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Top Hotels
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175 Cua Dai, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
Price from: 2.300.000 VND ~ $115.00
Hidden Charm
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Price from: 600.000 VND ~ $30.00
Tuan Chau Island Resort
Tuan Chau Island, Halong, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 1.740.000 VND ~ $87.00
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Top Cruises
Signature Cruise Halong
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Vietnam Classic Tours 9 days
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa village, Hue, Danang, Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, Cu Chi, Mekong delta
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Emeraude Cruise 2 days 1 night
Halong Bay, Halong city, white sandy Beach, Amazing cave, Kayaking in Halong Bay
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Phong Nha Cave

PHONG NHA CAVE

Formed approximately 250 million years ago, Phong Nha (   823424; admission 20,000d charter boat 60,000d; open 6am-4pm daily) is the largest and most beautiful known cave in Vietnam. Located in the village of Son Trach, 55km northwest of Dong Hoi, it was designated a Unessco World Heritage site in 2000. It’s remarkable for its thousands of meters of underground passageways and river caves filled with abundant stalactites and stalagmites. In November and December, the river is prone to flooding; the underground cave may be closed, though it’s possible – but also may be dangerous – to visit the dry cave.

 In 1990, a British caving expedition explored 35km of the cave and made the first reliable map of Phong Nha’s underground (and underwater) passageways. They discovered that the main cavern is nearly 8km long, with 14 other caves nearby.

 Phong Nha means ‘Cave of Teeth’, but, unfortunately, the ‘teeth’ (or stalagmites) that were by the entrance are no longer there. Once you get further into the cave, it’s mostly unspoiled. There’salso a dry cave in the mountainside just above Phong Nha Cave. You can walk to it from the entrance to Phong Nha Cave (10 minutes) – look for the sign to Tien Son at the foot of the stairs.

 The Chams used the cave’s grottoes as Buddhist sanctuaries in the 9th and 10th centuries; the remains of their altars and inscriptions are still there. Vietnamese Buddhist continued to venerate these sanctuaries, as they do other Cham religious sites.

 More recently, this cave was used as a hospital and ammunition depot during the American War. The entrance shows evidence of fighter aircraft attacks. That US war-planes spent considerable time bombing and strafing the Phong Nha area is not surprising: this was one of the key entrance points to the Ho Chi Minh trail are still. Some overgrown remains of the trail are still visible, though you’ll need a guide to point them out to you.

 You should be aware that Phong Nha is heavily visited. The cave itself is fantastic, the experience less so. That is unless you like your World Heritage sites to incorporate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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