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Phong Nha-Ke Bang tour from Dong Hoi.

  • AngusW

    Joined Travelfish
    4th April, 2012
    Posts: 13

    Hey there,

    So we are planning on stopping in this region for 2 days, and I'm really keen to see the unesco caves!

    We are a backpacker couple and have a rough budget of 70usd.

    Would love a chance to see a bit of rural vietnam :-)

    Has anyone done something like this recently?

    Cheers again Travelfish community. Can't wait!

    #1 Posted: 5/5/2012 - 20:03

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  • AngusW

    Joined Travelfish
    4th April, 2012
    Posts: 13

    Some people mentioned Phong Nha town. Has anyone stayed here? Booked trips from there?

    #2 Posted: 5/5/2012 - 20:12

  • travellings-
    arah

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2010
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 679
    Total reviews: 11
    Places visited:
    At least 87

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I'd recommend staying out of town at Phong Nha Farmstay:

    http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/hanoi/2011/08/12/phong-nha-farmstay/
    http://www.phong-nha-cave.com/

    And contacting Oxalis Adventures regarding trips:

    http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/hanoi/2011/08/23/vietnams-phong-nha-ke-bang-national-park/
    http://www.oxalis.com.vn/GL/en/home/

    Phong Nha town is a standard (I don't really know how to explain what that means!) Vietnamese one-street town but it's in a nice enough location, has accommodation (nothing I can specifically recommend) and is nearer to Phong Nha caves. If you just want to go to Phong Nha caves, you don't need to book, you can just go there. If you're talking about booking trips further afield, I'm not sure what there is in Phong Nha town itself.

    #3 Posted: 5/5/2012 - 21:03

  • AngusW

    Joined Travelfish
    4th April, 2012
    Posts: 13

    Hey, having now done more research I think hiring a moped or getting a motorcycle guide will probably be the best bet...

    How long would it take to go from Dong Hoi to the caves on a moped/motorbike?

    Cheers!!

    #4 Posted: 6/5/2012 - 01:25

  • travellings-
    arah

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2010
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 679
    Total reviews: 11
    Places visited:
    At least 87

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    At a rough guess, I'd say about an hour on a motorbike to Phong Nha cave.

    #5 Posted: 6/5/2012 - 04:12

  • mikal83

    Joined Travelfish
    19th January, 2015
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 77
    Places visited:
    At least 28

    On our north to south VT trip later this year, plan A is/was to take the overnight train str8 to Hue, then buses town by town to HCMC BUT that would mean missing the caves.
    So my ? is. Has anyone taken the daytime/night train and got off at Dong Hoi to visit them. What did you do then to visit the caves. hire a bike up n back? Bus to Phong Nha and stay there...................or.............

    Cheers
    mike

    #6 Posted: 16/2/2015 - 09:19

  • MotHaiBa

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd May, 2011
    Posts: 57

    Did this going in the opposite direction so will prob be manageable for u going north to south. Your arrival time in Dong Hoi will influence how you tour the caves. If u arrive late afternoon, stay the night in DH and fix up a tour or transport with your hotel for next day. Nam Long hotel is recommended but there r others. If u arrive early, grab taxi or motorbike transport from station to take u out to phong nha. Other option is to have guys from phong nha farmstay pick u up and take u to their place for accomodation and tours. Plenty of choices.

    #7 Posted: 16/2/2015 - 22:36

  • mikal83

    Joined Travelfish
    19th January, 2015
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 77
    Places visited:
    At least 28

    Taken from one of THE best websites in the world, Seat 61. Times are below.
    We could take the 2200 train to get in first thing am OR the 9am train and enjoy the scenary, stay the night at some accom. I read that someone stayed in DH and hired a bike for 2 days and went up to Phong, stayed the night and came back the next day and another that went up n back the same day. 6 of one 1/2 dozen , I guess. Renting a bike right now in DH sounds the easier option as we dont have to rely on anyone else.............sound good?

    Hanoi ► Hué ► Danang ►Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)Km
    Train number:
    SE1
    SE19
    SE3
    SE7
    SE5
    TN1
    SNT1
    0
    Hanoi depart:
    19:30 day 1
    20:10 day 1
    22:00 day 1
    06:00 day 1
    09:00 day 1
    13:10
    -
    116
    Ninh Binh
    21:49 day 1
    22:25 day 1
    00:13 day 2
    08:22 day 1
    11:21 day 1
    15:48
    -
    175
    Thanh Hoa
    22:58 day 1
    23:39 day 1
    01:16 day 2
    09:33 day 1
    12:37 day 1
    17:11
    -
    319
    Vinh
    01:41 day 2
    02:25 day 2
    03:32 day 2
    12:08 day 1
    15:11 day 1
    19:50
    -
    522
    Dong Hoi
    05:50 day 2
    06:39 day 2
    07:40 day 2
    16:36 day 1
    19:40 day 1
    00:39
    -
    688
    Hué arrive
    08:48 day 2
    09:42 day 2
    10:27 day 2
    19:47 day 1
    22:42 day 1
    03:39
    -
    688
    Hué depart
    08:56 day 2
    09:50 day 2
    10:35 day 2
    19:55 day 1
    22:50 day 1
    03:47
    -
    791
    Danang (for Hoi An) arrive
    11:26 day 2
    12:20 day 2
    13:00 day 2
    22:25 day 1
    01:28 day 2
    06:49
    -
    791
    Danang (for Hoi An) depart
    11:41 day 2
    -
    13:15 day 2
    22:47 day 1
    01:43 day 2
    07:09
    -
    928
    Quang Ngai
    14:34 day 2
    -
    15:35 day 2
    01:21 day 2
    04:23 day 2
    10:10
    -
    1,095
    Dieu Tri (for Qui Nhon)
    17:41 day 2
    -
    18:36 day 2
    04:23 day 2
    07:56 day 2
    13:38
    -
    1,315
    Nha Trang
    21:22 day 2
    -
    22:12 day 2
    08:35 day 2
    11:44 day 2
    17:55
    19:00 day 1
    1,551
    Binh Thuan for Phan Thiet
    00:18 day 3
    -
    02:14 day 3
    12:39 day 2
    16:19 day 2
    22:53
    |
    1,726
    Saigon arrive:
    04:39 day 3
    -
    05:20 day 3
    16:05 day 2
    20:03 day 2
    02:30
    04:17 day 2

    #8 Posted: 17/2/2015 - 03:49

  • mikal83

    Joined Travelfish
    19th January, 2015
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 77
    Places visited:
    At least 28

    Further to my last, a quickee. IYHO is it more fun/better to go on an organised tour for around $50 to both caves, or hire a bike and do it yourself and maybe hook up with someone else to spread the cost of the boat?

    #9 Posted: 17/2/2015 - 06:08

  • MotHaiBa

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd May, 2011
    Posts: 57

    We did both options. They first day we did a tour with Ben from Phong Nha Farmstay to paradise cave and a bunch of other things in the area. A really good tour with Ben providing a lot of history on the area and taking us to some out of the way places. The next day we self-guided ourselves to Phong Nha cave with the boat.
    Its really up to you. If all you want to see is the caves, self-guided is easy enough. Definitely try and get some other folk to share the cost of the boat. If you want more than the caves, consider a tour.

    #10 Posted: 17/2/2015 - 21:26

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  • mikal83

    Joined Travelfish
    19th January, 2015
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 77
    Places visited:
    At least 28

    Thanks for that. I am sort of leaning towards making a base in DH and renting a bike for a good days tour around the caves and back.

    #11 Posted: 18/2/2015 - 07:44

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