Phong Nha is the most underrated place in Vietnam as of now. The small village is an overnight journey from Ninh Binh & Hanoi both. However, the place is home to one of the best caves in the world. Out of the top 5 caves, three are in Vietnam, which makes it a great place to visit. Phong Nha national park is famous among tourists. It was my first time in Phong Nha & I enjoyed it. Visiting the cave was on my list for some time now & this was a perfect opportunity to tick that off.
How To Reach Phong Nha:
Phong Nha is an overnight bus journey from Hanoi & to Ninh Binh (2.5 hours less than Hanoi). Many buses are running on this route, and the roads are good. The cost of sleeper bus tickets will be around 350,000 VND from Ninh Binh & for compartment one will have to pay a little more.
Things To Do In Phong Nha
Phong Nha is an abode of nature, many places will take you deep into the jungles & Vietnamese villages. Here are a few things to do in Phong Nha.
1. Phong Nha National Park:
Phong Nha National park is explored via boat & one has to rent a boat to explore the part of the cave. The cost of hiring a boat will be around 500,000 VND & the entry price would be 250,000 VND. The boat can carry up to 10-12 people. One can boat through the cave & it will take approx 2 hours to complete the route.
The major attraction of Phong Nha is caves, numerous caves are available to explore here. A few of the caves are Dark cave, Paradise cave, etc. At hostels, one can opt for an exclusive lake expedition. I tried one with Backpackers hostel Phong Nha, which was around 1650000 VND. It is one of the best experiences one can have while traveling to Vietnam. A raw & beautiful nature.
How To Phong Nha on Budget:
Phong Nha is good for a couple of days, as during day time there is nothing much to do, the only thing that attracts people to this place are caves; which are plenty in number. The only thing people will spend on will be stay & activities. The hostel prices are decent & one can find the same via hostel.com or booking.com. I stayed at Central backpackers hostel.
Handy Resources:Below are the few resources you should check before making an itinerary.
Agoda: Best place to book hotels of your liking. Agoda provides the best solution & great offer while booking a hotel.
Skyscanner: Skyscanner compares various sites & sort the flights based on the rates. A great way to check flight cost. Although the only drawback is that rates are flexible. Hence, the cost might change while you are making the payment.
Jetradar: Jetradar is a comparing site which is just like Skyscanner. But, is much more accurate & much more handy in use.
Booking: Best place to book hostel rooms. There are plenty of options available & with so many properties booking becomes much easier.
Couchsurfing: Best place to find free accommodation. It is as easy as filtering people & messaging. If you will get lucky you will find free accommodation in local resident house.
Travel Insurance: There are numerous options available to get one. So, you can choose anything which suits your requirement. Make sure you read the terms & conditions before buying one.