind of like that. The dark cave was truly one of the coolest experiences I have ever had.
We found our driver out front and he took us to Paradise Cave. We grabbed some instant noodles and bok choy before hiking up the mountain. Once we reached the top you could see a hole in the side of the mountain and a set of stairs leading down into the abyss. You descend over a hundred stairs into a magical land. HOLY COW! This cave is one of the longest in the world. The track only goes about a kilometer back, but you can buy private tours that take you the full 7km. This place was unbelievably breathtaking. Worth every penny. Just trust me and go explore.
The last cave you have to visit while in Phong Nha is the Phong Nha cave. This cave you reach by boat. The local woman or man will paddle you there with their feet and hands. The scenery is gorgeous and you can get out and explore the cool stalagmites and stalactites.
We began each night at Easy Tiger for happy hour drinking games and ended every night at Why Not Bar. I left a piece of my heart in Phong Nha. The group of friends I had formed was amazing and every day offered a unique adventure. I miss it everyday, along with the beautiful souls I met there.
Where to stay:
- Easy Tiger: By far the best hostel I stayed in while in Vietnam. You have to reach out to them by email as they are not on hostelworld. Just email them the dates you arrive and the number of beds you want and you’ll be good to go! Great swimming pool, hammock chilling area, good restaurant and amazing happy hour. When the bus drops you off at 4:30AM you’ll be able to sleep on the ground or couches until reception opens.
Where to eat:
- Easy Tiger restaurant
- Pulled Pork BBQ stand down at the end of the street
- Paradise Cave restaurant
- There are little restaurants down the street from Easy Tiger as well.
Things to do:
- Dark Cave - I remember this being close to $15. So worth it!
- Paradise Cave - I remember this being anywhere from $7.50 - $10. Incredibly worth it.
- Phong Nha Cave - Less than $5 to get paddled in by boat. Beautiful scenery!
- Why Not Bar
Enjoy my favorite spot in Vietnam!