Some of Vietnam‘s most impressive sights to explore are hidden underground. The country features expansive cave systems, many of which are big enough to hold skyscrapers inside. If you are looking to hike or boat through caves, Vietnam offers plenty to choose from not only is it home to caves up and down its coast, it also has the biggest known cave in the world for you to explore.
Halong Bay is known for junks, emerald-colored waters and small limestone islands. The bay is also home to Song Sot Cave, which translates to “Surprise Grotto.” The cave is lit by multicolored lights so you can see all of the stalagmites and stalactites, as well as enjoy a light show while touring the caves. Guided tours are available, and the cave has two chambers for you to explore. The height of the cave’s ceiling is close to 100 feet. While the caves in Halong Bay may not be as impressive as those in the Phong Nha cave system, the surrounding waters and islands will add to your experience while exploring the caves.
Caves in Lang Son
Lang Son offers two of the country’s most well-known caves, Tam Thanh and Nhi Thanh. Visitors to both will see pools of water and Buddhist alters inside; they are well-lit, allowing all of the cave’s details to stand out. The Nhi Thanh cave entrance has poetry etched into its wall. The author, Ngo Thi San, was a soldier who discovered the cave, and carved his verse into the side of it during the 18th century. An entrance fee is required.
Phong Nha Cave System
The Phong Nha caves are located in Quang Binh in central Vietnam. The system features the world’s longest running underground river, which begins as the Son River at the mouth of the cave, but changes its name to the Aki River. The cave system features 14 chambers for you to explore. The name Phong Nha means “to the wind’s fang.” When you enter the cave, you will notice loud echoes bouncing off of the limestone walls. Legend has it that the noises come from a mountain god hosting a banquet.
Biggest Cave in the World
Cave explorers will certainly take note of the Son Doong cave, the world’s largest known cave, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park — the title previously belonged to the Deer Cave in Malaysia. This limestone cave measures approximately 262 by 262 feet throughout and stretches 2.8 miles. Guided tours of the cave are available, but be forewarned: Many tours are not for the casual tourist, but for serious travelers and adventurous spirits who will not mind trekking to the cave, catching their own fish for dinner and wading through rivers.