Situated in the narrowest region of Vietnam’s long sinuous central strip, yet another incarnation of Vietnam's awesome karst landscapes is also the world's oldest such topography, and can be found at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, further south between Ninh Binh and Hue, a stunning landscape featuring over 300 caves, including the world's largest, the awesome cavern of Son Doong.


Entry to the cave is possible under the care of a specialist team, though it should be noted that the cave's vast interior is so spectacular that the limited number of multi-day duration sojourns into its depths are often booked up well in advance, and possibly even for years if your travel window is fixed.

If you can't bear the wait, there are many other vast and fabulous caverns to enjoy here, such as Phong Nha and Tien Son caves, accessible only by boat, or the land based 1.6 kilometre excursion into Thien Duong (Paradise Cave) and the day-long visit to Son Doong's vast sister cave, Hang En. The area is also an interesting wildlife reserve and offers pleasurable trekking, cycling and kayaking opportunities.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang is Asia’s oldest karst formation, dating back to the Paleozoic era, some four hundred million years ago, and is valued for the geological features of five subsequent ages, shedding light on the historic shaping of the Earth’s crust.

The area is a treasure of fascinating sights. Aside from the caves, there are numerous waterfalls, an underground river, several mountain peaks which can be climbed, rich forests to trek and explore, and numerous animals, including ten species of primate, Asiatic Black Bears and Sun Bears among many others sharing this area with wonderful birds and butterflies.