Photo: Entering the cave by boat.


Son Trach (Phong Nha town)

Sandwiched between enormous karst and the Son River – the same river you journey up to arrive at Phong Nha Cave – Son Trach is the gateway to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. This one-street town is growing to support the growing number of tourists arriving each year. A number of decent hostels, new budget accommodation as well as small family-run joints market themselves as homestays, offering a more personal experience.

Heritage by Night Hotel
Backpacker - Under US$10
Phong Nha (Son Trach)
T: (052) 3677 778

While we still can’t figure out what the name exactly means (any ideas?), centrally located Heritage by Night Hotel offers solid private rooms and dorms that will appeal to flashpackers. The private rooms are cavernous, perhaps almost too big, as the furniture barely makes a dent in the generous amount of space. There’s plenty of room to spread out and the contents of your pack can find a... Read our full review of Heritage by Night Hotel.

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Phong Nha Mountain House
Midrange - US$20 to 50
Phong Nha (Son Trach), 3 km upriver from town centre, just before turnoff to the National Park
T: (093) 593 1009

Phong Nha Mountain House is an intimate family-owned place to stay located about three kilometres from the town centre, just before the turnoff to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. There are just three raised alpine-style cabins kept private by a row of trees. Despite not actually being in the mountains (it’s set back from the main road by a few metres), the houses wouldn’t be out of place... Read our full review of Phong Nha Mountain House.

Easy Tiger Hostel
Backpacker - Under US$10
Phong Nha (Son Trach)
T: (052) 367 7844

From humble beginnings, Easy Tiger Hostel is now a well-oiled backpacker factory. This refurbed old hotel in the heart of town now has a whopping 104 beds – and they regularly have to turn away travellers – such is their reputation as THE place to stay in Phong Nha. It’s a lively, social hive of activity, and it’s a one-stop shop for tours, organised shuttles, pub and entertainment. An... Read our full review of Easy Tiger Hostel.

Jungle Boss Homestay
Midrange - US$20 to 50
Phong Nha (Son Trach)
T: (094) 374 8041

The lodgings are simple, leaning on the rustic side, but the beautiful rural scenery and home-y experience may be enough to overlook the hefty price tag. Jungle Boss Homestay is located two kilometres upriver from town, close to the turnoff for the national park. The rooms feel au naturale, though you do get air-con, fan, mosquito net and WiFi. Polished concrete floors are softened with the... Read our full review of Jungle Boss Homestay.

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Thien Phu Hostel
Backpacker - Under US$10
Phong Nha (Son Trach), across the street from Easy Tiger Hostel
T: (096) 2660 515

Thien Phu Hostel is cheaper than big backpacker refuge Easy Tiger Hostel, which is just across the street. It would be a way for travellers to stay close to the action (the action being Easy Tiger’s popular Jungle Bar) while saving a few dollars. The central location also means you are a hop to a number of restaurants and the boat landing. Thien Phu Hostel had just recently opened when we... Read our full review of Thien Phu Hostel.

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Outside Phong Nha

Staying more than five kilometres outside of town means immersing yourself in the region’s rural beauty of paddies, farms and lakes. For food, you are limited to your accommodation unless you make the commute to town. On the flipside, there’s easy access to some stunning cycle routes.

Pepper House Homestay
Toprange - US$50 to 100
400 m south of Ho Chin Minh Highway East, Khuong Ha village, 8 km from Phong Nha town
T: (0167) 873 1560

The Pepper House is a beautiful family homestay run by Dave and Diem in the heart of rural Phong Nha. The three rooms are in solidly built cottages surrounding a central pool. High ceilings and white walls give a lightness and though very sparsely furnished, there are some elegant touches such as French doors and bamboo light fixtures. Air-con and WiFi are also there if you need it. The bathroom... Read our full review of Pepper House Homestay.

Phong Nha Farmstay
Midrange - US$20 to 50
Cu Nam Village, 400 m north of Ho Chi Minh Highway East, 8 km east of Phong Nha town
T: (052) 367-5135

Phong Nha Farmstay is the child of Aussie Ben and Vietnamese Bich who have worked tirelessly to put Phong Nha on the tourist trail. As the national park has grown in popularity and the town has prospered, so too has their farmstay, the first foreign-run guesthouse in a region that was once off-the-radar. Rice is nice. Located eight kilometres from town, the farmstay (which is not actually a... Read our full review of Phong Nha Farmstay.

Phong Nha Lake House Resort
Backpacker - Under US$10
Ho Chi Minh Road East, 7 km from Phong Nha town, Hung Trach village, Bo Trach district
T: (052) 367 5999

Built into a hillside that slopes down to a pretty lake, Phong Nha Lake House Resort will appeal to those looking for solid, modern accommodation in natural surrounds. The bungalows and villas are well-equipped and well-furnished, with clean lines and cream-coloured walls jazzed up with wooden baseboard, a four-poster bed elegantly draped in mosquito net and framed art. While not the most... Read our full review of Phong Nha Lake House Resort.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Phong Nha? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

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