Riding the HCM Trail – Paradise Cave

The sixth day of our journey down the Ho Chi Minh Trail took us in to north-central Vietnam and the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, near the border with Laos.

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is located on top of one of the largest limestone formations in the world. Above the surface the area is mountainous and covered in dense, almost pristine, tropical evergreen jungle, but underground the park is known for its caves – big ones!

The main entrance down in to Paradise Cave in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

The main entrance down in to Paradise Cave in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Paradise Cave, or Thien Duong Cave, was discovered in 2005 by British cavers searching for another monster cave found and then lost again in 1991, by a local farmer called Ho Khanh while fossicking for aloe in the area.

Inside Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park in North Vietnam

Inside Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

The monster cave became a local legend and has still to be found again, but Paradise Cave is a pretty good second prize and at 31km in length is currently the longest in the park.

Incredible stalagmites at Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Incredible stalagmites at Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

It really is a thing to see and its sheer size, together with it’s spectacular stalactite and stalagmite structures, impressed the British cavers so much they gave it it’s name!

Deep inside  Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Deep inside Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Paradise Cave and Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park are located 60km to the northwest of the coastal city of Dong Hoi.

Limestone formations deep inside Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Limestone formations deep inside Paradise Cave at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Leave a Reply