Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Phong Nha-Ke Bang tour from Dong Hoi.

Posted by AngusW on 5/5/2012 at 20:03

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 AngusW has been a member since 4/4/2012. Posts: 13

Posted by AngusW on 5/5/2012 at 20:12

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

#2 AngusW has been a member since 4/4/2012. Posts: 13


Posted by travellingsarah on 5/5/2012 at 21:03 TF writer

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 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 679
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Posted by AngusW on 6/5/2012 at 01:25

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 AngusW has been a member since 4/4/2012. Posts: 13

Posted by travellingsarah on 6/5/2012 at 04:12 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

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

#5 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 679
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Posted by mikal83 on 16/2/2015 at 09:19

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 mikal83 has been a member since 19/1/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 106
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Posted by MotHaiBa on 16/2/2015 at 22:36

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 MotHaiBa has been a member since 3/5/2011. Posts: 57

Posted by mikal83 on 17/2/2015 at 03:49

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 mikal83 has been a member since 19/1/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 106
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Posted by mikal83 on 17/2/2015 at 06:08

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 mikal83 has been a member since 19/1/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 106
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Posted by MotHaiBa on 17/2/2015 at 21:26

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 MotHaiBa has been a member since 3/5/2011. Posts: 57

Posted by mikal83 on 18/2/2015 at 07:44

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 mikal83 has been a member since 19/1/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 106
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