A pleasant, sleepy town, Phong Nha is nestled at the foot of a series of limestone cliffs in an otherwise flat region, 45 km to the northwest of Dong Hoi.
The limestone massifs are similar to those seen on the Andaman coast of Thailand and mark are stark change in the geology of Vietnam as you pass from south to north.
The only reason to visit Phong Nha is to visit the Phong Nha cave system, but an overnight here makes sense if you have time in your schedule.
If you're one who considers caves to be nothing more than a hole in the ground, you have to see this cave to realise just how mistaken you are.
There's caves, there's big caves and there's gigantic, world record-breaking caves like what you'll see in Phong Nha. If you've only got time for one cave in your holidays, this is it.
The town is located along the main road from highway 14, stretching 2 km to the boat landing for the caves. Accommodation is generally good and not too expensive. It's a good place for a restful night if you've been harrying about Vietnam from hot-spot to hot-spot.
There are no banking services for westerners. The post office is located across the street from the Saigon-Phongnha hotel near the boat landing at the end of town. Internet is available at 3,000 VND per hours.
Phong Nha Post Office: Across from the boat landing, Phong Nha. T: (052) 675 115; F: (052) 675 319. Hours: 06:30 to 21:00, dry season, 07:00 to 20:30, rainy season.
Text and/or map last updated on 21st August, 2009.
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